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Towards a plurilingual whole school policy in European schools
Start date: Oct 1, 2015, End date: Sep 30, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This is a follow-on project from the ECML project PlurCur (2012-2015, The project’s aims are to develop further the plurilingual, inclusive and intercultural whole school policy by means of both new and existing partner schools in secondary education in an international context. The innovation of this project will be that it is based on version 2 of the plurilingual whole school curricula (see Allgäuer-Hackl/Brogan/Henning/Hufeisen/Schlabach 2015) and that in Plur>E, we will focus on involving school administration and educational politics. Plurilingual whole school policies are designed in such a way that languages taught as subjects are not treated in isolation and language and content-matter subject instruction overlap so that content-matter teaching is also language teaching. This consistent implementation of content and language integrated learning will be transferable to all non-language content lessons. The languages to be used will include languages already present at a given institution, i.e. family/heritage/migrant languages, modern languages taught at the school and the language of schooling. The multilingual approach to language teaching and learning also means that learners get insights into the structure of languages, study possibilities of positive transfer and interferences between the languages they use, train productive and receptive skills, develop metalinguistic and crosslinguistic awareness as well as language learning strategies and strategies of language use. In this way, we aim at developing competencies that go beyond individual languages, and plurilingual proficiency, a concept that will have to be defined, described and assessed into more detail in the course of the present project. Given that classrooms all over Europe are becoming more and more intercultural and multilingual, teachers are facing the challenge to provide learning opportunities which use those competencies and skills which learners bring with them to their learning environment, and this includes different levels of skills in a large variety of languages. The main target group will be students and teachers in secondary education. Decision makers (school management, educational politics) will also be targeted. The main outputs will be: 1) Results in form of reports and best practice examples by the partner schools about the implementation of version 2 of the prototypical plurilingual whole school policy at their schools; to be used by other schools in aid of their own plurilingual projects and by decision makers in aid of including plurilingual approaches in school policy. The work towards these outputs will also entail a change in the individual partner schools’ structure, i.e. new plurilingual courses will be established, teachers will train in plurilingual teaching, teachers’ meetings across languages will be established etc. 2) Results from evaluating version 2 of the plurilingual whole school policy, including new approaches containing objectives, content and assessment tools of plurilingual language teaching in order to present models for best practice in plurilingual education, will be made available to teachers and school management, as well as to educational politics and multilingualism researchers. This will help spread the idea of the policy and facilitate its implementation in other schools and educational institutions. 3) Research results on students’ language attitudes and their experiences in plurilingual classes – specifically in a multilingual theatre group and in classes on Germanic intercomprehension – will be produced and published, to be used in multilingualism research as well as for decision-making in school management, school policy and educational politics. 4) Recommendations on school development and to decision makers in secondary school education about best practice in the implementation of the plurilingual whole school policy will be produced based on the experiences in this project. 5) Plur>E Online Modules for networking, expanding the number of future partners and the types of schools, sharing best practice examples with teachers across Europe.

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