Stefka Kitanova reports on the excellent English Trust for European Education conference, hosted by the European School in Culham, June 12th 2009.

It is a long way from Sofia to Culham but it was worth it. Not only because it was near Oxford and one can enjoy the atmosphere, but also because of the fruitful and useful work and contacts. The conference was organized by ETEE (English Trust for European Education) and supported by NPower and Macmillan. Hosted by the European School - Culham.

After the traditional welcome, orientation, introduction and housekeeping the floor was given to Professor Steve Cowley Director of UK Atomic Energy Authority, Culham. His plenary dedicated to 'Shaping a European curriculum as a window on the world' argued for the necessity of European schools for the life-long moving society. And it was proved by visiting some lessons and seeing the results of this school's work: students aged 15 speaking several foreign languages fluently!

The second plenary given by Kate Green (Educational Consultant and Senior Adviser) described the language policy reform and strategy in UK as well as the contribution of bilingual education.

The afternoon was organized into workshops dealing with European and other Baccalaureates; Multilingual Europe and ELT/EAL for Bilingual Education; Cross Curriculum Language Learning; The Language Ladder and the Common European Framework; Bilingual Education and an International Primary Curriculum.

The core question in the Multilingual Europe and ELT/EAL for Bilingual Education workshop (led by Paddy Carpenter, Dr Charlotte Franson and Simon Murrison) was: "Can every teacher could be a teacher of language(s)". And the participants decided "Yes" as teaching a subject one practically teaches the language of that subject and if you're teaching in a foreign language you teach the subject of the language in the L2 as well as the L1. The workshop was very useful due to the variety of experience and expertise shared.

The third plenary by Dr Caroline Ellwood gave an idea and an image about the global context of the intercultural future, with some really fascinating facts giving food for thought.

A contribution to the enjoyment of the conference was also the warm atmosphere inside the school (despite the wind outside…) due to the hospitality of the Director of European School, Simon Sharron, the organizers John Sayer, Martina Kaupp-Roberts and Angus Roberts. And the chef of course!

Stefka Kitanova