The ‘English as a Lingua Franca Practices for Inclusive Multilingual Classrooms (ENRICH)’ project puts high priority on the promotion of teacher competences which are necessary for responding to and building upon the diversity found in today’s multilingual classrooms across Europe. To this end, it has developed a high-quality Continuous Professional Development (CPD) infrastructure aiming at empowering English language teachers (ELTs) to integrate in multilingual classrooms the current role of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), i.e. as the most frequently employed means of international and intercultural communication.
More specifically, ENRICH aims at promoting what has been termed as ‘ELF awareness’ (Sifakis, 2019; Sifakis and Bayyurt, 2018). In short, this concept draws on current thinking about ELF as a “multilingual franca” (Jenkins, 2015, p.73) which, for the time being at least, is “beyond description” (ibid., p.55). ELF awareness broadly refers to the appropriate integration of insights gained from ELF research to all areas surrounding teaching and learning, including curriculum and syllabus design, instructional materials development, language assessment and teacher education. ELF-aware pedagogy, which is what ENRICH focuses on, refers to “the process of engaging with ELF research and developing one’s own understanding of the ways in which it can be integrated in one’s classroom context, through a continuous process of critical reflection, design, implementation and evaluation of instructional activities that reflect and localize one’s interpretation of the ELF construct” (Sifakis and Bayyurt, 2018, p. 459).
On this basis, the objectives of ENRICH concerning CPD refer to the following areas:
- ELF (E of ENRICH): promotion of up-to-date knowledge of ELF-related issues, with particular focus on the practical relevance of ELF to multilingualism, social inclusion and the communicative and other transversal skills required nowadays.
- Networking (N): promotion of collaboration and critical thinking skills through constructive sharing of the diversity of ideas and experiences of ELTs from different countries and contexts, whereby they can both identify common issues and see their own concerns from different perspectives. In this way, the project has both particular regional and general European dimensions of relevance.
- Refugees and other migrants (R): promotion of skills for planning, managing and coordinating teaching which integrates ELF in multilingual classrooms involving especially this disadvantaged group of learners.
- Innovative language teaching practices (I): promotion of skills for using translanguaging, Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), Task-based Learning (TBL) and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to foster the learners’ communicative and other transversal skills by integrating ELF in ELT.
- Culture (C): promotion of an awareness of the social and pedagogical value of European Cultural Heritage and of skills for using it as the content for translanguaging, CLIL, TBL and ICT integration to help learners, especially those from migrant backgrounds, gain a sense of belonging to the local and the wider European community through ELF.
- High-quality CPD (H): modernisation of CPD by employing competence-oriented tasks, mentoring, collaborative, reflective and ICT-based learning, and, when appropriate, by linking CPD to Initial Teacher Education (ITE), as regards ELF-related issues not sufficiently covered therein (e.g. in Phonology and Pragmatics modules).