Ministers’ Deputies
Information documents1

CM/Inf(2008)22 13 May 2008
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Annual Report of the Governing Board of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on the European Centre for Modern Languages (Graz)
to the Committee of Ministers (January-December 2007)
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Information on:

– Budget of expenditure 2007
– List of ECML publications and CD-Rom produced in 2007
– Central events in 2007
– Expert meetings and missions, network meetings, preparatory meetings and statutory meetings in 2007
–- List of members of the Governing Board in 2007
– List of Projects ECML medium-term programme 2004-2007

can be found on the website of the Centre at the following address: http://www.ecml.at/

1. Background

The European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) in Graz, Austria, is an Enlarged Partial Agreement of the Council of Europe, set up in 1994 to promote the learning and teaching of languages in Europe. The ECML currently has 332 member states.

The ECML's mission is to support its member states in the implementation of their language education policies taking account of the recommendations of the Council of Europe. It does this by promoting innovative approaches and disseminating good practice in the learning and teaching of modern languages.

The ECML runs 4-year medium-term programmes of projects organised in co-operation with European experts in the field of language education.

Through this programme, consisting of workshops, conferences and research projects to which participants from the member states are invited, the ECML provides a platform for gathering and disseminating information, stimulating discussion and training multipliers in matters related to language education. It also maintains Europe-wide networks for teacher trainers, researchers and educational administrators.

The ECML in Graz, the Language Policy Division (LPD) and the Secretariat of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in Strasbourg together make up the Council of Europe’s Department of Language Education and Policy within Directorate General IV, Education, Culture and Heritage, Youth and Sport. The role and activities of the Graz Centre are complementary to those of the Language Policy Division, whose primary responsibilities are the elaboration of policies and guidelines for promoting linguistic diversity and plurilingualism and the development of policy planning and standard-setting reference instruments.

2. Introduction to the 2007 Annual Report

2007 was the final year of the Centre’s second medium-term programme, 2004-2007, entitled “Languages for social cohesion – language education in a multilingual and multicultural Europe”. Highlights of the year were the ECML Conference 2007, held to mark the completion of this programme, and the selection procedure for the projects to be included in the 2008-2011 programme “Empowering Language Professionals: Competences – Networks – Impact – Quality”.

Finalisation of the second medium-term programme/ECML Conference 2007

The 2004-2007 programme “Languages for social cohesion – language education in a multilingual and multicultural Europe” drew attention to the role language education can play in the quest for better understanding and mutual respect between all citizens living in Europe, particularly by giving them the communicative and intercultural competences necessary for full participation in society.

The projects in it were classified under four general headings, corresponding to major concerns in the field of language education today:

    · Coping with linguistic and social diversity – provisions, profiles, materials;
    · Communication in a multicultural society: the development of intercultural communicative competence;
    · Professional development and reference tools for language educators;
    · Innovative approaches and new technologies in the teaching and learning of languages.

All 21 projects forming the Centre’s programme successfully completed their work in 2007 and the results of each were presented at the ECML Conference 2007.

The conference, which was attended by some 250 language professionals from Europe and beyond, was also devoted to the theme Languages for social cohesion. The proceedings centred around presentations of the results of the 21 projects by their co-ordinators in four parallel working sessions devoted to the sub-themes of the programme. Other experts, invited as a result of a call for papers, gave presentations in these working sessions and the conference programme was completed by plenary sessions featuring guest speakers and round table discussions. The publications, CD-Roms and other project outcomes of the Centre’s second medium-term programme were displayed at a Project Fair.

The conference closed with the launching of the Centre’s new medium-term programme.

Selection of projects for the third medium-term programme

2007 also saw the finalisation of the Call for Proposals for the ECML’s third medium-term programme, 2008-2011, and the procedure for the selection of the projects to be included in it.

After broad consultations on the content and structure of the new programme and with the approval of the statutory organs, the ECML Secretariat published the Call for Proposals in October 2006. This took account of a number of the recommendations coming out of the Evaluative Report on the ECML’s activities adopted by the Governing Board in February 2006.

Under the title Empowering Language Professionals: Competences – Networks – Impact – Quality, the new programme has four thematic strands:

      A. Evaluation;
      B. Continuity in language learning;
      C. Content and language education;
      D. Plurilingual education.

The new medium-term programme takes place against the backdrop of major developments in the sphere of education involving both the Council of Europe and the European Union. These include the elaboration of a European Indicator of Language Competence, the action programme in the field of lifelong learning (2007-2013), the Lisbon strategy objectives in education and training, the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue (2008) and the United Nations International Year of Languages 2008. It is also a time in which teachers have to contribute to demanding national education reform processes and face up to major challenges, for example, standard-linked tuition and result-oriented assessment, greater autonomy of educational institutions, increasing ethnic and cultural heterogeneity among students and promotion of lifelong or recurrent education.

Within such a context, the ECML is convinced that the key to the realisation of better language teaching and learning processes and results is to be found in increasing awareness of and confidence in the capacities of professionals in language education.

Thus, the thematic strands of the ECML’s third programme have been chosen to equip language professionals involved in the processes described above by addressing basic principles, such as plurilingualism, and critical issues such as evaluation, continuity in language learning and the role of content in language education. These strands take account of national priorities identified by the Centre’s member states in their language policies.

The vision of empowering teachers highlighted in the programme’s title will be pursued through the following objectives:

    · enhancing the professional competence of language teachers;
    · strengthening professional networks and the wider community of language educators;
    · enabling language professionals to have greater impact on reform processes;
    · contributing to better quality of language education in Europe.

Following publication of the Call for Proposals, the Secretariat embarked upon a campaign for publicising it involving targeted mailings and e-mailings, a special issue of the European Language Gazette, presentations at major conferences and at some 20 national dissemination events organised by the member states. A German translation of the Call was produced with the support of the Goethe Institut. It is estimated that the Call was distributed, either electronically or in hard copy, to over 10,000 language experts.

On the closing date, 54 proposals had been received (in comparison to 65 for the second medium-term programme in 2003). Details of the procedure for the selection of the projects chosen to be included in the 2008-2011 programme, leading up to the final decision of the Governing Board in September 2007, are given in chapter 3 below.

3. The 2007 programme

Overview of activities

In 2007, the ECML organised 20 programme events in Graz involving a total of 505 participants:

    · 4 workshops (135 participants);
    · 12 expert meetings (79 participants);
    · 3 statutory meetings (50 participants);
    · 1 conference (241 participants).

