Developing Early Foreign Language Learning and Purilingual Education – University of Copenhagen

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Developing Early Foreign Language Learning and Plurilingual Education – Building Bridges Between Theory and Practice

International conference 24 May 2018 organized by the Consortium for language and subject matter didactics in primary and lower secondary school.

As in most European countries, first and second foreign languages are now also introduced earlier in Denmark and the Nordic/Baltic countries in general. Research is inconclusive of the effect of this policy, but there is a general agreement that age should not be regarded as the only significant variable, but rather, as one of a number of variables to take into consideration, and that an earlier start requires highly skilled teachers. Early language learning must be carefully planned taking the age of the learners and their linguistic resources into consideration. 

The international conference is interested in investigating the following questions: How can we conceptualize and further develop earlier foreign language learning and teaching, and contribute to continuing professional development within the field? How can we integrate a plurilingual perspective within the context of early foreign language learning and teaching, taking language diversity e.g. the pupils’ first languages into account? How can we in early foreign language learning build bridges between the languages taught at school? How can we build bridges between theory and practice designing teaching materials and teacher education modules? How can we take student voices into account in order to further develop the field? How can we contribute to the societal discussions on early foreign language learning and plurilingual education?

The purpose of the conference is to bring together Danish, Nordic/Baltic and international researchers, teacher trainers and teachers, and to present and discuss the final results which have been achieved in the course of two recent projects: Learning Foreign Languages at an Early Age – A New Approach with Emphasis on Plurilingualism, coordinated by The Consortium for Language and Subject Matter Didactics in Primary and Lower Secondary School and financed by A.P. Møller og Hustru Chastine McKinney Møllers Fond til Almene Formaal and the Municipality of Copenhagen and the Nordplus Horizontal project Developing Early Foreign Language Learning and Teaching in the Nordic/Baltic Context.

The official language of the conference is English. However, selected workshops and presentations will be held in a Scandinavian language.

Conference programme

See conference programme (pdf).

Invited speakers

Danièle Moore, Simon Frasier University, Canada

Janet Enever, University of Reading, United Kingdom / Umeå University, Sweden

Eva Lindgren, University of Umeå, Sweden 

Simon Borg, University of Leeds, UK 

Birgit Henriksen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark 

Petra Daryai-Hansen, University of Copenhagen/University College Copenhagen, Denmark 


See abstracts. (pdf)

Conference publication

The conference publication, Developing Early Foreign Language Learning and Plurilingual Education – Building Bridges Between Theory and Practice, will be published online, at the end of 2018 by The Consortium for Language and Subject Matter Didactics in Primary and Lower Secondary School, University of Copenhagen. More information will follow.

Furthermore, the abstracts will be made available at the conference website.

Registration and fees

Registration for the conference opens in January. The registration fee includes conference materials, lunch and refreshments.

Registration fee: 750 DKK/100€

Student: 300 DKK/40 €
Student status must be documented. Contact the conference organizers at for more information.

Conference dinner 18-22: 750 DKK/100 €

Register for the conference here.


Plenary and invited speaker sessions take place in room 23.0.50. All other presentations take place in building 27.

Understanding the facility numbers: 23. (= building number) 0. (0=ground floor, 1= first floor) 17 (= room number)

Finding the buildings

Where to stay

There are many centrally located hotels in Copenhagen. Here is a selection that may be convenient for your visit, within a variety in expenses.

Hotel SP34
SP34 is a modern boutique hotel located in the center of Copenhagen with the Latin Quarter on one side and H.C. Ørsteds park on the other. There is a 5 min. walking distance to Nørreport Metro station (M1, M2) and many restaurant and shops close by. Rates €220-300.

Hotel Ibsen 
Ibsen is a modern city hotel located within a walking distance to Nørreport Metro station (M1, M2). It is located in a neighborhood with lots of bars, shops and restaurants. A standard rate incl. breakfast buffet is €160-200.

Wake-Up Copenhagen 
Wake-up offers a comfortable stay in convenient locations on a budget.

There are two hotels located in Copenhagen, and we recommend Wake-up Borgergade, a 10 min. walk to Kongens Nytorv Metro station (M1, M2). Rates from €70-120.

Cabinn hotels 
Cabinn Scandinavia is centrally located with a 5 min. walking distance to Forum Metro station (M1, M2). Cabinn Metro is located right outside the inner city but very close to Ørestaden Metro (M1). Rates from €70.

Note: Many hotels are busy at this time of the year, so it might be a good idea to book as early as possible.


Project manager:
Petra Daryai-Hansen, University of Copenhagen/ University College Copenhagen

Administrative project coordinators:
Hanne Thomsen, University College Copenhagen 
Anne Gregersen, University College Copenhagen 

For further information about the conference, contact: