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SESSION OUTLINE The need for a change Basics of CEFR e Background

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2 SESSION OUTLINE The need for a change Basics of CEFR e Background
The new approach Competence as the Key Term Scales and Subscales Self-assessment and CEFR Projects within CEFR Issues and Critique CEFR and IELTS

3 Hands up! • Who owns a copy of the CEFR – the Blue Book?
• Who has read it? • Who is familiar with its contents? • Who has already heard of the CEFR?

4 The World Is Changing Accordingly,so are the approaches to language teaching.And in order to keep up with the current changes in foreign language teaching,the curriculum is going through a change.

5 Recent Approaches Traditional Approaches Memorization
Teacher-centeredness Rote- learning Short term study habits Structures as a course subject Teaching English as it is Learner-centeredness Learning rather than teaching Teaching technology and the internet Promoting autonomy and awareness Teaching English as a means of communication Componential analysis of the traditional and the recent approaches. Life-long and brain-based learning put the individual into the core of the learning process. This individualisation has highlighted the importance and the need of “can do” statements. Seeing the learner as a “whole”

Learner Centered Approach Communicative competence Intercultural competence Study Skills Self-assessment Four language skills Cooperative learning Learning to learn Learner autonomy Cross curricular Socio-affective skills CEFR Handout :Definitions (match ) MAIN CHARACTERISTICS of the NEW PROGRAMME-Promotes development of four skills, self assessment, self-expression, accurate as well as fluent language production, learning to learn, autonomy, and cooperative learning.

7 The new curriculum has been prepared in the light of CEFR
Curriculum is a focus of study, consisting of various courses all designed to reach a particular proficiency or qualification. A syllabus is simply an outline and time line of a particular course. It will typically give a brief overview of the course objectives, course expectations, homework deadlines, and exam dates. The new curriculum has been designed in the light of CEFR and it has the impacts on our curriculum and syllabus but the impact can be clearly seen on our course book through the integration of the activities with the competences. Starting level&reachable level

8 What do these initials stand for?
C……………. E…………….. F……… R……………..



11 What is CEFR ? Common European Framework of References for Languages: teaching, learning and assessment a single framework for all aspects of language teaching and learning: planning, instruction, and assessment & a common criteria for a description of language competencies. designed by the Council of Europe A framework for distinguishing language competencies from one another which works on an individual basis. It is globally accepted and valid for all European languages

12 WHY CEFR? Mobility among the members of the Council of Europe
Paying respect to other languages and cultures To assist learners, teachers, course designers, examining bodies and educational administrators to situate, coordinate their efforts and cooperate among educational institutions in different countries

13 Council of Europe Policy
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) was developed to support the Council of Europe policy How? “providing a common basis for the elaboration of language syllabuses, curriculum guidelines, examinations, textbooks, etc. across Europe” (CEFR, p.1) 13

14 (European Union Council Resolution)
Background 1970s work encouraged by the Council of Europe Notional-functional syllabus (Wilkins, Morrow) – Threshold – Waystage – Vantage – Learning target specifications (European Union Council Resolution) 14


16 Pluralingualism and Pluriculturism
What is important today is Not only… But also… 16

17 Council of Europe Policy
The Council of Europe also attaches great importance to language learning To preserve linguistic and cultural identity To improve communication and mutual understanding To combat intolerance and xenophobia 17

18 Council of Europe Policy
4 The Council of Europe has principal ideas to develop its linguistic policy Which ones? 18

19 Council of Europe Policy
1 Plurilingual and Pluricultural competences 2 Transparency and coherence Learning throughout life 3 4 Mobility and cooperation So, the CEFR purpose is … 19

20 CEFR: purposes 3 The CEFR aims are
Elaboration of language syllabuses and curriculum guidelines. Design teaching and learning materials. The assessment of language proficiency 20

21 CEFR: characteristics

22 Main Factors to Take into Account

23 Competences as the Key Aspect
Two main types to draw on General Competence Communicative Language Competence 23

24 General Competences Knowledge (declarative knowledge): academic and empirical Skills and Know-how Existential competence Ability to learn

25 Communicative Language Competence
Linguistic competence (lexical, phonological, syntactical knowledge and skills) Sociolinguistic competence (sociocultural conditions of language use) Pragmatic competence (functional use of linguistic resources – production of language functions, speech acts etc)

26 Practice makes PERFECT!!!
Being more competent means to be able to carry out more and more activities competences activities Each activity in our course book matches with the competences in our curriculum. The more activities you apply the better you can improve the competences of your learners. Sometimes we need to skip some activities in our course books because of time limitations but we should be very careful while removing them. Since we may also pass over the competence that we really need to improve. 26