In addition, 7 complementary project events involving a total of 324 participants were held in 7 of the ECML’s member states:

    · 1 national training event (12 participants) took place within the framework of the C6 “ELP_TT” project in Skopje.

      For this event, the ECML funded an expert mission, covering the cost of one expert to travel to assist one of the project’s central workshop participants in organising the training event in her own country;

    · 1 regional event (60 participants) in Pécs, Hungary, within the D2 “TEMOLAYOLE” project was co-financed and co-organised by the ECML together with the University of Pécs;

    · 5 expert consultations within the Flexible support: dissemination and assistance for development needs programme: Albania (40 participants), Armenia (50 participants), Bosnia and Herzegovina (50 participants), Poland (35 participants), Switzerland (77 participants).

Main trends

Finalising projects of the second medium-term programme

In the last year of project work, all project teams were still in the process of finalising their work, drafting or refining the project publication and evaluating their project processes and results. With September as the date set for the ECML Conference, strict deadlines had to be met so that the publications were ready for presentation at the conference. With a view to reinforcing procedures for quality management, each manuscript was reviewed both by the programme consultant of the projects in question and by the ECML Head of Programmes. The manuscripts were then revised according to the recommendations of the review. 20 project publications were presented at the conference, 15 of which were in both project working languages.

The ECML Conference 2007

The completion of the second medium-term programme, 2004 – 2007, was marked by the holding of a large-scale conference at the Karl-Franzens University, Graz, on 27-29 September 2007. The conference was devoted to the theme of this programme: Languages for social cohesion. About 250 language professionals from Europe and beyond gathered for this event. To ensure wide-scale dissemination of the conference proceedings, a webcast of the event was organised and a dedicated website was set up. All abstracts and/or texts of the presentations delivered are available on this site: www.ecml.at/conference.

The conference was based first of all on the results of the 21 projects run within the Centre’s programme. These were presented by their co-ordinators. To extend the scope of the proceedings, the Centre had set up a scientific committee responsible for selecting high quality conference proposals sent in by language professionals in response to an ECML call for conference papers. Together with the ECML presentations, all these presentations were given in parallel working sessions corresponding to the conference’s four thematic areas.

Special guest speakers, including a representative from the European Commission, complemented this programme with plenary presentations giving a European and wider international perspective on both the political and policy aspects of language education’s role in ensuring greater social cohesion. The conference closed with the launching of the Centre’s third medium-term programme 2008-2011 Empowering Language Professionals: Competences – Networks – Impact – Quality.

In summary, the closing conference of the 2004-2007 programme proved to be an excellent means of bringing together major players in language education in Europe and beyond. Both language experts and decision-makers in the political sphere were attracted to the platform provided by the ECML. The overall positive feedback on the conference showed that the organisation, the conference methodology as well as the quality of presentations were well received.

Preparations for the third medium-term programme

An Expert Advisory Group composed of the programme consultants (see chapter 5) was set up to review and assess the 54 proposals received by the submission deadline on 1 May 2007. At its first meeting, the Group examined the criteria for selection, defined working methods and established a rating system. At the second meeting, having reviewed the proposals individually and in pairs without knowing the names or details of the submitters, the Group discussed and came to a final rating for all proposals.

The Group’s recommendations were subsequently communicated to the Bureau, which examined them and drew up its own shortlist for review by the Governing Board. Meeting in September, the Governing Board unanimously adopted 15 projects recommended by the Bureau as the core of the third medium-term programme. In addition, the Board requested the Secretariat to set up five additional projects defined within ‘special focus areas’ linked to the four programme strands. These were projects with a principally network-building, dissemination or teacher education function.

Subsequently, the Secretariat defined the scope and framework of these additional projects and contacted professionals with proven expertise in the respective areas to be the co-ordinators. By the end of 2007, the detailed descriptions of all of the projects in the core programme and in the special focus areas had been finalised, enabling the new programme to be adopted by the Governing Board in January 2008.

A meeting of the co-ordinators of the projects in the new programme was held at the ECML on 15–16 November 2007 at which they were introduced to the Centre and to the administrative requirements of ECML project work, particularly procedures for quality management and evaluation. This meeting also aimed at establishing synergies between projects to provide the basis for a coherent programme and at facilitating effective dissemination of the project work through the networks of the co-ordinators and their teams.

The four new programme consultants were actively involved in the meeting in order to facilitate dialogue within the groups of projects which they are in charge of monitoring during the four-year programme.

Following this meeting, the ECML set up an interactive website for co-ordinators: http://coordination.ecml.at. This website functions as a platform for internal communication between co-ordinators, consultants and the Secretariat. It has already proved to be an efficient online instrument of support for project management and evaluation.

Publication in professional journals

Publication of ECML work in professional journals in the sector of language education is an effective means for enhancing the visibility of the Centre and for reaching out to the wider public targeted by the Centre’s activities. Following a series of contacts, the editorial team of Babylonia, the Swiss journal of language teaching and learning, offered to devote its 3/2007 issue to presenting the ECML through articles on a selection of projects from the second medium-term programme. This journal is published in five languages and has about 1000 subscribers. In close collaboration with the editor responsible for this special edition, 10 articles were compiled by project co-ordinators and published. They are available for download at www.babylonia.ch.

To pursue this new approach, links have also been established with the Cambridge-based journal Language Teaching. It is planned to publish a summary of the results of four projects of the second medium-term programme together with an introduction about the Centre in 2008.

European Day of Languages, 26 September 2007

The aims of the European Day of Languages, declared an annual event by the Committee of Ministers in 2001, are to:

· alert the public to the importance of language learning;
· increase awareness and appreciation of ALL the languages spoken in Europe;
· encourage lifelong language learning.

On 26 September 2007, the seventh European Day of Languages was celebrated across Europe. By the end of the year, details of nearly 650 activities celebrating the Day in 34 European countries (as well as in Brazil and the USA) had been submitted to the EDL database on the EDL website www.coe.int/edl.

The ECML again contributed significantly to the celebrations, in close co-operation with the Language Policy Division in Strasbourg and with the valuable assistance and efforts of the EDL relays in the member states.

The main contributions of the ECML to the Day are generally the organisation of a special programme event, the hosting of the EDL website and the distribution of promotional material. In 2007, the ECML Conference, held on 27-29 September, fell into the EDL framework. On the EDL website an interactive online database was set up in which people were encouraged to submit their own personal “language treasures” - words with a special meaning which are unique to a particular language and to which no translation can really do justice. Approximately 300 postings were made to this database.

