European Journal of Language Policy

Policy and practice in foreign language education: Case studies in three European settings

European Journal of Language Policy (2010), 2, (2), 151–180.

Abstract

This paper arises from the work of the LINEE research network (http://www.linee.org) on language education policy and practice in three European countries (England, Hungary and Italy). The paper first examines different educational ideologies which underpin the development of European language education policies, noting the increased reflection of competence and outcomes-based ideologies in the discourse of documents such as the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and tensions between these and other more traditional humanistic educational discourses. The recent evolution of language education policy in each national context is examined in detail. Secondly, observational case studies of foreign language classroom practice documented in the three settings are examined, to clarify to what extent they reflect current competence-oriented discourses, or other more progressivist and classical humanist education traditions. Conclusions are drawn about the interactions between European level and national level declarations about language education, and their influence on local student experience.

Cet article a pour origine le travail du réseau de recherche LINEE (http://www.linee.org) sur la politique linguistique éducative et sur sa mise en œuvre dans trois pays européens (Angleterre, Hongrie et Italie). En premier lieu, cet article examine les différentes approches éducatives qui sous tendent le développement des politiques linguistiques éducatives en Europe. On remarquera notamment l'impact croissant des approches basées sur la performance et les compétences acquises dans les documents officiels tel que le « Cadre européen commun de référence pour les langues » (CECRL : Conseil de l'Europe, 2001) et les tensions entre le discours tenu dans ces documents et les discours plus traditionnels et humanistes sur l'éducation. Les évolutions récentes de la politique linguistique éducative dans chacun de ces contextes nationaux (Angleterre, Hongrie et Italie) sont étudiées en détail. Deuxièmement, les observations d'études de cas des pratiques de classe de langue étrangère dans les trois environnements sont étudiées pour clarifier jusqu'à quel point elles reflètent les discours actuels axés sur les compétences, ou d'autres traditions éducatives plus progressistes et humanistes. Les conclusions de cet article portent principalement sur les interactions entre les déclarations sur la linguistique éducative au niveau européen et au niveau national et sur leur influence sur l'expérience de l'étudiant au niveau local.

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Mitchell, Rosamond