Pluralistic Approaches to Languages in the Curriculum: The Case of French-speaking Switzerland, Spain and Austria

Petra Gilliyard Daryai-Hansen, Brigitte Gerber, Ildiko Lőrincz, Michaela Haller, Olga Ivanova, Hans-Jürgen Krumm, Hans H. Reich

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


While the idea of plurilingual competence is widely established theoretically and promoted in European language policies, it is not implemented in educational practice, where separate plurilingualism is still dominant. The idea of languages as autonomous entities is e.g. reflected in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scales. The paper introduces to the Framework of Reference for Pluralistic Approaches to Languages and Cultures (FREPA). Pluralistic approaches use teaching and learning activities involving several (i.e. more than one) varieties of language, e.g. the language(s) of schooling, foreign languages, regional, minority and migration languages. FREPA thereby offers tools to put the theoretical insights and language policies into practice. The article illustrates how pluralistic approaches, in recent years, have been used in the process of large-scale national and regional curriculum renewals in Austria, French-speaking Switzerland and Spain. By promoting plurilingual education on the macro-level and including languages that are still neglected in most European curricula, these countries make a key contribution to diminishing discrepancy between theory and practice. The three cases manifest the context specificity of language-planning decisions and support supra-level comparisons by defining the specific aims and contents of plurilingual education. Furthermore, the curricular implementations offer the possibility to discuss the implementation in actual classroom practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Multilingualism
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)109-127
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015

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