Developing teacher competences for plurilingual/pluricultural education: a framework of reference and materials for teacher education

Presenters: Michel Candelier; Anna Schröder-Sura; Ana Isabel Andrade; Maddalena De Carlo; Brigitte Gerber; Monica Vlad

Affiliation: University of Le Mans, France; Pädagogische Hochschule, Sankt Gallen, Switzerland; Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal; Università degli studi di Cassino e del Lazio Meridionale, Italy; Université de Genève, Switzerland; Universitatea Ovidius din Constanța, Romania

Chosen format: Presentation


The work presented here is the result of an ongoing project entitled „Developing teacher competences for pluralistic approaches – Training and reflection tools for teachers and teacher educators“ (European Centre for Modern Languages Graz (ECML), Council of Europe, 2020-2023)*.

The project aims to produce a framework of teaching competences to facilitate the implementation of pluralistic approaches (PA) combined with a collection of training sequences for teacher education.

Pluralistic approaches (Awakening to Languages / Language Awareness, Intregrated Language Teaching, Intercomprehension, Intercultural Education) were conceived in the last two or three decades of the last century and grouped under this generic term in the early 2000s.

A survey of language teaching professionals from about 25 European countries conducted during a project workshop confirms that although in most of these countries PAs are known and even recognised, they are still a long way from being disseminated in the classroom and in teacher education. The aim of the project is to help remedy this situation.

The framework which is being produced is based on recent research and proposals concerning the education of teachers in the didactics of plurilingualism and, more generally, the ways in which they can develop professionally. It is based on the Framework of Reference for Pluralistic Approaches to Languages and Cultures (FREPA Candelier et al. 2012) and on the general structure proposed in the Guide to teacher competences for languages in education, also developed at the ECML.** It is consistent with a non-standardising conception of reference systems.

The materials for teacher education consist of sequences of tasks organised around the development of one or more of the competences (and attitudes) of the framework. They vary in length and are aimed at both pre-service and in-service teachers, who may or may not be familiar with AP, and who are working or preparing to work with learners of different ages. The materials can be used within a specific PA curriculum or within a more general one.

The sequences are accompanied by documents for teacher educators which facilitate adaptation to different contexts: they provide an overview of the sequence (pedagogical intentions and tasks) as well as possible alternatives for certain parts.

Various questions that the authors considered when designing the tools will be mentioned, and it is hoped that they can be taken up in the discussion.




Keywords: Didactics of plurilingualism; Frameworks of competences; Materials for teacher education; Pluralistic approaches; Professional development; Teacher education



García, E., Arias, M. B., Harris Murri, N. J., & Serna, C. (2010). Developing responsive teachers: A challenge for a demographic reality. Journal of teacher education, 61(1-2), 132-142.

European Centre for Modern Languages. (2012). FREPA: A framework of reference for pluralistic approaches to languages and cultures: competences and resources.

Schröder-Sura, A. (submitted). Mehrsprachigkeit in der LehrerInnenbildung in Europa – Kompetenzen, Szenarien und Modelle. In K. Heyder & C. Schlaak & V. del Valle (Hg.). Europa im Fremdsprachenunterricht Französisch, Italienisch & Spanisch: Sprachenpolitik, Kulturpluralität und Mehrsprachigkeit (Sektion Romanistentag 2021). Trier: WVT.