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Harmonising a language policy – the Galician way

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Matt Salusbury talks to Xabier San Isidro, language adviser at the Edinburgh Consulate General, on the implementation of bilingual language policies in Spain's autonomous regions

Can you tell us something about Clil in Galicia – what subjects are taught through Clil, at what sort of schools?

Policies carried out in multilingual Spain as a whole and in some of its constituent autonomous communities (those with two co-official languages) over the last thirty years merit special attention. Throughout the last three decades, since the autonomous institutions were created, a wide range of language policies have been implemented.

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Ireland intros quality Mark

Anna Michal

Sue Hackett outlines ELT accreditation improvements

With the recent establishment of Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) in November 2012, the national accreditation scheme for English language teaching organisations (Acels), as part of the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland, was integrated into the QQI.

Since then, in line with Ireland’s international education strategy and the 2012 legislation that established the QQI, work has been ongoing on the development of a new International Education Mark for education and training providers in Ireland, including English language providers.

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Uzbekistan ups its EFL game

Natalia Tsarikova, ELT manager at the British Council Uzbekistan, explains how the Council is helping the country fulfil a commitment to boost English language teaching

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On 10 December 2012 the president of Uzbekistan signed resolution 1875: ‘On measures on improvement of learning foreign languages’. The resolution stressed the importance of learning foreign languages for all irrespective of their workplace but, in particular, for those in educational establishments and the Ministry of Education. Since then all the resources of the ministry have been mobilised to realise the presidential decree, including intensive training of all teachers in the country and the introduction of foreign language teaching from the first grade of schooling for all children in the country, with English being taught to over 500,000 children a year.

A set of new English textbooks was developed in country to provide for teaching at primary level. The ministry selected the best teachers to produce the textbooks, and Grade 1 of Kid’s English year. In September it was piloted across the country, and Grade 2 was complete by February 2014. The ministry acted on teachers’ feedback to improve the Grade 1 textbook and review its approach to introducing English at primary level.

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Malta prioritises standards

Sue Falzon describes the robust regulatory system governing ELT centres on the Mediterranean island

The English as a Foreign Language Monitoring Board, part of the Ministry for Education and Employment in Malta, is working hard to enhance quality standards in the EFL industry and in this way make Malta an internationally renowned English language learning destination.

This summer the board has been visiting each of the 76 centres used for teaching English to foreign students in Malta and Gozo. This monitoring exercise is carried out every summer in a bid to ensure higher academic and non-academic standards in the EFL sector. These centres include 42 lisenced EFL schools and an additional 34 annexes which are used only in the peak season due to the increase in the number of students. Just like the schools, the annexes must meet legal requirements to be approved.

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Erasmus+ unclogs as new Cult committee takes over

Matt Salusbury writes

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As we go to press, administrative logjams caused by delays to the opening rounds of the European Commission’s Erasmus+ mega-programme for learning and mobility are apparently starting to ease.

The transition from the old Lifelong Learning Programme (Erasmus, Leonardo, Comenius and Grundtvig) to Erasmus+ came with last-minute sign-offs by the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers and the Commission in the run-up to the opening of the Erasmus+ seven-year run this January. Delays in technical aspects of the programme and in the release of the first round of funding to the various EU member states’ national agencies (some countries had new national agencies as well) meant that the initial round application dates were moved from mid-January to mid-March.

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