4. Information, documentation, dissemination

Documentation and Resource Centre

Documentation

Programme-related documentation

The following resources were published in 2007:

Third medium-term programme of activities 2008-2011:

· German translation of the Call for Proposals brochure (in co-operation with the Goethe Institut): 3.Arbeitsprogramm des Europäischen Fremdsprachenzentrums 2008-2011 „Sprachlehrende in ihrer Rolle stärken“.

Second medium-term programme of activities 2004-2007:

· 21 publications (12 titles in English, 9 in French);
· 6 flyers (2 in English, 3 in English-French, 1 in English-German);
· 6 reports (2 in English, 2 in French, 1 in Spanish (draft version), 1 in German (draft version);
· 10 CD-Roms and corresponding websites;
· 21 bilingual project leaflets (17 in English-French, 4 in English-German);
· 21 displays promoting each project (the new ECML travelling exhibition);
· 6 central workshop reports (3 reports in English, 3 in French).

Publications translated by third parties

Five requests for translations into German, Italian, Lithuanian, Romanian and Spanish were approved for the publication European Portfolio for Student Teachers of Languages - A reflection tool for language teacher education.

(The full list of ECML publications and other programme-related documentation can be found in Appendix 2.)

Documentary collection

Twenty eight new resources were added to the library collection. Acquisitions were made on the basis of recommendations from project teams and the publications are used for the workshops which take place in Graz.

Furthermore, the DRC is continuing to build up its collection of language versions of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and European Language Portfolio (ELP) models. To date, 25 versions of the CEFR, 88 validated and provisional models of the ELP, as well as 62 reference documents linked to this instrument are available in the ECML library collection.

In 2007, the DRC catalogued and/or reviewed 1,900 resources.

Specific support for projects

The DRC offered its services to participants at central workshops. This comprised: ordering of educational materials, organisation of display stands with materials, loans, guided tour of the DRC, search guidance, ECML publication orders.

Information and dissemination

Contact Points

The ECML’s Contact Points are the agencies in each member state which disseminate the Centre’s products and information on its work via national networks.

The Contact Points sent their activity report for 2006 to the ECML and the operation will be undertaken again for 2007. The information collated will assist in the planning of the central workshop for the Contact Points to be held in September 2008.

European Language Gazette, the ECML online newsletter

The June and December issues of the online newsletter were consulted by over 4,500 subscribers; 400 new subscriptions were received in 2007.

Major mailings

Call for Proposals for the third medium term programme of activities, 2008-2011

In February 2007, the German version of the Call for Proposals was sent to the Bureau of the Governing Board, the National Nominating Authorities, the ECML’s Contact Points and to the participants of workshop 7/2006 (29-30 September 2006).

From January to May 2007, documentation was provided for 18 events promoting the Call for Proposals which took place at the Council of Europe headquarters, in Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and in “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”. The events enabled over 1,085 experts to learn about the ECML and its Call. The document was also disseminated to the Permanent Representatives of the member states of the Council of Europe.

In all 937 copies of the Call for Proposals (601 in English, 336 in French) and 2,427 copies of the leaflet (1,671 in English, 756 in French) were distributed.
Results of the second medium term programme 2004-2007

In May and June, the reports of the three central workshops which were held in 2007, were sent to the participants of projects.
In April 2007, the new publication of the C1 “CoCoCop” project was sent to the project participants and to the Council of Europe.

In November and December, the publication resulting from the A3 “LDL” project was sent to a large number of contacts (participants or contacts recommended by the project co-ordinator) in Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa (815 copies in English, 620 in French).

In December, Babylonia, the Swiss magazine for the teaching and learning of languages, dedicated a special edition to the final results of the 2004-2007 programme. Two hundred copies were acquired by the Centre for dissemination to the coordination project teams, to the Bureau of the Governing Board, the National Nominating Authorities, the ECML’s National Contact Points, the Austrian Ministry of Education and the Language Policy Division.

Travelling exhibition

The new ECML travelling exhibition, which comprises 21 display stands presenting the projects of the second medium-term programme (2004-2007), was conceived for the ECML Conference 2007. The ECML lends the stands to partners wishing to promote the work of the Centre.

ECML’s Open Day

Together with the Austrian Association of the ECML, the DRC contributed to the organisation of an Open Day on 9 November. An exhibition of the work of Latin American artists based in Graz was also inaugurated in the ECML´s premises on this occasion, attended by over 100 persons.

Other important events in the context of dissemination

The ECML disseminated documentation on its activities as part of the following 22 events:

Dates Countries Events
24-27January France, Paris Expolangues: stand of the CIEP, (ECML’s National Contact Point for France).
1-3 February Hungary, Pécs International conference “Research into Teaching Modern Languages to Young Learners” organised jointly by the ECML and the University of Pécs – in the framework of the D2 project “TEMOLAYOLE”.
Audience: around one hundred teacher trainers, teachers and research workers.
6-8 February France, Strasbourg, Council of Europe Intergovernmental Forum on the CEFR.
Organised by the Language Policy Division
Number of participants: 230

Dates Countries Events
28-31 March Germany, Dresden Deutscher Hispanistentag (XVI Congreso de la Asociación Alemana de Hispanistas)
Number of participants in the section concerned: 30
4-5 May Turkey, Istanbul 22nd session of the Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education – “Building a more humane and inclusive Europe: role of education policies”
May Cyprus General presentation on the state of languages in Europe for inspectors, consultants and Greek, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, German, Turkish language trainers
Organised by the National ECML’s Contact Point
April Spain Conference of language teachers
Number of participants: 400
18-20 April France, Sèvres
CIEP
33rd meeting of ALTE (Association of Language Testers in Europe): “The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages”
25-29 July Austria, Graz
(ECML)
Meetings of the International Federation of German teachers (Internationaler DeutschlehrerInnenverband, IDV)
Number of participants: 85
25 September Austria, Graz Innovation Fair of the Languages Innovation Network “SPIN” (SPrachenInnovationsNetzwerk - structure promoting the creation of networks and innovation in the language field in schools)
Organised by the Österreichisches Sprachen-Kompetenz-Zentrum (ÖSZ - ECML National Contact Point for Austria) and the Pädagogische Akademie des Bundeslandes Steiermark
26 September Austria, Graz
ECML
Language expert meeting
Organised by the ÖSZ
Number of participants: 50
November Armenia, Yerevan Workshop on intercultural communication skills
Organised by: Yerevan State Linguistic University after V. Brusov
Number of participants: 50
9-10 November The Czech Republic, Prague Expolingua
22-24 November Austria, Salzburg Interpädagogica
ÖSZ stand
Number of participants: 15 000
22-24 November Austria, Graz
ECML
Pestalozzi meeting "Schule und Mehrsprachigkeit" in co-operation with Pädagogische Hochschule Steiermark
Number of participants: 30
29-30 November Austria, Graz
ECML
National dissemination event for the European Portfolio for Student Teachers of Languages (EPOSTL) and reflection on the possibility of integrating it in the language teachers curricula in Universities and educational institutes in Austria (in co-operation with the ÖSZ).

