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The Possibilities of Foreign Language Learning and the Culture of Plurilingualism Assoc. Prof. dr. Roma Kriaučiūnienė The Institute of Foreign Languages.

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Presentation on theme: "The Possibilities of Foreign Language Learning and the Culture of Plurilingualism Assoc. Prof. dr. Roma Kriaučiūnienė The Institute of Foreign Languages."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Possibilities of Foreign Language Learning and the Culture of Plurilingualism Assoc. Prof. dr. Roma Kriaučiūnienė The Institute of Foreign Languages Vilnius University 2013

2 Outline EU policy of language learning and plurilingualism European centre of modern languages - plurilingual and pluricultural approach to language learning Plurilingual and intercultural education in vocational education curricula The importance of foreign language competence in business world The possibilities of foreign language learning at the Institute of Foreign Languages of Vilnius University

3 EU policy of language learning and plurilingualism Recommendation CM/Rec (2008)7 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the use of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and the promotion of plurilingualism Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 2 July 2008

4 EU recommendations Having taken into consideration: intensified international mobility closer co-operation in education, culture and science in trade, commerce and industry in all walks of life; Emphasizing: The political importance to promote plurilingualism to diversify and intensify language learning in a pan-European context;

5 EU recommendations based on: Recommendation 1383 (1998) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on “Linguistic diversification”; – the conclusions and recommendations of the 20th session of the Standing Conference of the European Ministers of Education (Cracow, 2000), and specifically the Resolution on the European Language Portfolio; – Recommendation 1539 (2001) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on “The European Year of Languages”; – the conclusions of the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe (Warsaw, 2005); – the final Declaration of the 22nd session of the Standing Conference of the European Ministers of Education (Istanbul, 2007) entitled “Building a more humane and inclusive Europe: role of education policies”;

6 EU recommendations take into account: the added value of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR); – the increasing significance of the CEFR as a European standard of reference for language education; – the growing value of the CEFR as a reference instrument for the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), Europass and the European Indicator of Language Competence; – the conclusions of the 2007 Intergovernmental Policy Forum entitled “The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and the development of language policies: challenges and responsibilities”,

7 EU recommends that governments of member states: Implement the use of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and the promotion of plurilingualism at national, regional and local level

8 National, regional and local education authorities are invited to: 1) Create and/or maintain conditions favourable to the use of the CEFR as a tool for coherent, transparent and effective plurilingual education in such a way as to promote democratic citizenship, social cohesion and intercultural dialogue, the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe (Warsaw, 2005);

9 2) to promote and facilitate co-operation among educational institutions within and between member states; 3) provide a sound basis for the mutual recognition of foreign/second language qualifications; 4) to maintain and develop plurilingualism among citizens of Europe as a means of knowledge building and skills development, with a view to enhancing social cohesion and intercultural understanding;

10 5) to encourage learners, teachers, teacher trainers, course designers, textbook authors, curriculum developers, examining bodies and education administrators to: adopt a learner-focused, action-oriented, competence-based approach; take into consideration the social and cultural dimensions of language learning; consider and treat each language in the curriculum not in isolation but as part of a coherent plurilingual education; take into consideration the specific needs of the different groups of learners and of the general needs of modern European societies; promote the use of the European Language Portfolio (ELP), which is based on the CEFR;

11 Encourage language policy makers and education administrators at all levels to: ensure that language instruction is fully integrated within the core of the educational aims; use a holistic approach, ensuring the coherence of objectives and attainments in all languages within a lifelong learning curriculum framework; promote the understanding of language use and competences throughout the educational process in order to create an informed public opinion on language issues in society and as a basis for autonomous language learning throughout life;

12 Language teachers SHOULD: be assisted in using the CEFR effectively through appropriate training programmes Be familiarised with the aims, principles and possible implementation of a plurilingual education; give due consideration to the development of the learners’ plurilingual capacities;

13 New situation in language education in Europe Profound changes in the context in which languages are taught and learned in Europe: 1) A growing awareness at local, regional and national level, and in European bodies, of the importance of language skills has resulted in the acquisition of language competences being accorded a very high priority in education policy.

14 2) to increase the quality and effectiveness of learning and teaching places the notion of competence at the heart of the debate. This often leads to modern languages being offered as an example or model for other disciplines. 3) The growing mobility of citizens, especially of workers and students, and the development of exchanges throughout Europe make it necessary to improve the transparency and portability of language qualifications. linguistic and intercultural understanding between citizens 4) The growing personal and professional trans- border contacts and the clear value of international co-operation give new importance to the development of linguistic and intercultural understanding between citizens on either side.

