Call 2016-19

The call for submissions is now closed.
The call for submissions is now closed.

Context and rationale of the Call 

ECML programmes are determined primarily by ECML member states. In developing this Call for submissions for the new programme, the ECML undertook extensive consultation with its Governing Board, National Nominating Authorities and National Contact Points to review and evaluate the current programme (2012-15) and to identify common priorities to be addressed by the new programme, all the while taking account of the work of the Language Policy Unit and the wider European political context . Other ECML partners, such as project team members and International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) represented in the Professional Network Forum, also contributed to the consultation process. This Call is founded on the results of this democratic process of dialogue and negotiation. 

Looking back to move forward

The current ECML programme places great importance on inclusive, plurilingual
and intercultural approaches which draw and build on the relationships between
different cultures and between first and other languages. In this way they encourage
critical thinking and facilitate autonomous learning.

Moreover, feedback from users of ECML reference tools in this domain confirms
that inclusive, plurilingual and intercultural approaches have a strong impact on the
effectiveness and efficiency of language learning.

By focusing on the needs of the learner and on the learner’s linguistic and cultural
repertoire, such approaches encourage interdisciplinary, transversal and holistic
thinking and closer cooperation between teachers across the curriculum and across
educational stages.

Above all, such approaches help combat exclusion, xenophobia, discrimination
and other forms of threats to social cohesion and in this way contribute to quality
education for all. As such, they will continue to underpin the new programme.

Current priorities in ECML member states

Through the aforementioned consultation process, the ECML was able to obtain
a clear picture of current national developments in language education in member

Despite the difficult economic climate, many member states are currently
undertaking major educational reforms to improve language education and respond
to the ever-changing needs of contemporary European societies. Further information
about national developments can be found on the member country webpages.

However, the process also identified common challenges which the ECML, with its
wealth of expertise, would be best-placed to address in the coming years. There
was evidence of significant gaps between policy and practice, between academic
theory and classroom reality and between the needs of practitioners and the
support available. This is as true for foreign language learning – despite the wealth
of expertise, the years of investment and the priority given to it in most education
systems – as it is for the language/s of schooling, regional/minority languages and
migrant languages in formal, informal and non-formal contexts.

The following graphic shows the top priorities in language education in ECML member states; teacher development lies firmly at the centre and the themes, though distinct, are all interrelated.*

The added value of the ECML lies clearly in the Centre’s ability to support teacher
education and to develop networks/communities of educational practice, not only in
relation to initial teacher education but also in the context of continued professional
development for both newly qualified and experienced teachers.

For a more detailed overview of national priorities click here.

In summary

At the core of this Call for submissions for the new programme lie the interrelationship
between quality education and quality language education, and the recognition that
language is at the root of all learning: all teachers, irrespective of sector or subject
area, have a role to play in developing the linguistic and intercultural repertoires
of their learners. This is reflected in the new title – “Languages at the heart of

This Call builds on the expertise, networks and most successful outputs of the
past 20 years of ECML operation in both Europe and beyond. It aims to take the underlying principles of the current programme (2012-2015) to the next level of innovative development and practical implementation in a wide range of European language-learning environments, with the ultimate goal of improving access to quality education for all.


* Please note: The topic “testing and assessment” is addressed through the ECML’s training and consultancy scheme for member states.


Looking for a team member?
Please check our expert database and our message board.

For questions please contact us at 

Presentation on the Call
Please check our PowerPoint presentation here.

Looking for a team member?
Please check our expert database and our message board.

For questions please contact us at 

Presentation on the Call
Please check our PowerPoint presentation here.