Dates Countries Events
November Sweden European Language Portfolio event
Organised by the ECML’s Contact Point for 20 agencies, institutes and embassies in Sweden
Number of participants: 500
5 December Romania, Ploiesti National dissemination event for ECML projects
Organised by the Ministry of Education, Research and Youth, Department for European Affairs, ECML National Contact Point
Number of participants: 40
5-7 December Austria, Graz
ECML
Media literacy workshop
Organised by the Council of Europe
Number of participants: 32
17 December Italy, Rome The Italian Ministry of Education and Indire-Ansas (the national training agency)
Conference to discuss the results of a research study carried out by experts of the Ministry, Universities and foreign language teachers’ associations. The research focused on the definition of a profile for teachers of English in primary schools based on the CEFR.

Requests for information

The DRC answered 491 requests for information and documentation3 from 54 different countries.

Visits

In addition to visitors participating in scheduled programme activities, some 140 other persons (mainly students and teachers of languages) were also received at the DRC.

Website

New features

A number of major new features were added to the ECML website during the year:

· a site was created for the ECML Conference 2007 in the conference’s three working languages (English, French, German). This consisted of background information on the Centre’s 2004-2007 medium-term programme, detailed information on the conference programme (abstracts, presentations and handouts), the CVs of the contributors and of the members of the scientific committee and practical information for conference participants;

· all of the websites of the second medium-term projects were finalised and an area was created within the online resources section of the site giving direct access to the publications, CD-Roms, websites, reports, brochures and other results of each of the projects in the 2004-2007 programme;

· in co-operation with the Centre’s National Contact Points, another new area of the website has been created, dedicated to the ECML’s member states. This includes fact sheets on language education in the different member states. Each fact sheet provides the contact details of the ECML Governing Board member, National Nominating Authority and Contact Point in the country concerned and the services offered by these official institutions. In addition, the pages include relevant information sources and resources on language teaching and learning such as links to national organisations, pedagogical institutes, universities, professional associations, etc. Documentation highlighted includes the national versions of the European Language Portfolio and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, the educational language policy profiles where available, strategic policy papers, thematic bibliographies and links to the educational press. These individual fact sheets can be accessed by clicking on the country of choice on the interactive map of member states;

· the Centre’s programme consultants now have a section devoted to them. This is designed to present the philosophy of programme consultancy at the ECML in general as well as more specifically to introduce the consultants of the current programme.

Important updates and revisions

· The Help Files were updated to serve as a reference source for the Call for Proposals for the third medium-term programme. The site offers comprehensive information on all key aspects of the functioning of the ECML and includes the submission form for projects and a series of documents and templates to assist project writers in preparing their proposal.

· The catalogue and list of ECML publications was also updated. This gives a short description of the 70-or-so publications produced by the Centre since 1999, indicating for each product: title, author(s), thematic focus, programme of activities concerned, editor, publication year, ISBN, language versions, format, abstract(s) (in the publication languages), web location of the book and - if available - of the project website and the leaflet describing the activity.

· In order to improve the user-friendliness of the ECML website, the site map, menu and navigation structure were more closely interlinked and updated to respond to user feedback and current needs.

· The ECML’s vocation to be a reference point for international activities organised in the context of the teaching and learning of modern languages is finding justification in the increasing use which is made of the “International Events Calendar” on its website. Numerous events held in the member states and beyond are regularly added to this database.

Preparations for the 2008-2011 programme

In response to the question of how to make best use of ECML project websites as both showcases for the public and working platforms for expert teams in co-operation with programme consultants and the Secretariat, the Centre has decided to set up a Content Management System (CMS) as an interactive and easy-to-update working platform. This will be used for all projects in the 2008-2011 programme.

By way of preparation for the first meeting of project co-ordinators and as a means of encouraging contact among them, a special website for project co-ordinators was set up using the CMS. This contains a provisional programme overview, the meeting documents, templates, a calendar of activities and a discussion forum.

The content management system also presents potential for consultation of Governing Board members on specific documents. Members were given access to the existing pilot platform to view the provisional version of the new medium-term programme.

Statistics

· In 2007, the web site received 799,190 visits. That is an increase of over 100,000 visits compared to last year.

· Visitors came from 477,983 distinct Internet addresses.

· A typical visitor examined 15 distinct files before leaving the site.

· 130,236 distinct search keywords were used to locate documents on the web server via Internet search servers, such as Altavista and Yahoo.

2005
2006

2007

Monthly overview

As usual, September and October were the peak periods of visits due to the special interest in the European Day of Languages website and the ECML Conference 2007. The drop in the number of users in November and December can be explained by the period in between two programmes.


Top referring sites:

Rank Referring Site Accesses %
1 http://www.google.com 72,658 10.16
2 http://www.google.fr 44,104 6.17
3 http://images.google.com 41,227 5.77
4 http://modersmal.skolutveckling.se 37,308 5.22
5 http://www.coe.int 28,719 4.02
6 http://profile.myspace.com 20,740 2.90
7 http://www.google.co.uk 19,312 2.70
8 http://30754.rapidforum.com 15,755 2.20
9 http://www.google.de 12,755 1.78
10 http://www.cilt.org.uk    

5. Measuring the impact of the ECML’s work

Programme consultants

To assist the ECML in obtaining an independent external overview of its work, four programme consultants worked with the Centre during its 2004-2007 programme: Britta Hufeisen, Technische Universität Darmstadt; Hermine Penz, Universität Karl Franzens, Graz; Roy Cross, British Council; Frank Heyworth, European Association of Quality Language Services (EAQUALS). Their principal tasks were defined as:

· monitoring the work of a group of (4-5) projects as directed by the Secretariat;
· encouraging the development of synergy across the programme and providing guidance on common approaches to project methodology;
· supporting the planning, preparation and dissemination of project outputs and processes;
· contributing to the presentation of programme developments to the Governing Board by writing a brief report on their group of projects to feed into the annual report of the ECML and through participation in meetings as required.

