Have any doubts about the terms used throughout the project?

You can find all of the definitions on the terms used. In case you don’t, feel free to reach out so we can add the missing terms!

Active citizenship

Active citizenship is a term “frequently used to describe citizens that engage in a broad range of activities that promote and sustain democracy. These actions include civil society activities such as protesting and collecting petitions, community activities such as volunteering, and conventional political engagement such as voting or campaigning for elections. In addition to participation, there is a normative value element to active citizenship. Active citizenship usually refers to participation that requires respect for others and that does not contravene human rights and democracy. This additional element is used to highlight that participation per se can lead to or be a part of nondemocratic activities that can create harm to certain social groups.” (Hoskins, 2014). See also “activism”, “critical citizenship” and “education for sustainable development”.


Activism implies taking individual and collective actions to disrupt the status quo and enact transformative practices. Activism are all actions that work towards sustainable systems for deepening understanding, mitigating conflict and promoting peace within communities and oppressed groups. It involves a growing sense of agency and empowerment of activist members to move implement their ideas. See also “social activism”.


Border, influenced by synergies between geopolitical, historical and sociocultural variables, border is a complex and polyssemic concept that results in an ideological and symbolic manifestation of human representation about spaces (e.g. nation-state, regional) or social systems (e.g. languages, cultures) seen with a demarcation “line” between them. That “line” can be lived and felt as an opportunity for multiple encounters where diversity is a potentiality for the human existence, or as a division where tensions arise.

Citizen Science

Citizen science is the practice of public participation in scientific research. Emerged as a quest for democratization of science and knowledge, citizen science is now used as a methodological framework for enhancing community engagement and active citizenship in socio-environmental issues.

Citizenship Education

Citizenship education is an educational approach that aims individuals to develop competences that allow them to interact with others, to think critically and to act in a democratic and socially responsible manner, both locally and globally, in order to contribute to building societies that are more inclusive, fair and sustainable. See also “critical citizenship”.

Civic Engagement

Civic engagement means “working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes” (Ehrlich, 2000, p. vi). And further in the same book: “a morally and civically responsible individual recognizes himself or herself as a member of a larger social fabric and therefore considers social problems to be at least partly his or her own; such an individual is willing to see the moral and civic dimensions of issues, to make and justify informed moral and civic judgments, and to take action when appropriate (Ehrlich, 2000, p. xxvi).

Community-Based Learning
Community-based learning refers to a wide variety of instructional methods and programs that educators use to connect what is being taught in schools to their surrounding communities, including local institutions, history, literature, cultural heritage, and natural environments. Community-based learning is also motivated by the belief that all communities have intrinsic educational assets and resources that educators can use to enhance learning experiences for students. (Glossary of Education Reform, http://edglossary.org/community-based-learning/). See also “service learning”.

Critical Citizenship

Critical citizenship involves not only analysing and critiquing the current state of affairs but also actively suggesting and advocating for transformative changes and enhancements. It calls for a deep commitment, conscious awareness, and collective engagement, envisioning a hopeful future rooted in the potential for meaningful change. This concept emphasizes the importance of not just identifying flaws in the system but actively participating in the pursuit of positive transformations, highlighting the belief that individuals, through their collective efforts, can contribute to a better society.

Critical Language Awareness

Critical language awareness includes awareness of linguistic diversity (see “multilingualism”) and the ability to describe it and the recognition that “language conventions and practices are invested with power relations and ideological processes” (Hélot et al., 2018, p. 4; also Fairclough, 1992).


Crowdfunding is generally conceived as an “alternative finance mechanism” (Demattos Guimarães & Maehle, 2022). Thanks to the advancement of new technologies, people can now rely on the support of a large pool of backers worldwide who see the value of their idea and decide to help finance it.


Crowdsourcing refers to “the engagement of individuals who voluntarily offer their knowledge to a knowledge seeker” (Zourou & Ziku, 2022). Crowdsourcing is an umbrella term to describe digitally-enhanced collective actions by several online users.

Education for sustainable development
Education for sustainable development refers to education that enables people to think and act in a sustainable way, understanding the impact of their own actions on the world and making responsible, sustainable decisions. Development is sustainable when people around the world, now and in the future, can live with dignity and fulfil their needs and talents while respecting the Planet. Such a social transformation requires strong institutions, participatory decision-making and conflict resolution, knowledge, technologies and new patterns of behavior. (https://www.bne-portal.de/bne/de/einstieg/was-ist-bne/was-ist-bne_node.html).

