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LANGUAGE EDUCATION POLICY PROFILE AUSTRIA

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In the same way, the decision to participate in the process of developing profiles of language and language education policy, has ? on the one hand - grown

LANGUAGE EDUCATION POLICY PROFILE:

    COUNTRY REPORT AUSTRIA

Language and language education policies:

    Austria‟s present situation & topical issues

    LANGUAGE EDUCATION POLICY PROFILE

    AN INITIATIVE OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE

LANGUAGE EDUCATION POLICY PROFILE:

    COUNTRY REPORT AUSTRIA

Language and language education policies:

    Austria‟s present situation & topical issues

    Edited by:

    Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture

    &

    Federal Ministry for Science and Research

    Austria

    2007

    LANGUAGE EDUCATION POLICY PROFILE

    AN INITIATIVE OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE

    (Rev. August 2007)

Overall coordination: Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Culture (BMBWK) and

    Austrian Centre for Language Competence (ÖSZ)

    Steering group: Rudolf de Cillia, Dagmar Heindler, Hanspeter Huber, Elisabeth Jantscher,

    Hans-Jürgen Krumm

    Content coordinators and academic advisors: Rudolf de Cillia, Hans-Jürgen Krumm Editorial team: Carla Carnevale, Rudolf de Cillia, Elisabeth Jantscher, Hans-Jürgen Krumm

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Sincere thanks go to all authors and to everyone who answered questions or otherwise

    contributed to this Country Report Austria. Their names can be found in the Appendix (pp.

    116-118).

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Translation: Volker Horn (vhorn@pze.at). The terminology follows Eurybase Eurydice‟s

    information data bank on educational systems in Europe and other pertinent Eurydice products and information.

    Layout: Stenner&Kordik

    Version dated February 26th, 2007

    Approved by Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur and Bundesministerium für

    Wissenschaft und Forschung (February, 28th, 2007)

    Please note that this Country Report was written in 2006, under the direction of

    Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Kultur (BMBWK, the Federal Ministry fort Education, Science and Culture); references in the text therefore follow rules of procedure

    obtaining in 2006. In January 2007, the agenda of Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Kultur (BMBWK) was divided between the Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur (Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture), and the

    Bundesministerium für Wissenschaft und Forschung (Federal Ministry for Science and Research), by a new federal government. Since then, both Ministries have shared

    responsibility for the coordination and approbation of this Country Report: written in the

    framework of the Austrian Language Education Policy Profiling process.

    ? Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture (BMUKK), Federal Ministry for Science

    and Research (BMWF) and Austrian Centre for Language Competence (ÖSZ), 2007

    Language Education Policy Profile: Country Report Austria

    Table of Contents Page

PREFACE .................................................................................................................. 7

    PART I: Austria’s present situation

    1. BACKGROUND INFORMATION REGARDING AUSTRIA’S POPULATION .................... 9 1.1 Demographic data ........................................................................................................................... 9 1.2 Languages used informally, by Austria’s resident population ................................................ 10 1.3 Austria’s geographic position, and neighbouring countries .................................................... 11 2. BACKGROUND INFORMATION REGARDING AUSTRIA’S EDUCATION SYSTEM .....12 2.1 Institutional responsibilities and administration ....................................................................... 12 2.2 Educational opportunities in the Austrian system of education .............................................. 13 2.2.1 Pre-school education ................................................................................................................ 13 2.2.2 Compulsory schooling .............................................................................................................. 14 2.2.3 Post-compulsory schooling ...................................................................................................... 14 2.3 Tertiary education ......................................................................................................................... 15 2.4 Adult education ............................................................................................................................. 17 2.5 Initial training of teaching staff .................................................................................................... 17 2.5.1 Federal institutions for kindergarten pedagogy (Bundesanstalten für

     Kindergartenpädagogik, BAKIP) .............................................................................................. 17 2.5.2 Teacher training colleges (Pädagogische Akademien, PÄDAK) ............................................. 17 2.5.3 Universities ............................................................................................................................... 18 2.5.4 Adult education ......................................................................................................................... 18 3. INFORMATION ON AUSTRIAN LANGUAGE POLICY ...................................................19 3.1 Laws and regulations governing languages .............................................................................. 19 3.1.1 German is the official language of the Republic of Austria ...................................................... 19 3.1.2 Austrian nationality law and Integrationsvereinbarung („integration agreement„) .................... 19 3.1.3 Status and support of regional and minority languages ........................................................... 20 3.2 Language policy: developments, main documents and institutional bodies in Austria ....... 23 Language Education Policy Profile: Country Report Austria 3

