Category Archives: Language Learning and Minority Languages

Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (CEFR)

The result of over twenty years of research, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment (CEFR) was designed to provide a transparent, coherent and comprehensive basis for the elaboration of language syllabuses and curriculum guidelines, the design of teaching and learning materials, and the assessment of foreign language proficiency. It is used in Europe but also in other continents and is now available in 39 languages.

The CEFR describes foreign language proficiency at six levels: A1 and A2, B1 and B2, C1 and C2. It also defines three ‘plus’ levels (A2+, B1+, B2+). Based on empirical research and widespread consultation, this scheme makes it possible to compare tests and examinations across languages and national boundaries. It also provides a basis for recognising language qualifications and thus facilitating educational and occupational mobility.

The CEFR’s scales of foreign language proficiency are accompanied by a detailed analysis of communicative contexts, themes, tasks and purposes as well as scaled descriptions of the competences on which we draw when we communicate. This helps to explain why the CEFR is increasingly used in teacher education, the reform of foreign language curricula and the development of teaching materials.

Besides a Recommendation on the use of the CEFR, new initiatives in 2007 aimed to develop the richness of the CEFR beyond the proficiency scales. A platform of resources and references for plurilingual and intercultural education has been established to this end and is gradually being developed by the project “Languages in education/Languages for education”.

Link Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (CEFR)

Link Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (CEFR) (Further information)

Link Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (CEFR) (Full text in English)

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European Language Portfolio (ELP)

The European Language Portfolio (ELP) was developed by the Language Policy Division of the Council of Europe

  • to support the development of learner autonomy, plurilingualism and intercultural awareness and competence;
  • to allow users to record their language learning achievements and their experience of learning and using languages.

Link European Language Portfolio (ELP)

Guide for the Development and Implementation of Curricula for Plurilingual and Intercultural Education

In order to ensure that plurilingual and intercultural education is explicitly and consistently taken into account in the curricula, a Guide for the development and implementation of curricula for plurilingual and intercultural education was published at the occasion of a Language Policy Forum (Geneva, 2010).

A list of four series of documents prepared for the Geneva forum are available on the website. The full version written by Jean-Claude Beacco, Michael Byram, Marisa Cavalli, Daniel Coste, Mirjam Egli Cuenat, Francis Goullier & Johanna Panthier can also be downloaded.

Link Guide for the Development and Implementation of Curricula for Plurilingual and Intercultural Education

Guide for Developers of a European Language Portfolio

This website introduces the European Language Portfolio and provides links to key reference documents and accredited ELP models. In addition, it offers guidelines for developing and registering ELP models in accordance with the Coomon European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Link Guide for Developers of a European Language Portfolio

Preparing Teachers to Use the European Language Portfolio

This publication edited by David Little is aimed at language teacher educators and language teachers who are preparing to use the ELP with their learners. It is the result of an ECML project “Training teachers to use the European Language Portfolio” carried out in the Centre’s 2004-2007 programme.  The project was designed to contribute to the dissemination and implementation of Council of Europe political concepts – especially plurilingualism, pluriculturalism and education for democratic citizenship – by supporting the widespread and effective use of the ELP and (by implication) the Common European Framework of Reference.

Link Preparing Teachers to Use the European Language Portfolio (Book)

Link Preparing Teachers to Use the European Language Portfolio (Website)

Recommendation 1539 (2001) of the Parliamentary Assembly on the European Year of Languages 2001

In this recommendation, the Parliamentary Assembly welcomes the European Year of Languages 2001, an initiative of the Council of Europe taken up by the European Union. The Assembly fully supports the objectives of the Year, which is intended to raise public awareness of the need to protect and promote Europe’s rich linguistic heritage. It is also aimed at achieving public recognition of the fact that each language has unique value, and that all languages are equally valid as modes of expression for those who use them.

Link Recommendation 1539 (2001) of the Parliamentary Assembly on the European Year of Languages 2001