Educational Justice

Educational justice refers to equitable educational opportunities and involves a collaborative reimagining of the educational landscape, with a heightened responsiveness to marginalized individuals, namely multilingual individuals of linguistic minorities (see also “linguistic discrimination”, “linguistic equality”, “linguistic justice”, and “multilingualism”). It entails fostering a dialogue within the educational community to create an environment where every student can embark on their academic journey authentically, feeling both supported and secure. True educational justice is achieved when students no longer need to conform to existing norms to attain success, and educators become adept at adapting to the diverse needs of their students. (https://techaccess.org/j-is-for-justice/). According to Giesinger (2007, p. 362), educational justice is ensured “once all children are able to attain a level of scholastic competence that allows them to lead a flourishing life in a modern society”.

Grassroots Innovation

Grassroots innovation refers to bottom-up and community-driven actions that enhance innovative practices and solutions to create a more sustainable society. Grassroots innovation has emerged as a concept in various fields, from energy to climate change, as people become more aware of their power to help improve conditions within and beyond their communities

Intercultural Citizenship Education

Intercultural citizenship education is an educational approach that aims to foster the development of individuals not only as informed and engaged citizens (see “critical citizenship”) but also possessing the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to navigate and contribute positively to a diverse and multicultural society.  It is closely tied to the recognition of cultural diversity, the promotion of intercultural understanding, and the cultivation of values that support active and responsible citizenship in a global context.  It seeks to prepare individuals to be effective and responsible participants in a world characterized by cultural diversity and global interconnections (see also “intercultural integration” and “intercultural competence”).

Intercultural Integration

Intercultural integration is an approach to different social challenges (eg. urban models, education programs, language policies) that foster cohesive and diverse communities by promoting shared values, adapting institutions and services to a diverse citizenry, and creating spaces for positive encounters across cultures and identities. It assumes that diversity is an advantage for both individuals and communities, and it seeks to ensure equality and non-discrimination (see also “intercultural citizenship education” and “intercultural competence”).

Intercultural Competence

Intercultural competence refers to individuals’ ability to interact with people from another countries and cultural backgrounds drawing upon their knowledge about intercultural communication, their attitudes of interest in otherness and their skills in interpreting, relating and discovering, i.e., overcoming cultural difference and enjoying intercultural contact. It involves an intricate set of knowledge, attitudes and skills of interpretation and interaction (Byram, 1997). See also “intercultural citizenship education” and “intercultural integration”).

Linguistic Discrimination

Linguistic discrimination refers to the unjust or prejudicial treatment of individuals based on their language(s) or dialect(s). It occurs when people are stigmatized, marginalized, or disadvantaged because of the way they speak, such as having a minorized accent. This form of discrimination can manifest in various contexts, such as education, employment, housing, social interactions, linguistic surveys, and media representation. Linguistic discrimination is a social justice issue, as it reinforces inequality and can contribute to the marginalization of certain linguistic, usually minority, groups.

Linguistic Equality

Linguistic equality is a principle referring to treating all languages (including language varieties) and their speakers with fairness and impartiality. It involves the belief that all individuals, regardless of their linguistic background, should have equal rights, opportunities, and access to resources (what has been defined in terms of “linguistic human rights”, Skutnabb-Kangas & Phillipson, 1995). Linguistic equality recognizes the inherent value of every language and seeks to prevent discrimination based on linguistic factors (see “linguistic discrimination”). Advocates and activists for linguistic equality emphasize the importance of fostering a society where linguistic diversity is valued and where individuals can freely express themselves in the language of their choice without facing prejudice or disadvantage.

Linguistic Justice

Linguistic justice goes beyond mere linguistic equality (see “linguistic equality”), involving the fair distribution of resources, opportunities, and recognition among different languages and their speakers. Linguistic justice recognizes the historical, social, and economic factors that contribute to linguistic disparities and seeks to address these imbalances. It is rooted in the idea that language should not be a source of inequality or discrimination (see “linguistic discrimination”). It relates to social justice because, as Piller (2016) recalls, it entails thoroughly understanding how linguistic diversity is imbricated in social inequality, domination and imparity.


Multilingualism is a complex term referring both to individual multilingualism (the diversity of linguistic resources of a person, even partial in different languages) and societal multilingualism (the languages present in a social space). Individual multilingualism has also been called “plurilingualism”. From the above, multilingualism can involve various levels of proficiency in each language, from “bits of languages” (Bloomaert, 2010) to basic communication skills and fluency. Multilingualism can manifest in different forms, such as individuals who are fluent in several languages, individuals having receptive skills in different languages (of the same family or not), communities and countries where people commonly speak multiple official languages, and nations with diverse linguistic populations.