The use of consultants in the ECML’s programme is designed to contribute to transparency and visibility within the Centre’s work. Their role is nevertheless advisory: the ECML Secretariat and the Governing Board, who are informed of communications between the consultants and the co-ordinators or project teams, remain responsible for decisions on all matters linked to the programme.

In 2007, the focus of the consultants’ work was, in collaboration with the ECML Head of Programmes, to oversee the finalisation of the second medium-term programme projects and to review the manuscripts of project results submitted to the Secretariat for publication.

In parallel, the ECML Secretariat appointed four programme consultants for the 2008-2011 programme following an internal selection procedure based on the central criteria “expertise in European language developments” and “experience of work with the ECML”.

Frank Heyworth was retained, to ensure continuity in the consultants’ work, and three new members were selected:

· Hanna Komorowska, Institute of English, Warsaw University;
· José Joaquin Moreno Artesero, Consejería de Educación, Comunidad de Madrid;
· Isabel Landsiedler, Treffpunkt Sprachen Language Centre, Universität Karl Franzens, Graz.

Based on the experience acquired during the second medium-term programme, the consultants’ terms of reference have been revised for the new programme to include advising the ECML Secretariat on its programme (e.g. by participating in the selection process for new projects).

Consequently, the old and new consultants, together with Waldemar Martyniuk, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, formerly seconded by the Polish authorities to the Language Policy Division, formed the Expert Advisory Group set up to evaluate project proposals. The consultants for the 2008-2011 programme also played an active role in the November meeting of the co-ordinators of the new projects (see Chapter 3 above).

Evaluation and quality control procedures

In the Evaluative report on the activities of the European Centre for Modern Languages adopted by the Governing Board in February 2006, it was recommended that the ECML “…take further steps to ensure systematic and effective evaluation of the quality and impact of its activities, products and services and wider professional communication of the benefits arising from its work.”

As a result, the ECML Secretariat set up a working group, assisted by Christopher Tribble, an expert on evaluation who had worked on the Evaluative report, and Frank Heyworth, ECML programme consultant, with the task of developing evaluation procedures to be integrated into the new programme from 2008.

The aim of such procedures was to assist the Centre in achieving coherence in evaluation, in providing transparency in its administration and in promoting more reflective work and self-evaluation within projects in the third medium-term programme. The results of these evaluative instruments will provide valuable data – currently only available in a very rudimentary form – for an annual statistical report, and will in turn also feed into the Governing Board’s Annual Report.

The two experts developed a set of evaluative tools comprising:

· a post-workshop questionnaire for participants (http://www.surveyconsole.com/console/TakeSurvey?id=344515);
· an online 6-month post-workshop questionnaire for participants (aimed at tracking impact) (http://www.surveyconsole.com/console/TakeSurvey?id=352430);
· a team member’s questionnaire for all project team meetings and events (http://www.surveyconsole.com/console/TakeSurvey?id=352391);
· a participant’s “logbook”;
· a peer review/ratings system for publications and a reader feedback form, which would also enable the Centre to better identify internet users downloading and using these materials (http://www.ecml.at/doccentre/Publications.asp);
· a “guide to good practice in running ECML workshops” as a project management resource for teams;
· an annual progress report template for programme consultants and co-ordinators for evaluating performance within projects over the previous 12 months and the setting of objectives and performance indicators for the forthcoming year.

The questionnaires were piloted at two ECML workshops in summer 2007 and subsequently revised. They were presented to the co-ordinators at their November meeting and will be systematically applied in the new programme.

6. Co-operation within the Department of Language Education and Policy

Co-operation with the Language Policy Division (LPD) within the Council of Europe’s Department of Language Education and Policy is an integral part of the functioning of the ECML. In 2007, following a reorganisation of the Council of Europe’s Directorates General, the Secretariat of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages joined the Department, thus opening up new perspectives of co-operation for the Centre.

Within the Centre’s 2004-2007 programme, a number of projects had a particular relation to the LPD’s work and the Secretariat was active in ensuring that there was complementarity and coherence between work undertaken within Graz projects and that carried out by the LPD and to see that relevant results of the ECML’s work are fed into the Division’s work, where appropriate, and vice-versa.

The two projects linked to the implementation of the European Language Portfolio (C5 “impel” and C6 “ELP_TT”) were good example of such synergies. Both projects published their results on a common website which represents a major reference web platform for the ELP. The results of these projects were reported by their co-ordinators to the ELP policy body, the European Validation Committee (EVC), which meets in Strasbourg.

To underline the increasing importance of the ECML’s role in the implementation of the ELP and ensure synergies, it was decided that there would be reciprocal representation of the EVC and the Governing Board of the ECML when discussions in these bodies warranted it. Thus the Chair of the EVC, attended the September 2007 meeting of the Governing Board in Graz to participate in the discussion of the new medium-term programme. Similarly, a representative of the Governing Board attended the November 2007 meeting of the EVC in Strasbourg. EVC meetings are also attended by the Centre’s Deputy Executive Director/Head of Programmes.

The Call for Proposals for the Centre’s 2008-2011 programme underlined the importance of the Council of Europe’s work on language education and encouraged the submission of projects building on the principles and tools developed in Strasbourg. The selection process involved consultation with the Language Policy Division and many of the projects within the new programme thus display a close link with its work: evaluation, exams and the CEFR levels; the ELP in whole-school use; teacher training for the ELP etc. Other projects in the “plurilingual education” strand relating to the teaching of minority languages and to the languages of schooling will also be run in close co-operation with the LPD.

Finally, as each year, the ECML and the Language Policy Division co-operated closely in the organisation of the European Day of Languages (see chapter 3 above).

7. Co-operation with other institutions

Co-operation with the European Commission

In 2007, the ECML was pleased to welcome both the European Commissioner for Multilingualism and the Head of the Commission’s Multilingualism Policy Unit to its premises.

Leonard Orban, the EU Commissioner for Multilingualism, outlined the principal focuses of his mandate during a round table discussion on ‘Multilingualism and intercultural dialogue 08: a regional perspective’ held at the Centre on 14 December 2007 in the presence of representatives of the regional government of Styria, the Mayor of Graz and mayors from communes on Austria’s border with Slovenia.

Commissioner Orban said that the establishment of a new area of competence for multilingualism within the European Commission was a clear indication of the importance with which the Union regards language policy. He also emphasised the importance of intensifying the process of co-operation between the Union and the Council of Europe in the area of language policy.

Harald Hartung, Head of the Multilingualism Policy Unit, took part in the ECML Conference 2007 where he gave a keynote speech entitled “The European Commission’s work on multilingualism: social cohesion and the intercultural dialogue”.

