The European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) is an institution of the Council of Europe based in Graz, Austria. Its mission is to encourage excellence and innovation in language teaching and to support its member states in the implementation of effective language education policies.

The ECML focuses on the practice of the learning and teaching of languages and supports programme-related networks and research projects. It also promotes dialogue and exchange among those active in the field and trains multipliers (people who share and promote ECML practices at local level).

In cooperation with leading European specialists in the field, the ECML initiates and coordinates four-year programmes which provide the framework for innovative projects and activities. These projects are embedded in ongoing policy developments and have addressed key challenges in language learning. Previous programmes examined ‘Languages for social cohesion’ (2004-2007), ‘Empowering language professionals’ (2008-2011), ‘Learning through languages’ (2012-2015), and ‘Languages at the heart of learning’ (2016-2019). The theme of the current ECML programme, lasting from 2020 to 2023, is ‘Inspiring innovation in language education: changing contexts, evolving competences’.

Before each four-year cycle begins, the ECML issues a call for proposals from experienced professionals in language education for projects in their area of expertise. Individuals can apply as project coordinators if they already have a project idea, or as international team members if they have the expertise in one of the relevant fields but not a specific project idea. The outcome of the project should be resources for teachers and other experts in the field of language teaching and learning.

The ECML also offers traineeships, lasting in general 6 months, twice a year. According to their field of interest applicants can choose the main area in which they would like to be involved: organisation of events and meetings, documentation and resources, the Centre’s website, and finances and general administration. Traineeships are aimed at recent graduates belonging to or studying in one of the ECML member states. Application deadlines are 28 February for the period July to December, and 31 August for the period January to June of the following year. 

For further information on all ECML activities, please visit the ECML website. You can also contact the Foundation Tempus, the national contact point, at