European Perspectives in Foreign Language Learning, Teaching and Assessment

Bessie Dendrinos


Why do views about teaching, learning and assessment change over time and vary from one society to another? In what ways are the aims and language educational policies and planning related to sociopolitical goals? How are foreign languageeducational programmes and assessment systems affected by the demad to sustain a multilingual Europe and develop prurilingual citizenry? What is the relatonship between the pedagogic and the social identity of the foreign language learner? Is there a link between foreign language learning and the development of intercultural awareness?Wich are the European reccomendations for language teaching, learning and assessment today? These are a few of the important questions that this course will attempt to answer.

CC - Αναφορά - Μη Εμπορική Χρήση - Παρόμοια Διανομή
Course Aims

This course aims at offering students insights into European trends regarding foreign language teaching, learning and assessment, as well as information regarding policies and recommendations issued by the European Commission which is committed to promoting multilingualism in the EU and plurilingualism for European citizenry, supporting mutual understanding, facilitating mobility for work and study. It seeks to help students grasp the rather obscure concepts of ‘multilinguaslism’ and ‘interculturalism’ and to familiarize them with the major European research projects and surveys seeking to develop a European Language Indicator, valid and reliable tools with which to measure and compare the language competence of Europeans. Finally it intends to provide ideas, suggestions and resources for useful practices in effective foreign language teaching and learning.


Bessie Dendrinos

Bessie Dendrinos completed her undergraduate studies at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece, her postgraduate studies in the USA, at Claremont Graduate School and University Centre and at UCLA, and her postdoctoral studies in the U.K. (at the University of Cambridge). Mainly concerned with the discursive practices of TEFL and European educational language planning, she has carried out research in Greece and other European member states, particularly in England, Portugal and Spain. Her areas of expertise are language politics in the European Union and foreign language pedagogy, curriculum and materials development, as well as language testing and assessment. She has worked in the field of applied linguistics for language teaching and learning and, since the early 90s, she has been working in educational linguistics, but also in critical discourse analysis of language policy documents and foreign language teaching materials. Her keen interest in socially accountable applied linguistics has also led her to investigate linguistically construed gender ideology, the linguistic representation of poverty and the bureaucratic discourse in Greek public documents. Since 2002, she has devoted much of her time to developing a foreign language examination suite for six languages on the 6-level scale of the Council of Europe. The exams prepared by expert teams from the University of Athens and the University of Thessaloniki are conducted by the Ministry of Education, which issues the certificates of language proficiency. In 2004 she founded the Research Centre for Language Teaching, Testing and Assessment, which she has been directing ever since, and which is presently fully equipped and staffed. Since 2010, she has been very involved with two multidimensional projects, funded by the European Union and the Greek state, which are concerned with language teaching and assessment. She is also involved with the work of the DG EAC of the European Commission to promote multilingualism in Europe. 

  1. Language Policy, Language Education Policy and Greek Policies on Language Use 
  2. Foreign Language Teaching and Learning in the EU 
  3. Foreign Language Teaching and Learning in Greece 
  4. Attitudes to Foreign Language Learning in Europe 
  5. EU and Multilingualism Policies
  6. European Tools and Programmes to Enhance Multilingualism 
  7. Foreign Language Education for Multilingualism 
  8. Rethinking Education in the EU 
  9. Testing Systems in Europe 
  10. Foreign Language Education and Multilingualsim in Greece
  11. Foreign Language Teacher Education for Multilingualism in Europe
Dendrinos, B., & Mitsikopoulou, B. (2004). Policies of Linguistic Pluralism and the Teaching of Languages in Europe. Athens: University of Athens & Metaixmio Publications.

Dendrinos, B. (2008). Language issues and language policies in Greece. In Gerhard Stickel (ed.) National and European Language Policies. National and European Language Policies. Frankfurt, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien: Peter Lang, pp. 53-69.

Kiliari, A. (2009). Language practice in Greece: the effects of European policy on multilingualism. European Journal of Language Policy, 1 (1), 21-28.

Baidak, N., Borodankova, O., Kocanova, D., & Motiejunaite, A. (2012). Key data on teaching languages at school in Europe. Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, European Commission. Available from EU Bookshop.

Eurobarometer, S. (2006). Europeans and their Languages. European Commission.

Prerequisites/Prior Knowledge

There are no prerequisites for taking this course.


  • Policy across languages and cultures
  • Language policy: ‘stated’ and ‘unstated’
  • Designing deliberate language policy
  • Language and language education policies
  • Investigating language policy in a society
  • Language rights in Greece

European Union

  • Languages in the European Union
  • Chronology of important decisions
  • Language learning in the EU: Languages in the school curriculum, Foreign languages in primary education, Teaching languages in compulsory education


greek flagForeign Language Learning In Greek Schools: European Survey on Language Competences

  • The ESLC Project: Challenges and Accomplishments
  • Greek Students’ Foreign Language Proficiency
  • Contextual Factors from the ESLC: Findings
  • The Effect of Contextual Factors on Student Achievement
  • Main Findings, Conclusions and Proposals

EuropeEurobarometer - Europeans and their Languages:

  • Multilingualism in the European Union today
  • Use of languages
  • Attitudes to language learning
  • EU citizens' attitudes to multilingualism

  • Challenges of a larger and more diverse EU
  • Multilingualism for intercultural dialogue and social cohesion
  • Multilingualism for prosperity
  • The external dimension of multilingualism



EU flag

  • Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)
  • European Language Portfolio (ELP)
  • Erasmus+ EU - Programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport




Multilingual Paths

  • Plurilingualism – multilingualism
  • Monolingual, monoglossic Europe
  • Euro promotion of multilingualism
  • Moving beyond monolingual language education
  • Multilingual education and ideology
  • Approaches to multilingualism and pedagogies
  • Interlinguistic and intercultural competence

Mind and Education

  • Education and skills – a core strategic asset for growth
  • Building skills for the 21st century
  • Stimulating open and flexible learning



Mind and Education

  • Main initiatives and events
  • Promoting inclusive, plurilingual and intercultural education
  • Supporting multilingual classrooms




  • ILT and material profit
  • ILT and symbolic profit
  • The ideological nature of tests
  • ILT and the languages of Europe
  • ILT as a monolingual-monocultural enterprise
  • Shifting attention from monolingual to multilingual paradigms
  • The European language teaching and testing industry

speech bubbles

  • Promoting multilingualism
  • The KPG exam suite
  • Multilingual operationalisation
  • Digital e-test typology


  • European Policies in TEFL Teacher Education
  • A New Framework Strategy for Multilingualism

Ανοικτό Ακαδ. Μάθημα

Ανοικτά Ακαδημαϊκά Μαθήματα
Επίπεδο: A+

Αρ. Επισκέψεων :  0
Αρ. Προβολών :  0



  • - Δεν υπάρχουν ανακοινώσεις -