Media advisory - 076(2010)


Bridging the gap between language policy and practice: European Centre for Modern Languages celebrates its 15th anniversary

Date: 1 July 2010 (16–18h)

Location: Graz, Austria (European Centre for Modern Languages, Nikolaiplatz 4, 8020)

Description: The Council of Europe´s European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) aims at improving practice in language education in Europe, as a fundamental prerequisite to live together in a continent without dividing lines. ECML celebrates its 15th anniversary with a special ceremony.

Public Statements: Beatrix Karl, Federal Minister for Science and Research, Austria; Claudia Schmied, Federal Minister for Education, Arts and Culture, Austria; Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Director General of Education, Culture and Heritage, Youth and Sport and Co-ordinator for Intercultural Dialogue, Council of Europe; Harald Hartung, Head of Section for Multilingual Policy, Directorate General for Education and Culture, European Commission; Elisabeth Potzinger, Representative of the Graz City Council; Walter Kröpfl, Chairperson of the Socialist grouping within the Styrian Parliament, Province of Styria.

A panel discussion entitled ‘Promoting quality education in modern multilingual Europe’ with the Chair of the ECML Governing Board and Ambassadors of ECML founding states will be part of the programme.

Background : The keynote speech given by David Newby, Professor at Karl Franzens University, Graz and ECML expert, focuses on projects of the ECML over the past 15 years, during which language policy and professional needs of teachers have undergone radical changes due to the growth of ´multilingual societies´, new theories of language learning and the increasing application of information technologies. These developments have, in turn, required a rethinking of the aims and content of teacher education. The Centre acts as a catalyst for the development of innovative approaches and provides a forum and support for language professionals working at the cutting edge of language teaching within its 34 member states.

For 15 years the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML), a Council of Europe Partial Agreement based in Graz, Austria, has been serving the community of language education professionals in its 34 member states. The unique intergovernmental centre is integrated within the Council of Europe’s Department of Language Education and Policy and comprises the Language Policy Division, the Secretariat of the Partial Agreement on the ECML and the Secretariat of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

Web link to the 15th anniversary file (detailed programme, Graz Declaration, etc.)

Press contacts:

In Graz (registration, interview requests): Anna Kehl, ;

tel.: +43 (0) 316 323 554 12; mobile: +43 (0) 676 473 53 73.

In Strasbourg: Giuseppe Zaffuto, tel. : +33 3 90 21 56 04.

Council of Europe Directorate of Communication
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 25 60
Fax:+33 (0)3 88 41 39 11