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Teaching units: taking a closer look at the workshops


This page offers an opportunity to gain a brief insight into the content and nature of the Supporting Multilingual Classrooms workshops and the issues that need to be addressed in our increasingly multilingual schools if we are to prepare our learners for life in and beyond the institution. It provides an overview of the 7 workshops themes as well as an example of a teaching unit for each theme.

Purpose of the sample teaching units

These sample teaching units have a dual purpose: firstly, they are intended to enable practitioners to understand some of the ways in which key learning objectives from across the four Supporting Multilingual Classroom modules can be addressed. They can therefore be used for initial or continuous professional development as a way of challenging teachers’ preconceptions by providing a stimulus for reflection on the classroom activities themselves. Teachers are asked to consider how these activities might contribute to the achievement of desired learning objectives. Secondly, they also provide a small number of examples of activities that can be used directly with learners in the classroom in order to help them work towards these learning objectives.

Though valuable in their own right, these samples, however, are just a taste. Most of the objectives entail a shift in mindset that can best be stimulated by interaction, debate and reflection. We hope that you find the activities contained here engaging and relevant and that you seek out further opportunities to explore the issues, either by studying and trying out the many free materials on the ECML website, by getting together with colleagues to discuss the issues and develop your practice, or by attending one of our workshops yourselves.

National training workshop 2018, Rhodes, Greece

"Our plurilingual learners bring a wealth of knowledge, skills and understandings to their education and it cannot be expected that they should leave these at the school gate. Their plurilingual repertoires are significant parts of their identities, which must be embraced and built on if high quality education is to be developed that includes our learners holistically and enables them to flourish. Furthermore, our society is becoming increasingly diverse and this can bring many benefits for everyone. For this to be achieved, however, requires a shift in education towards an education for diversity, which enables everyone to learn to accept, appreciate and value the rich and varied skills and knowledge base around them."

Supporting Multilingual Classrooms team

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Themes and sample teaching units

The Supporting Multilingual Classrooms team has developed a range of teaching units around 7 key themes listed below. A coherent structure is applied to each teaching unit: it begins with questions that together break down the issues to be considered in order to address the specific learning objective. This is followed by one example of classroom materials mostly taken from ECML, Council of Europe or European Commission projects and resources, all of which have been used in the workshop sessions. For each example, there is a short list of possible objectives that this resource might enable the learners to achieve. The unit concludes with reflective questions for the teacher, some additional food for thought and suggested links to further resources.

This initiative is carried out within the framework of a cooperation agreement between the European Centre for Modern Languages and the European Commission, entitled
Innovative Methodologies and Assessment in language learning