15 5) The rapid changes in the social fabric of society in the member states have added a special focus on communication, involving both plurilingual and intercultural skills, as a key means of contributing to social cohesion and intercultural understanding – which are among the priorities set by the Heads of State and Government of the member states of the Council of Europe at their 3rd Summit in Warsaw (2005). 6) the need to recognise the value of the linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe requires a re-examination of the role and place of the various languages (including national languages, regional or minority languages, languages of migrants), as well as of teaching objectives and the means of making plurilingualism accessible to every European.

16 The notion of plurilingualism (1) Plurilingualism – the lifelong expansion of the individual’s linguistic repertoire. Each individual’s plurilingual profile is made up of different languages and language varieties at different levels of proficiency in terms of various competences and skills. It is dynamic and changes in its composition throughout the life of an individual.

17 The notion of plurilingualism (2) What distinguishes the concept of plurilingualism from the more usual term 'multilingualism' is that the languages and language varieties making up the linguistic repertoire of an individual are not seen as simply co-existing as completely separate entities, but as interacting, modifying and enriching each other, so as to form one overall communicative competence, all or any part of which can be called upon at any time as the situation demands.

18 A general recommendation to use the CEFR as a tool for language policy making to promote: democratic citizenship, social cohesion and intercultural dialogue,

19 Democratic citizenship: The strengthening of pluralist parliamentary democracy governments being elected in free and fair elections To replace authoritarian structures and attitudes by democratic structures and procedures developing a strong, well-informed public opinion exercised by a citizenry independent in thought and action, willing and able to take responsibility for their personal development and social roles. active and responsible citizens respectful of the rights of others.

20 Social cohesion and intercultural dialogue: the maintenance and development of a minority community's language and culture However, the increasing mobility of individuals within and across national boundaries (economic migrants or asylum seekers), the formation of new minority communities in urban centres. This process can be seen as arousing fear and resentment among members of both majority and minority communities. Even where multilingualism and multiculturalism are recognised as rights, the concepts are often interpreted as the right of minorities to be tolerated but otherwise ignored by the majority, while the minority may regard their language and culture as their exclusive possession, to be jealously guarded and preserved from contamination by outsiders.

21 Intercultural dialogue: Mutual exclusiveness and an absence of communication, mutual ignorance and stereotypical misunderstandings, open to political manipulation. A flexible plurilingual and pluricultural policy promotes language learning as a bridge across all boundaries, as a source of mutual understanding and enrichment beneficial to all those concerned. It encourages mutual respect, free communication and interaction between communities, and offers a positive contribution to social cohesion and intercultural dialogue.

22 European Centre of Modern Languages Council of Europe language education policies aim to promote: - PLURILINGUALISM: all are entitled to develop a degree of communicative ability in a number of languages over their lifetime in accordance with their needs - LINGUISTIC DIVERSITY: Europe is multilingual and all its languages are equally valuable modes of communication and expressions of identity; the right to use and to learn one’s language(s) is protected in Council of Europe Conventions - MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING: the opportunity to learn other languages is an essential condition for intercultural communication and acceptance of cultural differences - DEMOCRATIC CITIZENSHIP: participation in democratic and social processes in multilingual societies is facilitated by the plurilingual competence of individuals - SOCIAL COHESION: equality of opportunity for personal development, education, employment, mobility, access to information and cultural enrichment depends on access to language learning throughout life

23 Policies for plurilingualism Globalisation and internationalisation pose new challenges Language skills essential if individuals: are to benefit from opportunities in employment and mobility to participate actively in the social and political processes which are an integral part of democratic citizenship in the multilingual societies This increasing focus on language policies for democratic citizenship and social cohesion reflects the priority which the Council of Europe accords to education for citizenship and intercultural dialogue in the 21 st century. It is reflected in the goal of education for plurilingual and intercultural citizens capable of interacting in a number of languages across linguistic and cultural boundaries.

24 Plurilingualism Council of Europe policy attaches particular importance to the development of plurilingualism – the lifelong enrichment of the individual’s plurilingual repertoire. This repertoire is made up of different languages and language varieties at different levels of proficiency and includes different types of competences. It is dynamic and changes in its composition throughout an individual’s life.

25 Development of plurilingualism different languages are not learned in isolation and can influence each other both in the learning process and communicative use. Education systems need to ensure the harmonious development of learners’ plurilingual competence through a coherent, transversal and integrated approach that takes into account all the languages in learners’ plurilingual repertoire and their respective functions. This includes promoting learners’ consciousness of their existing repertoires and potential to develop and adapt those repertoires to changing circumstances.