4. LANGUAGE LEARNING AND HOW IT IS ORGANISED IN THE AUSTRIAN

     EDUCATIONSYSTEM .....................................................................................................27 4.1 Chief language policy regulations ............................................................................................... 27 4.1.1 German is the language of instruction and a school subject.................................................... 27 4.1.2 German and the status of „regular„ and „irregular„ pupils.......................................................... 28 4.2 Mother tongue teaching in migrants’ languages ....................................................................... 29 4.3 Minority languages as languages of instruction ........................................................................ 30 4.3.1 Österreichische Gebärdensprache (ÖGS): Austrian Sign Language ...................................... 30 4.3.2 Languages of Austria‟s autochthonous minorities .................................................................... 31 4.4 Modern foreign language teaching .............................................................................................. 33 4.4.1 Pre-school foreign language teaching and the choice of languages ....................................... 33 4.4.2 The organisation of foreign language teaching at Austria‟s schools Primary education .......... 34 4.4.3 Languages chosen as modern foreign languages at Austrian schools .................................... 39 4.4.4 The organisation of modern foreign language teaching in the post-secondary and tertiary

     sectors, and language choice ................................................................................................... 42 4.5 Teacher training and education ................................................................................................... 45 4.5.1 Initial training for would-be teachers......................................................................................... 45 4.5.2 Further and in-service training of teachers ............................................................................... 49 4.6 Contact points or interfaces ......................................................................................................... 49 4.6.1 Transition from pre-primary education to primary stage .......................................................... 49 4.6.2 Transition from primary stage to lower secondary stage (a contact point) .............................. 49 4.7 Curricula ......................................................................................................................................... 51 4.8 Assessing pupils’ achievements ................................................................................................. 53 5. INNOVATIONS IN MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGE LEARNING ..................................54 5.1 Communicative methods in the MFL classroom ....................................................................... 55 5.2 MFL as a medium of instruction (CLIL) ....................................................................................... 55 5.3 Early language learning (ELL) at primary school ...................................................................... 56 5.4 Educational standards in modern foreign languages ............................................................... 57 5.5 Promotion and networking of innovations in Austria ............................................................... 58 6. LANGUAGE LEARNING OUTSIDE THE FORMAL EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM ..............59 6.1 Foreign language needs in the Austrian world of business ..................................................... 59 6.2 The organisation of modern foreign language teaching in adult education ........................... 60 6.3 Initiatives launched by companies and associations ................................................................ 61 7. MEASURES AND INITIATIVES TO CREATE A LANGUAGE-FRIENDLY

     ENVIRONMENT IN AUSTRIA ..........................................................................................63

    Language Education Policy Profile: Country Report Austria 4

PART II: Multilingualism and diversification in language education:

     implementing European measures and programmes in Austria

    8. AUSTRIA’S PARTICIPATION IN INITIATIVES LAUNCHED BY THE COUNCIL OF

     EUROPE AND THE EUROPEAN UNION ........................................................................69

    9. AUSTRIAN AREAS OF EMPHASIS REGARDING MULTILINGUALISM AND

     DIVERSIFICATION IN LANGUAGE EDUCATION ..........................................................72 9.1 Implementing CEFR, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in

     Austria ............................................................................................................................................ 72 9.2 The European Language Portfolio (ELP) .................................................................................... 72 9.3 Curricula ......................................................................................................................................... 74 9.4 Using a foreign language as a medium of instruction (Fremdsprache als Arbeitssprache:

     FSAA) / Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) ..................................................... 74 9.5 Making best use of working results of ECML and their dissemination ................................... 75

PART III: National areas of emphasis and special issues

    10. PRE-SCHOOL LANGUAGE EDUCATION ....................................................................78 10.1 Early Children’s Education and Care (ECEC) in Austria ......................................................... 78 10.1.1 Care provided by crèches and kindergartens (and by after school care centres) ................. 78 10.2 The legal framework; questions of administration .................................................................. 79 10.3 Initial training, status, pay; children to staff ratio .................................................................... 79 10.4 Quality assurance ........................................................................................................................ 80 10.4.1 An all-Austrian framework curriculum..................................................................................... 80 10.4.2 Pedagogical philosophy ......................................................................................................... 80 10.4.3 Research ................................................................................................................................ 81 10.5 Issues for discussion .................................................................................................................. 81 10.5.1 An all-Austrian legal framework for kindergarten education................................................... 81 10.5.2 Awareness raising .................................................................................................................. 81 10.5.3 Training ................................................................................................................................... 82 10.5.4 Recognising and promoting linguistic diversity ...................................................................... 82 10.5.5 In-service training: improving and assuring quality ................................................................ 83 10.5.6 Working with parents .............................................................................................................. 83 10.5.7 Research and development ................................................................................................... 83 Language Education Policy Profile: Country Report Austria 5

