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The Common European Framework INLINGUA November 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "The Common European Framework INLINGUA November 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Common European Framework INLINGUA November 2004

2 FHeyworth2 Plan of presentation The background to the Framework The contents Levels, descriptors, checklists European Language Portfolios The social and political relevance What s in it for teachers?

3 FHeyworth3 What are these? The Common European Framework The Common Reference Scale The descriptor scales The European Language Passport European Language Portfolios Dialang The ALTE Can do statements The Portfolio checklists

4 FHeyworth4 More than thirty years work 1971 – 1991 The beginnings –A functional approach; Threshold levels; Needs analysis; Learner autonomy; Communicative approaches 1991 – 2003 Consolidation –Coherence and transparency –Language education for democratic citizenship, for social cohesion –The Common European Framework; the European Language Portfolio

5 FHeyworth5 Milestones 1997 – Education for democratic citizenship –Declaration of language rights –Promotion of labour mobility –Adoption of first draft of Framework –Pilot projects for European Language Portfolios 2000 – Towards a plurilingual, pluricultural society –European Year of Languages 2001 –Launch of Portfolios and revised Framework

6 FHeyworth6 Language learning, teaching and assessment – a common framework of reference Aims –To encourage practitioners to reflect on: What we do when we speak (or write) to each other What enables us to act in this way How much of this we need to learn when we try to use a new language How we set objectives and mark progress from ignorance to mastery

7 FHeyworth7 The CEF – aims To make it easier for practitioners to tell each other and their clientele what they wish to help learners to achieve and how they attempt to do so. To reflect on what we can do to help ourselves and other people to learn a language better

8 FHeyworth8 The principles behind the CEF It s not prescriptive: – we do not set out to tell practitioners what to do, or how to do it It s not neutral: –The CEF supports methods which help learners build up attitudes, knowledge and skills they need to: Become more independent in thought and action Be more responsible and co-operative in relation to other people

9 FHeyworth9 The contents of the CEF Language as action 1.Common Reference Levels 2.Language use and the language user 3.The user / learner s competences 4.Language learning and teaching 5.Tasks and their role in language teaching 6.Linguistic diversification and the curriculum 7.Assessment

10 FHeyworth10 Description and comparison Say what you do – description is an essential part of quality management Standards – setting comparable standards is a vital issue in assessment of quality The Common European Framework provides a coherent description of language learning, teaching and assessment The Common Scale of Reference provides common standards for comparison of achievement and progress in language learning

11 FHeyworth11 Features of the cef A definition of communication –= reception / production / interaction / mediation A strategic definition of communicative competence –= being able to carry out activities and processes for the production and reception of texts –= being able to construct discourse to fulfil tasks in the domain of social existence

12 FHeyworth12 This means a focus on learners Language learning activities are based on the needs, motivations, characteristics and resources of learners: What will they need to do with the language? What will they need to learn to do what they want? What makes them want to learn? What sort of people are they? What knowledge, skill and experiences do their teachers possess? What access do they have to resources? How much time can they afford to spend?

13 FHeyworth13 The Common Scale of Reference The Common Scale of Reference is the core of the CEF. It describes user competence at 6 levels –Basic user = A1 (Breakthrough) A2 (Waystage) –Independent user = B1 (Threshold) B2 (Vantage) –Proficient user = C1 (Effective proficiency) C2 (Mastery)

14 FHeyworth14 A – Basic user A1A2 B – independent user C – proficient user B1B2C1C2

15 FHeyworth15 Examples of descriptors 1 A1 Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/ herself and can ask and answer questions about personal details, such as where he/ she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

16 FHeyworth16 Examples of descriptors 2 C2 Can understand with ease everything heard or read. Can summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express himself / herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in more complex situations

17 FHeyworth17 Global Scale Proficient C2 Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in more complex situations. User C1 Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices. Independent B2 Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options. User B1 Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans. Basic A2 Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need. User A1 Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

18 FHeyworth18 Levels can be sub-divided The levels are too broad to show progress over a short period, so you can sub-divide them. The Swiss education system has six levels up to B1 (A1.1, A1.2, A2.1, A2.2, B1.1, B1.2) for compulsory schooling up to the age of 16.

19 FHeyworth19 How much vocabulary do you need? A2 B1 B2 Around 850 words Around words (Threshold level) Around words

20 FHeyworth20 The importance of the scale It s been adopted by ALTE (UCLES, Goethe, Alliance Françoise etc.) and will be used as the level descriptor for their exams and equivalences A number of countries are using it / going to use it as a basis for school language certification The European Language Portfolio is based on it and the self-assessment scale It will affect the levels used in coursebooks etc., the way we talk about levels

21 FHeyworth21 Policy responses to multilingualism lie between two ends of a continuum of attitudes and approaches: on the one hand policy for the reduction of diversity, and on the other the promotion and maintenance of diversity. Both can be pursued in the name of improved potential for international mobility, of intercomprehension and of economic development.

22 FHeyworth22 The Council of Europe and its member States have taken the position that it is the promotion of linguistic diversity which should be pursued in language education policy. For in addition to mobility, intercomprehension and economic development, there is the further important aim of maintaining the European cultural heritage, of which linguistic diversity is a significant constituent. This means, then, that language teaching must be seen as the development of a unique individual linguistic competence ('knowing' languages whichever they may be) and also as education for linguistic tolerance.

23 FHeyworth23 Policies for language education should therefore promote the learning of several languages for all individuals in the course of their lives, so that Europeans become plurilingual and intercultural citizens, able to interact with other Europeans in all aspects of their lives.

24 FHeyworth24 Existing (19 th century) model New model Focus on nation-state and national language as source of identity Emphasis on European citizenship and linguistic diversity Multilingualism is a problem for society Multilingualism enriches society Assumes learners start from monolingual base Takes into account diverse language experiences outside the classroom Bilingualism and diverse cultural backgrounds silenced Bilingualism and diverse cultural backgrounds celebrated Bilingual childrens education is seen as problematic – focus is on developing national language Bilingualism welcomed – focus on developing ability in mother tongue as well as other languages

25 FHeyworth25 Speakers of other languages are foreign. Speaking another language is the norm Learning another language is difficult Learning another language is natural Near-native speaker competence is the ultimate goal Even low levels of competence are valuable and add to communicative repertoire – to be built on throughout life Language teaching focuses mainly on linguistic goals. Cultural element tends to be poor, or focused solely on high culture Language teaching has strong cultural elements and includes intercultural awareness Language learning focuses on one language at a time Language learning focuses on links between languages, and on language awareness in general

26 FHeyworth26 Language learning tends to be élitist and problematic for the majority Language learning can be successful for everyone


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