Guide for the development and implementation of curricula for plurilingual and intercultural education


Document prepared for the Policy Forum ‘The right of learners to quality and equity in education – The role of linguistic and intercultural competences’

Executive summary

This text, preparation of which was decided at the Language Policy Forum held in Strasbourg in February 2007, is intended to facilitate improved implementation of the values and principles of plurilingual and intercultural education in the teaching of all languages – foreign, regional or minority, classical, and languages of schooling.

Plurilingual and intercultural education realises the universal right to a quality education, covering: acquisition of competences, knowledge, dispositions and attitudes, diversity of learning experiences, and construction of individual and collective cultural identities. Its aim is to make teaching more effective, and increase the contribution it makes, both to school success for the most vulnerable learners, and to social cohesion.

The ideas and proposals put forward in the text form part of the Council of Europe Language Policy Division’s project, “Languages in education – languages for education”, contributions to which are published on a “Platform of resources and references for plurilingual and intercultural education[1].


The text comprises three chapters. The first provides a general picture of the issues and principles involved in designing and/or improving curricula, and of pedagogical and didactic approaches which open the way to fuller realisation of the general aim of plurilingual and intercultural education. The next two chapters look more closely at two basic questions raised in the first: How can the specific content and aims of plurilingual and intercultural education be identified and integrated within the curriculum, while also respecting the specific content and aims of teaching individual languages? How can curriculum scenarios be used to project the spacing-out in time of this content and these objectives? Finally, several appendices provide tools and reference lists. All of this can also be supplemented by consulting the ancillary documents available on the above-mentioned platform.


The text itself says little about use of the European Language Portfolio, the Autobiography of Intercultural Encounters or similar pedagogical instruments – but they are implicit throughout, and should be a natural concomitant of progress towards plurilingual and intercultural education.


The document circulated at the Language Policy Forum in Geneva (2-4 November 2010) is a first version, and submitted for consultation, with a view to improving and enriching its content.



More information: