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Ulrike Haslinger, Austrian Centre for Language Competence , Graz: “ Convergences between modern/foreign languages; curricula in Austria”. An initiative of the Austrian Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture. Our main areas of activity:. 1) International and national language policy work

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Ulrike Haslinger, Austrian Centre for Language Competence, Graz: “Convergences between modern/foreign languages; curricula in Austria”

An initiative of the Austrian Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture

Our main areas of activity:

1) International and national language policy work

2) Development of didactical materials

3) Networking and action programmes

4) Dissemination

Main areas of activity 2011

The language situation in Austria

I. Official language: German (88,6 %)

II. Six officially recognised minoritiylanguages/autochthonous minorities;since 1955 (1,5 %)

- Slovene in Carinthia and Styria;

- Croatian, Hungarian and Romani in Burgenland

- Czech, Slovak and Hungarian in Vienna

III. Since 2005: Austrian Sign Language (not included in 2001 Consensus/ used to be classified as German speakers)

IV. Other migrant languages(9,9 %)(e.g. Croatian, Bosnian, Serbian, Turkish)

Map legend:

Burgenland 1

Carinthia (Kärnten) 2

Lower Austria (Niederösterreich) 3

Upper Austria (Oberösterreich) 4

Salzburg 5

Styria (Steiermark) 6

Tyrol (Tirol) 7

Vorarlberg 8

Vienna (Wien) 9

Curriculum development in AustriaTeam for Curricula Correspondents

  • In charge > respective departments of the ministry (depending on type of school)

  • Departments set up working groups + nominate experts

  • AT team for Curricula Correspondents:

    • Muriel Warga (Language Policy Coordination)

    • Anna Lasselsberger (Department of Schools and Migration)

    • Ulrike Haslinger (Austrian Centre for Language Competence)

Convergences between modern / foreign languages Curricula in Austria


  • Language awareness

  • Intercultural Understanding

  • Key competences (EC):

  • Mother tongue

  • Foreignlanguages

  • Learning tolearn

  • Socialandciviccompetence

  • Interculturalcompetence

  • Draft Education principles (AT):

  • Sprechen und Kommunizieren (“Language andcommunication“)

  • Handeln in der Gesellschaft (“Acting in society“)

  • Sich kreativ ausdrücken und die Umwelt gestalten(“Expressingoneselfcreatively & shapingtheenvironment“)

Convergences between modern / foreign languages Curricula in Austria

Important features of language teaching in the classroom

Plurilingual & intercultural education

  • Applying CoE instruments (e.g. CEFR, ELP) and innovative support materials for teacher teaching (e.g. by ÖSZ)

  • Supporting languages (esp. mother tongues, German as the language of instruction)

  • Embracing the language potential in the classroom: making speakers of other languages visible

  • Holistic approach to language learning through language analysis in class e.g. by comparing languages: What makes a language easy / difficult to learn?

  • Developing learning strategies: How to learn languages?


  • Curriculum Mehrsprachigkeit / “Multilingual Curriculum“ (Draftversion!) for lang. awareness

  • “Didactical Coaching“ (Autumn 2012: Module forteachertraining: Whatdoestheteacherneedtoaccommodatehis/her multilingual students in theclassroom?)

  • “Textbook Guidelines“ (January, 2012: Recommendationsfortextbooksaddressing multilingual learners)

(Draft) Multilingual Curriculum (MC)Curriculum Mehrsprachigkeit


  • respondstoneeds & demandsofmultiling. society & ling. reality in Austria

  • supportsindivid. lang. profilebylinking & supporting lang. competences

  • facilitateslearnerautonomy

  • encouraging:

    • languageawareness

    • reflexionon languageitselfand on variouslanguagesituations

    • knowledgeaboutlanguagesandthemeaningoflanguageforothers

    • acquisitionoflinguisticknowledgein ordertocomparelanguages

    • languagelearningstrategiesand, whereverpossible

    • self-confidencein languagecompetences.

