The fourth intellectual output will develop a policy framework for Digital Citizenship Education within the specific domain of Foreign Language Education. At the moment, the European Digital Citizenship Education framework is modelled broadly and generally as a large-scale pedagogic orientation, while it lacks transfer and application to specific subjects, including the domain of foreign language teaching and learning.
How will the policy framework be modelled?
To achieve this innovation, the project will construct and model the missing policy framework that extrapolates Digital Citizenship Education at large to Foreign Language Education in particular. For this purpose, we will use the existing European supranational descriptions of Digital Citizenship Education as a sound and substantial basis, and then layer a FLE-specific view onto these descriptions.
Each domain of the European DCE Handbook will be reflected and expanded in light of the requirements, themes and objectives typically pursued in FLE. For example, the domains of ePresence, communication and mutual understanding will be envisaged in a competence-oriented view of using foreign languages and experiencing intercultural encounters digitally and online. Furthermore, the notions of creativity and media literacy can ideally be reconstructed by focusing on aesthetic, literary and multimodal channels of meaning-making. Also, FLE relies strongly on the dimension of content and topics, which will result in a critical reflection of typical FLE topics such as diversity, migration, sustainability and social transformation in light of digitalization processes underway in current societies.
Typically, available policy frameworks (e.g. the CEFR or the DigCompEdu) serve as a guideline for teaching and learning in a specific domain, making it easier and more accessible for practitioners and stakeholders to become active designers of learning and teaching in this domain. In subscribing to this general value of policy frameworks, the policy framework developed within this project will contain content and competence descriptions for implementing Digital Citizenship Education in Foreign Language Education. These descriptions will be articulated for three progressive levels of complexity and proficiency (e.g. moving from finding information on sustainability online to assessing the reliability of a digital source to constructing an information piece on sustainability by using collaborative digital media, and then sharing it online while managing incoming digital comments). They are rooted in the conceptual and empirical research carried out for this project by all participating project partners, including the sharing of best-practices, the teacher survey on DCE as well as the piloting and evaluation of the open educational resources and the teacher training package.
Why do we need the policy framework?
This policy framework will be useful across Europe as a compass for national, federal, regional and local implementations of Digital Citizenship Education in Foreign Language Education. It aims to provide a substantial reference for various stakeholders involved in updating and transforming Foreign Language Education in view of Digital Citizenship Education.
The policy framework – constructed as a European policy framework - is designed to be useful for all member states, including their Ministries of Education, federal and regional educational authorities, and local school boards. Based on the policy framework, they can revisit and reconceptualise national and federal curricula as well as school syllabi by aligning DCE with FLE as educational innovation.
Furthermore, the policy framework will be useful for a larger constituency of professionals, including teachers, teacher trainers, educational researchers, or material and coursebook writers, who can find valuable guidance for their diverse practices in this framework.
To facilitate access, transfer and implementation, the policy framework will come with exemplary teaching-learning interventions and ideas that illustrate how DCE can be implemented and localized in the practice of FLE in individual countries and their educational contexts.
The diverse European perspectives that our project consortium represents will be put to productive use for achieving this transfer to local contexts across the continent (and possibly beyond, too). Ultimately, the educational policy generated here will yield the lacking supranational European guideline for implementing Digital Citizenship Education in the specific subject-domain of Foreign Language Education.