This paper arises from the work of the LINEE research network (http://www.linee.org on language education policy and practice in three European countries (England,Hungary and Italy). The paper first examines different educational ideologies which underpin the development of European language education policies, noting the increased reflection of competence and outcomes-based ideologies in the discourse of documents such as the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and tensions between these and other more traditional humanistic educational discourses. The recent evolution of language education policy in each national context is examined in detail. Secondly, observational case studies of foreign language classroom practice documented in the three settings are examined, to clarify to what extent they reflect current competence-oriented discourses, or other more progressivist and classical humanist education traditions. Conclusions are drawn about the interactions between European level and national level declarations about language education, and their influence on local student experience
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