    11. EARLY LANGUAGE LEARNING AT PRIMARY SCHOOL ...........................................84 11.1 Main points ................................................................................................................................... 84 11.2 Issues for discussion .................................................................................................................. 84 11.2.1 Language awareness cultural awareness of primary school teachers ............................... 84 11.2.2 Integrated language learning methods and didactics .......................................................... 85 11.2.3 Diversifying language provision in pre-school and primary school language learning:

     didactics for plurilingualism .................................................................................................... 86 11.2.4 Improving quality in primary language teaching ..................................................................... 87 12. IN TRANSITION: CONTACT POINTS OR INTERFACES ..............................................89 12.1 Contact points or interfaces ....................................................................................................... 89 12.1.1 The role of the Council of Europe and the national curricula ................................................. 89 12.1.2 Evaluation results in the field of „continuity of language learning„ .......................................... 90 12.2 Issues for discussion .................................................................................................................. 90 12.2.1 A multiethnic und plurilingual Austria ..................................................................................... 90 12.2.2 Information deficits at contact points or interfaces ................................................................. 91 12.2.3 Different previous skills and knowledge: a real challenge...................................................... 92 12.2.4 Training ................................................................................................................................... 92 12.2.5 Assuring continuity of language teaching ............................................................................... 93 12.2.6 Textbooks ............................................................................................................................... 93 13. INITIAL AND IN-SERVICE TRAINING OF TEACHING STAFF .....................................94 13.1 Basic considerations .................................................................................................................. 94 13.2 Issues for discussion .................................................................................................................. 95 13.2.1 Questions relevant across schools ......................................................................................... 95 13.2.2 Specific questions relating to individual stages of training ................................................... 100 13.2.3 Language teachers in adult education, at tertiary colleges of education and universities ... 103

APPENDICES

    ABBREVIATIONS .............................................................................................................. 106 BIBLIOGRAPHY ................................................................................................................ 110 AUTHORS ......................................................................................................................... 115 INFORMANTS AND CONTRIBUTORS ............................................................................. 116 MEMBER ORGANISATIONS IN THE AUSTRIAN LANGUAGE COMMITTEE (ÖSKO) (AS OF DECEMBER 2006) ................................................................................................ 119 STATISTICAL TABLES ..................................................................................................... 120 Language Education Policy Profile: Country Report Austria 6

Preface

    More than once, collaboration with the Council of Europe has provided new input to Austrian

    languages policy, just as, on the other hand, Austria has actively contributed to numerous

    European projects, and continues to do so.

    In the same way, the decision to participate in the process of developing profiles of language

    and language education policy, has on the one hand - grown out of this long-standing cooperation with the Council of Europe: on the other, that decision may be seen as an

    instrument to help design the Austrian educational landscape regarding languages and

    language learning. Indeed, the making of this Country Report therefore set its sights on

    involving as many stake-holder institutions and persons as possible, as contributors to

    initiate a process of debate even before the report was finalised, and to facilitate networking

    between institutions and projects. This Profile therefore was not written by the Austrian

    Ministry of Education alone, but was developed in discussions and debates led by a core

    team of specialists. The Österreichisches Sprachenkomitee (ÖSKO: The Austrian Language

    Committee) was included in this process right from the start: with its representatives of 31

    member institutions (as of January, 2007), ÖSKO includes the entire range of language

    policy makers, indeed everyone to do with language provision. Members of ÖSKO were

    requested to contribute information. At a workshop held in October, 2006, first versions of

    Parts I and II were discussed in a wide-ranging debate, and the groundwork was laid for Part

    III of this report. Finally, ÖSKO discussed the completed text of this Policy Profile, in

    December, 2006.

    Following the guidelines set by the Council of Europe, this Austrian Country Report has three

    parts:

    Part I (Chapters 1 to 7) gives centre-stage position to the present state of affairs as regards

    language policy and language teaching in Austria. Based on this general picture, Part II

    (Chapters 8 and 9) focuses on those developments and schemes that can be seen to be

    specific reactions to European language initiatives, or ways of participating in programmes

    initiated by the Council of Europe or the European Union. Lastly, Part III (Chapters 10 to 13)

    concentrates on three areas where in the Austrian perspective there is a particular need

    for action (see „Issues for discussion„): that is where suggestions from outside will be

    particularly welcome, in the process of profile building.

    The whole process of creating a profile, then, contributes to

    ? networking between initiatives and actions, thereby achieving more coherence

    ? giving language policy agenda more of a public forum, with a concomitant revaluation

    of everything to do with the matter of language, and of languages

    ? laying the groundwork, in Austria, for the development of an overall concept of

    language policy, with aspects of quality as a first priority such as making the most of

    this country‟s linguistic diversity, and the step-by-step creation of individual

    multilingual skills.

    Language Education Policy Profile: Country Report Austria 7

PART I

Austria’s present situation

Language Education Policy Profile: Country Report Austria 8

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