Pluralistic approaches to teaching and learning

Pluralistic approaches to teaching and learning are based on activities that include several linguistic and cultural varieties.They develop a concrete concept of the multilingual and multicultural competence promoted by the Common European Framework of Reference for languages. They include Language awareness, Integrated didactic approaches, Intercomprehension between related languages and Intercultural approaches. As explained in the website of the European project FREPA, “the term “pluralistic approaches to languages and cultures” refers to didactic approaches which use teaching / learning activities involving several (i.e. more than one) varieties of languages or cultures. This is to be contrasted with approaches which could be called “singular” in which the didactic approach takes account of only one language or a particular culture, considered in isolation. Singular approaches of this kind were particularly valued when structural and later “communicative” methods were developed and all translation and all resort to the first language was banished from the teaching process.” (https://carap.ecml.at/Pluralisticapproaches/tabid/2681/language/en-GB/Default.aspx).

Plurilingual and Intercultural Education

Plurilingual and intercultural education:  plurilingual education emphasizes the development of proficiency in multiple languages, recognizing the linguistic diversity that individuals may possess. In a plurilingual education approach, individuals are encouraged to develop competence in several languages, which may include not only official languages but also regional, minority, or foreign languages. The goal is to promote a broader and more inclusive understanding of language skills, enabling individuals to navigate and communicate in diverse linguistic environments (see “multilingualism”). Intercultural education focuses on fostering an understanding and appreciation of different cultures. It aims to develop the ability to interact effectively and respectfully with people from diverse cultural background, seeking to promote cultural sensitivity, tolerance, and a global perspective (see “intercultural competence”). Plurilingual and intercultural education are interconnected, as language and culture are closely intertwined. Hence, plurilingual and intercultural education recognize the importance of preparing individuals not only to communicate in multiple languages but also to navigate and appreciate the cultural nuances that come with language use.

Service Learning
Service learning is an experiential educational method in which students engage in activities that address real human, social and environmental needs from the social justice perspective, by integrating community service into the curriculum to enrich learning in any degree, teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities through action and critical reflection. Service learning underlines the connection between the service experience and academic goals, thus stressing the intentional integration of academic content with the service experience which would ensure that students not only engage in meaningful service but also reflect on and apply academic concepts to real-world situations.

Social Justice

Social justice is a framework to (re)think “disadvantage and discrimination related to gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and age. It is extremely rare for “language” to feature as a basis on which individuals, communities, or nations may be excluded” (Piller, 2016, p. 5). In applied language studies which focus on language (in) education, a social justice lens underscores the linguistic power dynamics at play in the making and reproduction of educational inequalities (see “linguistic discrimination”, “linguistic equality” and “linguistic justice”).

Social Activism

Social activism (and social action) is the proactive engagement in efforts aimed at reshaping and improving various facets of society. Acording to Duarte, Lourenço & Melo-Pfeifer, “social activism refers to actions and efforts taken to bring about social, linguistic, political, or environmental change in society. This involves influencing or changing policies, practices, or societal norms to address issues such as inequality, injustice, discrimination, or environmental degradation” (forthcoming). Activists’ methods include influencing political policies, establishing novel institutions or organizations, and directly advocating for behavioral change among individuals. Social activists are driven by a diverse range of causes, each with its unique set of goals. Common themes in social activism include advocating for racial equality, dismantling gender disparities, pushing for comprehensive immigration reform, championing human rights, fighting for LGBTQ+ rights, and promoting religious freedom. In the pursuit of their objectives, social activists often employ a variety of strategies, such as public awareness campaigns, grassroots organizing, lobbying efforts, and participation in peaceful demonstrations. The ultimate aim is to bring about positive and lasting changes that contribute to a more just, equitable, and inclusive society (https://www.masterclass.com/articles/social-activism). See also “activism” and “education for sustainable development”.

Translanguaging, according to Vogel & García (2027), is “a theoretical lens that offers a different view of bilingualism and multilingualism. The theory posits that rather than possessing two or more autonomous language systems, as has been traditionally thought, bilinguals, multilinguals, and indeed, all users of language, select and deploy particular features from a unitary linguistic repertoire to make meaning and to negotiate particular communicative contexts. Translanguaging also represents an approach to language pedagogy that affirms and leverages students’ diverse and dynamic language practices in teaching and learning”. (https://oxfordre.com/education/display/10.1093/acrefore/9780190264093.001.0001/acrefore-9780190264093-e-181). See also “multilingualism”.

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Supported by the Erasmus Program of the European Union

The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

PROJECT CODE: 2022-1-DE01-KA220-HED-000086001

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