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European Centre for Modern Languages

Step 1: Planning

The materials in this section will help you to become more aware of the difference between everyday language and the language used in school as well as of the importance of language in subject learning. You will also find here a list of references if you want to read more.

1. Introduction

  • Increasing number of migrants in Europe has challenged the educational system.
  • Education is important for inclusion and participation in society.
  • Language of schooling refers to the language through which students acquire knowledge at school.
  • There is a language dimension in every subject.

Migration rates in Europe have been increasing considerably during the last years (OECD 2017a). Due to this, many European countries have opened their borders to asylum seekers and refugees, which has resulted in a growing number of people in need of a job and tuition in many European countries.

Several studies have demonstrated a high correlation between the probability of getting a job and the level of education. The OECD Handbook for Internationally Comparative Education Statistics (2017b) states that


Countries see a successful education system as a vital element of their social and economic development. Human capital has long been identified as a key factor in battling unemployment and low pay and there is also robust evidence that it is an important determinant of economic growth. Moreover, there is emerging evidence that it is associated with a wide range of non-economic benefits, including improvements in health, stronger civic and social engagement, and a greater sense of well-being. This introduction presents the purpose of this handbook, the targeted audience and how this publication is structured.


Read more about the language of schooling…