Finally, although illness prevented the representative of the Commission invited to participate in the Governing Board's September meeting (following the decision taken by the Board in 2005) from attending, the Centre’s Head of Programmes was able to consult with another member of the Multilingualism Policy Unit’s staff over project submissions for the 2008-2011 programme where there was an apparent possibility of overlap or double funding.

Projects involving co-operation with the European Commission

One of the Centre’s 2004-2007 projects (A4 “chagal_setup”) was based upon an original Grundtvig 1-project entitled “CHAGAL” (Socrates Programme, European Commission/DG for Education and Culture, 2002-2004). The Centre’s project focused on further dissemination of the curriculum guidelines developed within the original project and the development of recommendations with regard to measures for their implementation.

Mention should also be made of the fact that the European Portfolio for Student Teachers of Languages, developed in project C3 “FTE”, draws on the results of the European Commission funded European Profile for Language Teacher Education – a Frame of Reference produced by Southampton University (UK). A representative of Southampton University participated actively in the FTE team and contributed valuable expertise in linking the two instruments.

Other projects involving co-operation with the European Union are D4 “LCaS” which worked in complementarity with the EU Lingua project “EXPLICS” and B3 “ICOPROMO” which benefited from a project in the framework of an EU Leonardo programme.

Other institutions

During the second medium-term programme, co-operation was established between the ECML and the Canadian Heritage Ministry, notably through the participation of Canadian experts in the C5 “impel” and B1 “ICCinTE” projects.

Building on these successful contacts, the Vice-President Academic and Provost of the University of Ottawa wrote to the Chair of the ECML Governing Board introducing the creation of the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI) within the University. The OLBI had as its remit to strengthen, develop and expand training and research in language teaching and acquisition as well as in language planning, and share this body of knowledge with the entire university community throughout Canada and abroad. He proposed that a co-operation agreement be established between the OLBI and the ECML.

This idea was favourably received by the Governing Board, which charged the Secretariat with drawing up such an agreement. Following discussions with the Canadian representatives at the ECML Conference 2007, a “Memorandum on Co-operation and Liaison between the European Centre for Modern Languages and the University of Ottawa” was drawn up to provide a pragmatic framework to enable increased contacts between the Centre and Canadian language experts, with the long-term aim of creating favourable conditions for full Canadian membership of the Centre.

Under this agreement, the OLBI will act as an intermediary for the ECML towards educational institutions across the country and finance the participation of Canadian team members for certain projects. As a direct result, six team members or resource persons have been proposed by OLBI for projects within the ECML’s third medium-term programme.

Finally, within the framework of the 2004-2007 programme, the D3 “CLILmatrix” project produced a publication co-ordinated and sponsored by the Europees Platform voor het Nederlandse Onderwijs (European Platform for Dutch Education) entitled Windows on CLIL: Content and Language Integrated Learning in the European Spotlight.

8. Budget Comments

In establishing the second medium-term programme, the Secretariat has sought to balance the numbers of activities equitably over the four years of the programme so that the budget required for each of the years is approximately the same.

The 2007 budget of the ECML, comprising € 1,626,500 in member state contributions, was approved by the Committee of Ministers on 13 December 2006 at the 983rd meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies. This was supplemented by a carry-over of approximately € 120,000 from the 2006 programme account and € 1,200 from the Ordinary budget. The ECML’s working budget in 2007 therefore totalled € 1,747,700.

Total expenditure for 2007 amounted to € 1.45 million. Expenditure during the year was as foreseen with the exception of the following areas:

· central events: due to the importance of the ECML conference which brought together the results of all 20 projects over the past 4 years, and the high demand for places at the event, the Centre decided to invite 3 representatives from each of the member states rather than holding a specific workshop related to the European Day of Languages in 2007;
· staffing: 3 vacancies arose within the Secretariat in the course of the year resulting in a large underspend (of approximately €80,000) in this area. The vacant post of Programme and Logistics Assistant at B4 level was filled by an existing member of the ECML Secretariat in April and the resulting vacancy, Administrative Support Assistant at B3 level, was not filled until January 2008. After the departure of the Assistant Documentalist at the end of September the position was temporarily filled on a 50% basis;
· publications: due to the late submission of invoices by the publisher all production-related costs will be carried over into early 2008;
· specific support for member state needs: of the 17 events which had been budgeted, only five requests were received from states for support in this area (as a result of the lack of take up it has been decided to link this form of support to the dissemination of the work/results of ongoing/previous projects. Although this still represents a potentially important instrument and means of flexibility, the overall number of events foreseen in this area has been reduced by 50% in the 2008-2011 programme).

The following categories represented the major areas of programme expenditure in 2007 (2006 figures in brackets):

· Travel and subsistence: 48% (39%);
· Honoraria: 20% (15%);
· Interpretation: 9% (8%);
· Translation: 7.3% (1.7%);
· IT maintenance and telecommunications: 4% (4%);
· Postage: 2% (3%).

The Centre also continued to seek means of improving efficiency and further reducing costs:

· the full implementation of a document management system in the area of finances enabled the Centre to substantially reduce paper filing and to allow easy retrieval of all financial documentation in electronic format. It is planned to extend this system to other areas of the Centre in 2008;
· through earlier booking of tickets through a local travel agency it was possible to substantially reduce the average prepaid ticket price compared with 2006 (-11%);
· although the Centre has tested a number of external translators in the past, in 2007, when the majority of the 20 ECML project publications were translated, the service provided by the Council of Europe proved the best in terms of quality, speed and cost.

With regard to the further efficiency savings requested by the Secretary General for 2008, as expenditure on overheads has already been severely reduced and there is no leeway with regard to staffing costs, the savings will be achieved almost entirely from within the Centre's programme budget. A number of measures have been introduced which will be applied over the four years of the Centre’s new 2008-11 programme in order to reduce the overall cost base:

· reduced size of ECML project coordination teams from 5-6 persons to 4 (estimated saving of
€ 20,000 per annum);

· recourse to a greater number of 3- rather than 4-5 day workshops (estimated saving € 8,500 per workshop day);
· the offer, in addition to medium-term projects (3-4 years), of running a number of short-term projects (1-2 years) which actively focus on training and dissemination of existing tools and are less cost intensive.

With regard to the 2008-2011 programme the direct costing of project activities has been based upon on an overall figure of € 2.25 million compared to € 2.5 million which had been available for the Centre’s second medium-term programme. This figure represents the absolute minimum operational budget necessary to run a high-quality, effective programme given the current the level of staffing. In order to broaden the range of activities organised by the Centre and offer greater flexibility within the programme it may be considered necessary to seek third-party funding for some of the projects within the new programme.

