The term “mediation” is not new to foreign language teachers in Lithuania. Mediation skills have been
discussed for more than a decade by language teaching professionals as they are an important part of
communicative competence in our multilingual and multicultural world. This term has become particularly
relevant this year, as the Lithuanian National Curriculum for Foreign Languages (which is being currently
renewed) places a strong emphasis on mediation.
LAKMA, whose mission is to contribute to professional development of English language teachers,
organized an international conference on the topic of mediation which took place on 22-10-2021. The aim of
the conference was to enhance teachers’ understanding of mediation and to suggest ways how to develop
mediation skills at different levels of education. The LAKMA Board was able to bring together expert
lecturers who presented a comprehensive idea of mediation and a wide range of examples of activities
designed to develop mediation skills.
Dr. Maria Stathopoulou (Head of the METLA project at the Council of Europe’s Center for Modern
Languages) gave an overview of how mediation is highlighted in the updated Common European Framework
of Reference for Languages (CEFR Companion Volume 2020) and introduced practical examples of
mediation activities that will be presented in the online publication of the ECML project METLA later this
year. The resources will also be available to Lithuanian teachers.
Dave Spencer (Macmillan Education, author of “Gateway” coursebook) revealed how mediation activities
can help develop students’ social and emotional competencies, cooperation skills, a sense of empathy and a
positive attitude towards resolving disagreements constructively. This is especially important in today’s
schools, which have a community of students of different nationalities, races, religions, cultures, beliefs etc.
Ania Kolbuszewska (Pearson Education) discussed how mediation improves linguistic communication,
where language is the most important tool to help other people understand our thoughts, and explained how
mediation activities, such as teamwork or discussions, can be integrated into the process of education and
how they can help students use a foreign language successfully outside school, in real life situations.
Beata Valungevičienė (Lithuanian National Agency for Education) presented the mediation component in the
renewed National Curriculum and gave recommendations for curriculum implementation. The speaker
emphasized how the general principles of mediation defined at the level of the Council of Europe have been
adapted to match the educational context of Lithuania.
This online conference brought together a large number of English language professionals seeking to develop
their professional competencies. The conference was attended by teachers of general education schools,
lecturers and students of higher education institutions, as well as regular participants of LAKMA conferences
from higher education institutions in Belarus and Russia.
We are glad to know that the events of LAKMA provide an excellent opportunity for English language
specialists to improve their professional qualifications and discuss the most relevant issues of English
language education. We thank the members of the LAKMA Board who organized the conference and the
LAKMA partners who contributed to the success of this event.
Links to video presentations:
1_Dr. MARIA STATHOPOULU “Demystifying mediation in language education: approaches, challenges
2_DAVE SPENCER “Stronger together: Learning to collaborate and collaborating to learn”
3_ ANIA KOLBUSZEWSKA “Mediation: the what and the why“
4_ DAVE SPENCER “In my shoes: Developing empathy through mediation”
5_ ANIA KOLBUSZEWSKA “Mediation: the how“
6_BEATA VALUNGEVIČIENĖ „Mediacija atnaujinamose Lietuvos bendrojo ugdymo Užsienio kalbų