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LLRC conference: curriculum and course design for language teaching

Friday 23 June 2023
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

In higher education, curricula and courses are often not cast in stone. They need adaptations regularly, for instance because another course in the curriculum changes. In secondary education, changes are less common. However, in the Netherlands, a curriculum reform is planned to be implemented in the next years, also concerning foreign languages. A question that arises in this context is how reforms are best effectuated, and how courses in existing curricula can be changed?

On June 23rd, 2023, LLRC will organize a one-day conference on precisely this topic. We are very happy to announce that Dr. Marjon Tammenga-Helmantel (SLO) has agreed to give the keynote lecture. She is a specialist in foreign language teaching and currently involved in facilitating the process of curriculum reform in secondary education. Her keynote will start the day with a brief overview about curriculum development at national, school and classroom levels. Concrete tools to facilitate curriculum changes or adaptations in foreign language education will be discussed.


Early bird registration has started (ends June 2nd). Please fill out this registration form.


Please find the program including all abstracts here.

Keynote lecture: Awareness and support: facilitating foreign language curriculum development

Given by Dr. Marjon Tammenga-Helmantel (SLO). 

Curriculum development does not occur in isolation. It is an interactive process that takes place at national, school, and classroom levels. For instance, national regulations, teaching materials, and school policy influence the choices teachers make in their classrooms. For national curriculum reforms to be successful, collaboration between these levels and its key actors is essential (Nieveen et al., 2022).

International comparisons show that schools and teachers in Dutch secondary education have ample opportunity for site-specific curriculum choices. Teachers seem to be only partially aware of their autonomy and many teachers rely on textbooks in their teaching practice. In fact, teaching materials are often the curriculum (e.g. Guerrettaz & Johnston, 2013; Tammenga-Helmantel, 2018). However, some schools and teachers fully exploit their ‘curricular freedom’.

Curriculum awareness and support for teachers are key factors in any type of curriculum development, not only during a national curriculum reform (Nieveen et al., 2022). This is also voiced by Dutch foreign language teachers indicating that they need professional exchange, time, and teaching materials for new curricular content like language awareness and multilingualism (Kaal, 2018; Van Beuningen & Polišenská, 2019; Van den Broek, 2020).

In this keynote, I will present various tools to support foreign language teachers in deliberate curriculum development, both in secondary and in tertiary education. These help teachers to make curriculum choices that suit their teaching context and students. On the one hand, these tools focus on awareness raising and shared sense-making. On the other hand, they include concrete tools for lesson preparation, for instance when implementing CEFR or paying attention to multilingualism.

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