9. Staffing

The ECML has eleven full-time staff: eight permanent (posts) and three temporary (positions). The Centre also offers up to eight six-month traineeships each year to young graduates.

A number of changes took place within the Secretariat in 2007:

· Adrian Butler, the ECML’s Executive Director for the last five years, during which time he steered the Centre through its second programme and set up its third, requested to return to the Headquarters of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg at the end of 2007. Although this request was granted and he left Graz at the end of October, the internal procedure for his replacement was only completed in January 2008. The Secretary General decided not to appoint one of the internal candidates and the post has consequently been advertised externally.

    Mr Butler has been asked to continue running the ECML – from Strasbourg, but with frequent visits to Graz – pending such time as he is appointed to another post. Susanna Slivensky, Deputy Executive Director and Head of Programmes, supervised the daily running of the Centre in his absence;

· Margit Huber was promoted to the post of ECML Logistics and Programme Assistant vacated by Michèle Bergdoll in December 2006. As her former post of Administrative Support Assistant was not filled until the beginning of 2008, she had to “double up” in both roles for most of the year;

 

· Nathalie Gignoux was recruited as Ms Huber’s replacement in January 2008. She had previously worked in the Secretariat of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities in Strasbourg;

· Nicolas Kravic, Assistant Documentalist, left the ECML at the end of September 2007 for a job in the private sector after seven years of service in the Centre on a number of different contracts. His place was filled on a temporary basis by Daniela Kocmut, pending a reorganisation of the documentation and resource centre in 2008;

· Susanna Yeghoyan was employed on a six-month temporary contract in order to help in the preparations of the ECML Conference 2007.

The Centre also welcomed a total of nine trainees in 2007:

· Katja Lenic (Slovenia) – Administration trainee;

    · Daniela Markova (Bulgaria) – Programme;
    · Maria Prieto Martin (Spain) – Website;
    · Paola Mambretti (Italy) – Resource Centre;
    · Eszter Harsanyi (Hungary) – Resource Centre;
    · Daniela Kocmut (Austria) – Administration;
    · Henna Nykanen (Finland) – Programme;
    · Katarzyna Rybak (Poland) – Website;
    · Elzbieta Zuk (Poland) – Resource Centre.

10. The host country

The Austrian Association of the ECML (Verein EFSZ in Österreich) acts as the local partner of the ECML in Graz, thereby fulfilling Austria’s commitment as host country to provide a seat for the Centre and a local secretariat. Its main function is to maintain and develop the premises of the ECML and provide assistance in day-to-day logistics. It also plays a valuable role in acting as an interface between the Centre and local, national and regional bodies.
 
As part of this function, the Austrian Association organises initiatives and facilitates synergies between the ECML and the region. It supports events aimed at a broader interested local or regional public and works to facilitate the transfer of ECML project results to the region. An example of this is the idea of learning the languages of one’s neighbours, underlined by a recent recommendation of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which is being taken up by the Styrian Authorities and put into practice in a tandem learning project for young people in the border regions of Austria, Hungary and Slovenia.
 
In the framework of the ECML’s second medium-term programme, the Association organised a series of events entitled: “CONTEXT – Connecting tertiary education experts”. The aim of these was to make the Centre’s work better known locally by inviting members of each ECML project, over the four years of the programme, to take part in an event connected to the subject matter of the project in question. The target group for these lectures, presentations or round table discussions was an audience of university students and teachers from Austria.  

As another contribution to the dissemination process for the ECML’s work at tertiary level in Austria, the Association provided support, together with the Graz-based Austrian Centre for Language Competence (ÖSZ – which is also the ECML’s Austrian contact point), for the promotion of the "EPOSTL" portfolio for teacher educators developed in the C3 “FTE” project.

The Association has also invited all institutions in Graz involved in the field of languages to come together in the Sprachennetzwerk Graz (the Graz Language Network). This provides a platform for building up and strengthening synergies and exchange of information. Beyond the general objective of promoting plurilingualism, the Network aims to make the competences of the institutions based in Graz more visible both nationally and at European level and to underline the city’s specificity as a place of language-related expertise.

When the ECML’s premises are not being used for its programme activities, they may be used by outside institutions to host activities corresponding to the Centre’s vocation. The fact that the Graz Centre is one of the external Council of Europe offices has made it an obvious choice for events organised by or in co-operation with the Council of Europe, such as the workshops held in the framework of its “Pestalozzi” training programme for education professionals. At the same time, national educational activities are held at the Centre whenever possible, in particular dissemination events organised by the Austrian Centre for Language Competence. A number of external international meetings and conferences have thus been attracted to Graz, drawn by the prestige of the ECML. These events raise the profile of the Centre and help to establish its reputation as an international meeting point within the region. External usage also provides a contribution to the considerable costs borne by the Austrian authorities for the provision of the ECML facilities.

11. Statutory decisions in 2007

16th meeting of the Governing Board

Co-operation with Canada

The members of the Governing Board welcomed the proposal from the Canadian authorities to increase co-operation between Canada and the ECML in the Centre’s third medium-term programme. Under this proposal, the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI), based at the University of Ottawa, would act as an intermediary for the ECML towards educational institutions across the country and finance the participation of Canadian team members for certain projects.

The Board nevertheless stressed that this form of co-operation with specific institutions should not represent a precedent for other countries.

European Validation Committee

In order to promote areas of mutual co-operation relating to the European Language Portfolio, the Governing Board proposed that an observer from the Board should attend meetings of the European Validation Committee.

In response to the official request from the Chair, it was agreed with the EVC that there should be a reciprocal arrangement whereby:

· the EVC would be represented at ECML Governing Board meetings whenever subjects connected with the ELP were discussed;
· the costs relating to participation will be borne by the ECML for a Governing Board member attending the EVC and by the Language Policy Division for an EVC representative coming to Graz.

It was agreed that Irena MAŠKOVÁ be the Governing Board representative at EVC meetings and
David LITTLE, Chair of the Validation Committee, be invited to ECML statutory meetings on behalf of the EVC.

Reductions to the programme budget

With regard to reducing the overall cost base of the ECML programme the Board members approved the following efficiency measures would be applied throughout the four years of the third medium-term programme:

· reduced size of ECML project coordination teams from 5-6 persons to 4 (estimated saving of
€ 20,000 per annum);

· recourse to a greater number of 3- rather than 4-5 day workshops (estimated saving € 8,500 per workshop day);
· the offer, in addition to medium-term projects (3-4 years), of running a number of short-term projects (1-2 years) which actively focused on training and dissemination of existing tools and were less cost intensive.

The Board members also took note of the concerns of the Austrian Association which would have difficulty in trying to justify and negotiate very necessary increases in the resources available for the Centre’s infrastructure and running costs in the face of a falling ECML budget.

The members of the Board highlighted the danger of the 2% efficiency requested by the Secretary General for the 2008 budget being achieved through a reduction in operational costs and underlined the need to maintain a stable financial footing for the activities of the third medium-term programme. The proposed reduction would mean that the programme budget had now shrunk by 8% in 3 years (from € 711,200 in 2006 to € 653,000 for 2008) through a combination of efficiency savings and increased staffing costs. The Governing Board therefore decided that:

· a letter from the Chair of the Governing Board should be drafted explaining that the Board had adopted the medium-term programme of activities for 2008-2011 based upon a fixed sum and it was imperative that the budget for this programme should not be cut in subsequent years as this would endanger the activities within it. The letter should be addressed in the first instance to the Director of Education and a copy sent to all Board members;

· the primary aims of this letter would be to highlight the necessity of maintaining a stable programme budget over the next 4 years and prevent any further erosion of resources available for programme activities. As the budget adoption process for 2008 was underway these measures would be targeted principally at the 2009 budget. However, where individual members of the Board felt appropriate, a copy of the letter could already be passed on to their national authorities.

Elections of members of the Bureau for the term 2008-2009

In accordance with Article 6, Paragraph 5 of the Rules of Procedure, the following members were elected by secret ballot to the Bureau of the Governing Board:

· Vice-Chair – Mireille Cheval (2nd term);
· Bureau member – Jutta Gehrig (2nd term);
· Bureau member – Irena Mašková (2nd term).

Adoption of the third medium-term programme of activities

The Governing Board unanimously adopted the 15 projects recommended by the Bureau as the core of the third medium-term programme and requested that the Secretariat take up negotiations with the co-ordinators of these projects and look into the setting up of the special focus areas.

The Board decided that a statutory meeting in February 2008 for the final adoption the third medium-term programme would not be required unless negotiations proved difficult and certain projects could not be set up or if suitable teams could not be identified for the special working areas.

Adoption of the full programme would be by consultation via e-mail as soon as co-ordinators had agreed on the reorientations proposed to their projects and teams had been identified for the special focus areas4.

36th Bureau meeting

Shortlisting of projects for the third medium-term programme of activities

Following detailed discussions, the Bureau drew up a shortlist of 15 proposals that it recommended to the Governing Board for inclusion in the ECML’s third medium-term programme.

The Bureau members noted that running a programme comprising the 15 recommended projects would cost approximately € 1.5 million and include some 20 central workshops. Once the figures for meetings related to the ECML’s working processes and the mini-call for proposals for short-term projects for 2010 and 2011 were added this would still leave approximately € 400,000 for other events (including the special focus areas).

With regard to the special focus areas established by the Secretariat to supplement the submissions via the Call for proposals, the Bureau agreed that such a procedure was interesting and preferable to attempting to substantially reorient or amalgamate some of the other proposals which had been presented. Bureau members proposed that the following themes/events could be considered for the special focus areas:

· Implementation of the European Language Portfolio (ELP and whole-school policy, ELP as a process, ELP and formative assessment);
· Teacher education for CLIL;
· Linking curricula and examinations to the CEFR levels (based on the LPD manual);
· Events in co-operation with language teacher associations:

      o building and strengthening networks;
      o disseminating ECML products.

ECML conference of the second medium-term programme

In view of the fact that many of the authors of project submissions for the third medium-term programme would be attending the event, the Secretariat should take up contact with them before the conference to advise them whether or not their project had been short listed for consideration by the Governing Board. Although this would lead to disappointment in several cases, the message that ‘quality comes first’ was an important one to transmit.

35th meeting

Recruitment of ECML Executive Director

The Chair agreed to draft a letter to the Secretary General requesting that in order to ensure the maximum number of candidates with the right profile for the post, the position of Executive Director should be filled by an external recruitment and that it be open to nationals from all member states of the Council of Europe. A representative from the Bureau should be invited as an observer to the recruitment panel. The letter would make reference to the position expressed by the Board to the Secretary General on the occasion of the recruitment of the Deputy Executive Director.

Draft budget 2008

The members of the Bureau expressed their concern at the gradual erosion of the programme budget which had taken place over the past 3 years and also suggested a number of changes in wording to the text of the budget which were subsequently incorporated into the revised draft of the budget document.

Procedure for the selection of proposals

The Bureau members agreed that the focus of their own work should not be to duplicate the function of the Expert Advisory Group, which had rated all proposals received, but rather to:

Ø examine borderline proposals;
Ø highlight potential synergies or overlap;
Ø suggest reorientation where required.

The Bureau members also noted that in previous discussions of the statutory bodies it had been suggested that approximately 80% of the financial resources should be devoted to medium-term projects and 20% to short-term projects.

Dissemination initiatives for existing projects in co-operation with external partners

The Bureau decided that the ECML should organise a symposium at the 15th World Congress of Applied Linguistics in Essen in August 2008 involving a cross-section of projects from the second medium-term programme. The Congress entitled “Multilingualism: challenges and opportunities” was expected to attract approximately 2,000 language experts from all over the world. The Centre’s participation in the Congress would further develop the ECML’s “profile as a key actor in the field of language education in Europe”. Active involvement in and collaboration with the organising teams of such major events represented an important step in fulfilling this objective set by the Governing Board.

The members of the Bureau also expressed their support for the initiative of the Swiss language education journal Babylonia to dedicate a special edition of the journal to the outcomes of the ECML’s Languages for social cohesion programme.

Evaluation procedures for the second medium-term programme

The members of the Bureau decided that as content-related issues would be dealt with in the conference publication and CD-Rom which would have a wide target audience, the Annual and four-year reports should be kept simple and targeted exclusively at national contacts and the Committee of Ministers.

Note 1 This document is issued for information. It will not be the subject of an item on the agenda unless a delegation so requests.
Note 2 Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, United Kingdom.
Note 3 This figure includes written replies, but does not take account of requests within the framework of projects (during workshops, expert meetings, etc) or by visitors to the Documentation and Resource Centre.
Note 4 The full programme comprising 20 projects was adopted by e-mail in January 2008.


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