26 A plurilingual person has: - a repertoire of languages and language varieties - competences of different kinds and levels within the repertoire Plurilingual education promotes an awareness of : - why and how one learns the languages one has chosen - and the ability to use transferable skills in language learning - a respect for the plurilingualism of others the value of languages and varieties irrespective of their perceived status in society - a respect for the cultures embodied in languages and the cultural identities of others - an ability to perceive and mediate the relationships which exist among languages and cultures - a global integrated approach to language education in the curriculum

27 Plurilingual and intercultural education in vocational education curricula The consequences of plurilingual and intercultural education for the objectives: The level of competency for each language activity, The complementary competencies in all the languages that learners know and are learning, (languages of origin, regional or minority languages and the language or languages of schooling). all the learners’ full awareness of the potential and richness of their individual repertoire. alongside the levels of proficiency to be achieved, a strategic capacity to draw on all the skills and expertise acquired. Strategic competency has to be interpreted as a pupil’s capacity to make the best possible use, each according to his or her resources, of his or her knowledge and skills in order to deal with the various communication situations that may be experienced.

28 Objectives 1 an ability to affect transfers between languages and to mediate between the languages concerned or between the kinds of text. It also requires the ability to make a controlled shift from one language to another, according to needs and individual resources, and even to master situations of multilingual dialogue, i.e. an ability to make him or herself understood by someone from another culture who speaks another language, and to understand interaction in another language. All this of course depends on teaching methods and explanations of the content of the teaching, but it may also be included among the explicit objectives.

29 Objectives 2 To relate to intercultural skills, meaning the ability to interact responsibly and critically, but in a friendly way, with people who are different. Intercultural competency presupposes both knowledge dispensed by education and individual experience of others, either through situations created during language classes or through experience of contact, international co-operation and mobility. Knowledge and experience, however, give rise to competencies only if explanations are given and a thinking process takes place. The clear inclusion of intercultural education among the objectives pursued may effectively help pupils to move on from a series of experiences to a competency which can be generalised and transferred to all the situations they will meet in their individual careers.

30 Language teaching methods the usefulness of communication tasks likely to make use of the relevant competencies. It is clear that project-based teaching and simulations of specific situations are frequently part of this training. to enable them to experience regular success This means not just valuing pupils' ability to achieve the objectives set, but far more important is a deliberate effort to place them in situations where they can succeed.

31 Methods will come to realise that the teaching that they are receiving does effectively enable them to learn ways of successfully completing certain tasks The important thing is to make the valuing and a growing awareness of any progress, even limited, a constant part of the language teaching process. In line with this concern, the progress being monitored must not relate solely to the level of language skills, but just as much to the gradual acquisition of strategies.

32 Methods a balance between the communication tasks expected of learners and time to consider what they have learned and the experience they have gained in performing these tasks. Such consideration may also extend to the way in which pupils have managed to make use of the resources in their repertoire. It may also be extended to the internal variability of those languages known to the learners, to make it easier for them to become aware of the existence of different registers and the appropriateness of these to communication situations, and to make them more aware of the diversity of their own language resources.

33 Content to be acquired. Training pupils to cope with communication tasks associated with job-related situations It is important the communication situations should make it possible to ensure that the pupils progress in the use of not only language skills, but also, in line with the ideas above, strategic competencies which are a full part of the content of this teaching.

34 Language education content may be summed up in a few points: - it must include in its own right consistent work on learning strategies, during independent work as well; - it must give priority to competencies which cut across all languages, - to include in this content the learning of systematic exploitation of the synergies between the languages learned and those known by pupils (through contrast-based work, through valuing risk- taking in transfers between languages, etc); - it is essential that the content taught must include reasoned and continuing learning of communication strategies transferable to all languages, which are all the more vital for the fact that language skills may be fragile. These include strategies for compensation and for planning how the learner is to carry out a task and monitoring how it is done, and so on.

35 The importance of languages in business The survey “ Effects on the European Economy of Shortages of Foreign Language Skills in Enterprise” conducted by UK Nationa l Centre for Languages in 2005 found out: 1)A significant amount of busines is lost in UK due to lack of language skills. 11 % of exporting European SMS maybe losing business 2)The survey identified a clear link between languages and export success. 3)English is a key language for gaining access to foreign markets, gaining their importance are: Russian, Polish, German, French and Spanish.

36 Findings from large companies 1)Recruitment of staff with language skills; 2)English is used as an intermediary language; it is a corporate language in many multinationals. 3)Demand for skills in languages other than English was greater than the demand for English. 4)An encouragement of informal networking and this tends to favour an multilingual environment.

37 Recommendations of the survey Exploitand develop language skills Provide trainig for employees Provide work experience opportunities for foreign students or employees Make use of langauge skills available, including those of migrant workers Support education and training programmes linking languages and enterprise, wrking with schools, colleges and universities

38 The Institute of Foreign Languages of Vilnius University English, German, French and Russian are taught for specific purposes for the students of all the faculties of Vilnius University The second foreign language learning possibilities are: to study as an optional subject Non-credited studies


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