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Second EDiLiC congress Barcelona (Spain), 2-4 July 2008 

Curriculum and development of plurilingual and pluricultural competence (Awakening to languages : an integrative approach)  


The second international EDiLiC congress took place in Catalonia and it  considered the awakening to languages as an integrative curriculum approach aimed at the development of plurilingual and pluricultural competence.  The congress was  in the facilities of the Institute of Educational Sciences (ICE) of the Autonomous University of Barcelona.


Description of the theme of the congress

The issue of plurilingualism in education is not as recent as one might think. Since the signing of the European Cultural Convention in 1954, the Council of Europe has promoted language education policies which promote plurilingualism. Thus, during the symposium held in Turku (Finland), the question of the relationship between the different languages learned at school arose and the wish was expressed to base language teaching on common linguistic principles.

During the 1980s, in the United Kingdom, the Language awareness movement - as will subsequently, in other countries of Europe and elsewhere in the world, Awakening to languages, EOLE, Begegnung mit Sprachen in der Grundschule or Educazione linguistica, ELODiL… - has developed didactic instruments which respond to a social reality that is increasingly plural and interdependent. Based on the Socrates LINGUA Evlang project (1998-2001) and other similar projects supported by the Council of Europe, this approach to language teaching has questioned its role and function in the curriculum. school.

The realization of this second international congress offered a good opportunity to discuss these different proposals for the treatment of languages and the way in which school practice can be reconsidered in an innovative way based on approaches which, like Awakening to Languages, place linguistic and cultural diversity at the heart of the development of plurilingual and pluricultural competence.

By means of plenary conferences, semi-plenary conferences, communications, posters and workshops, or even debates, the following themes were dealt with:


Theme 1: The curriculum and the development of plurilingual and pluricultural competence.

The aim was to determine the role played by awakening to languages and other pluralistic approaches in the development of this competence and to specify how the curriculum should be articulated to promote education “in” and “for” plural society. and diverse of the 21st century. This axis made it possible to consider the entire curriculum of linguistic and non-linguistic disciplines. Likewise, he offered a look at the way in which the different curricular proposals facilitate or do not facilitate a real integration of language learning in diversity.


Theme 2: Integrated educational proposals - activities relating to linguistic and cultural diversity and projects taking advantage of the environment: school open to society.

How to go beyond a vision of learning conceived as an addition of isolated activities without connection and focused only on linguistic forms  ? The teaching of plurilingual competence does not require the establishment of proposals "  located  », Which take into account the different elements of the broader school context. How do these (sociolinguistic) contexts act on the practice of pluralistic approaches (and particularly, awakening to languages)  ?


Theme 3: Awakening to languages and pluralistic approaches as a basis capable of boosting the integrated didactics of language and non-linguistic learning (language across disciplines).

We were interested in curricular proposals that aim to integrate language learning into diversity (and the role that awakening to languages can play in this), as the basis for a truly inclusive school. We examined the way in which these proposals relate to the teaching of the different disciplines with a view to integrating learning (we must also see the role of the language of the school in this plural approach).


Theme 4: How does awakening to languages (and other pluralistic approaches) influence the development of plurilingual and pluricultural competence  ? What characteristics of these approaches should be considered for education in diversity.

What does educational research bring us with regard to curricular and didactic proposals (organization of teaching, teaching resources and other "  tools  », Evaluation, etc.)  ?  

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