  • contributestoLifelonglearning (> supporting formal and informal learning)

    In doing so, MC isfocussing on

  • ling. & cognitiveressourcesoflearners + theirindivid. ling. experiences

  • learningprocessesin institutionalisedlanguageclassrooms

  • andnewmedia.

(Draft) Multilingual Curriculum (MC)Curriculum Mehrsprachigkeit


  • an instrumentforimplementationwithin LEPP process(Lang. Edu. PolicyProfiling)

  • ascertainingfocalpointsofcurrent Austrian (language) educationpolicy(e.g. supporting all languagelearners, esp. vulnerable groups, minoritylanguages; earlyandcontinuouslanguagelearning, modern andclassicalforeignlanguages, languagesacrossthecurriculum)

  • combining 3 resources:

    • existinglearningtargets in variousschoolcontexts (e.g. curriculafor German and German as a secondlanguage, curriculaforforeignlanguages, curriculaforminoritylanguagesandcurriculaforfirstlanguagesofmigrantstudents) > interdisciplinarycharacter!

    • analysisoflinguisticdemands in thecurriculaformaths, general science and social studies at the primary level, physics, geography, andhistory (compulsoryeducation) aswellassubjetcs in uppersecondarylevel (humanities, naturalsciences, economy, politics, law)

    • criticalanalysisoftherecommendationsformultilingualism in literature(focus on linguisticsanddidactics).

(Draft) Multilingual Curriculum (MC)Curriculum Mehrsprachigkeit


  • correspondswiththe Austrian schoollevelsandconsiderscognitivedevelopmentaccordingtoagelevel

  • combinescontentandaimsofvariouscurriculaforlanguagesandthereforeputsholisticlanguagelearningintotheforeground

  • isstructured in areassuch as “Knowledgeaboutlanguage“, “Beingawareofvariouslanguagesituationsandbeingableoffunctioningappropriately“

  • offers a systematicallystructuredoutlineofteachingandlearningactivitiesfrom Year 1 to Year 12/13 (levelofmatriculation); activitiesextractedfromexistingcurriculafor a concentrationof multilingual activities in onedocument

    • toavoidunnecessaryrepetitions, to promote commonterminologyandcommoncognitivebasisforlanguageteaching & learning

    • tosupportacquisitionof “Bildungssprache“/academiclanguage

  • contributesto a language-friendlyenvironmentatschool

(Draft) Multilingual Curriculum (MC)Curriculum MehrsprachigkeitEXAMPLE

LowerSecondarylevel (Year 7 and 8)

  • Aims:

    Studentsacquire an understandingformultilingualism in Europe & in theworld.

    2. Didacticalprinciples:

    Teacherprovidesauthenticgraphics, maps, picturesandtexts in severallanguagestoworkwith. Studentsreceivevariousindividualisedtasksandfeedback.

    3. Aimsandteachingcontentforparticularareas:

    Awarenessofanddealingwithlinguisticvariety. Aims: studentsareawareofswitchingbetweenlanguages (incl. switching code-switching, switchingbetweendialectandstandardlanguage, switchingbetweenyouthlanguageand adult language, oral andwrittenlanguage).

(Draft) Multilingual Curriculum (MC)Curriculum Mehrsprachigkeit

MC addresses:

  • teachers(asthemaintargetgroup) andteachertrainers

  • expertsinvolved in thedevelopmentofcurricula

  • expertsinvolved in thedevelopmentofteachingmaterials / textbookauthors

  • headmastersinvolved in thedevelopmentofwhole-school languagepolicy

(Draft) Multilingual Curriculum (MC)Curriculum Mehrsprachigkeit

Implementation of MC:

  • ideallythrough extra contacthours (compulsoryfor all students) but…

  • in practice: implementationthroughteachertraining

  • currently in development:

    • Module forteachertraining (Prof Hans-Jürgen Krumm)

    • Module fortextbookdevelopment


  • (draftversion) basicversioncurrentlyupfordiscussion in Austria

  • very positive feedbackfromthecommunityofexperts

www.oesz.atUlrike Haslingerhaslinger@oesz.at

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