27 Level Division PROFICIENT
Related to new curriculum, the descriptors for primary schools are shown as functions. A new study has just started to convey the functions in to descriptors described in CEFR scale. The descriptors for high

28 CEFR: levels Basic User

29 CEFR: levels Independent User

30 CEFR: levels Proficient User

31 Subdividing Levels

32 CEFR: dimensions The CEFR is based in 2 dimensions: 32

Our communications Dimensions of our language 4 CONTEXT Reception Production Interaction Mediation BODY LANGUAGE COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE COMPETENCE 33

34 Sub-scale (Conversation)

35 Subscale – Turntaking (strategies)

36 Subscale – Orthographic Control

37 Subscale – Vocabulary range

38 Subscale -???

39 Subscale - ???

40 Subscale (substr.)- ???

41 The levels are described in the form of Can Do statements
e.g. “Can give directions” or “Can introduce him/herself” AND This gives teachers and students concrete goals from real life situations. These statements (CAN DO STATEMENTS)describe what language users can typically do with the language at different levels and in different contexts (general, social & tourist, work, study). In accordance with the CEFR, the new curriculum has been designed to stress the importance of these statements.

42 Self-assessment checklist

43 Teaching or Learning?

44 Sample Descriptors (Basic User-A1)
GLOBALLY: Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases Can introduce him/herself and others Can ask and answer questions about personal details Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help. SPECIFICALLY Can understand instructions addressed carefully and slowly to him or her and follow short simple directions Can understand short simple messages on postcards Can ask people for things and give people things CEFR defines expected outcomes in terms of reachable real life goals that can easily be turned into classroom activities when teachers don’t want to use the book. If they want to skip a section from the book, they can refer to the syllabus and find the relevant function/competence to design an activity.

45 Sample Activities - Learning to Learn (Cooperative Learning)
Speaking production: B. 1. Can initiate, maintain, and close simple face to face conversation on topics that are familiar or of personal interest. Types of Holiday Activity.3. Work in pairs and talk with your partners and use the prompts in the box. I would prefer….. because I wouldn’t prefer….. because e.g. What kind of holiday would you prefer? Why/Why not?

46 Sample Activities – Communicative Competence
Speaking production: A.2.3: can handle very short social exchanges even though they don’t understand enough to Keep the conversation going themselves. A.2. can express himself/ herself understood in short contributions, even though pauses, false starts and reformulation are very evident. ----***the ability to use the language correctly and appropriately to accomplish communication goals. The desired outcome of the language learning process is the ability to communicate competently, not the ability to use the language exactly as a native speaker does. Communicative competence is made up of four competence areas: linguistic, sociolinguistic, discourse, and strategic. Linguistic competence is knowing how to use the grammar, syntax, and vocabulary of a language. Linguistic competence asks: What words do I use? How do I put them into phrases and sentences? Sociolinguistic competence is knowing how to use and respond to language appropriately, given the setting, the topic, and the relationships among the people communicating. Sociolinguistic competence asks: Which words and phrases fit this setting and this topic? How can I express a specific attitude (courtesy, authority, friendliness, respect) when I need to? How do I know what attitude another person is expressing? Discourse competence is knowing how to interpret the larger context and how to construct longer stretches of language so that the parts make up a coherent whole. Discourse competence asks: How are words, phrases and sentences put together to create conversations, speeches, messages, newspaper articles? Strategic competence is knowing how to recognize and repair communication breakdowns, how to work around gaps in one’s knowledge of the language, and how to learn more about the language and in the context. Strategic competence asks: How do I know when I’ve misunderstood or when someone has misunderstood me? What do I say then? How can I express my ideas if I don’t know the name of something or the right verb form to use?


48 Sample activities - Speaking Interaction: A. 2. 3
Sample activities - Speaking Interaction: infromation about society and social life.

49 CEFR: purposes The CEFR aims to develop 4 projects 1 2 3 4 49

50 CEFR: purposes 1 The Portfolio 50

51 CEFR: purpose 2 The Dialang Project 51

52 CEFR: purpose Common groups of exams 3 52

53 Specific documents CEFR: purpose 4 53

54 USE of CEFR in international practice
• levels for school-leaving (A2,B1, B2), for University graduation (C2!), for migration (A1 minus to B1), for citizenship (A1 to B2)

55 Possible Issues • Terminology problems: synonymy or not?
• Inconsistency? • Lack of definition • Gaps Inconsistency? • I can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues” (page 26) • “Can recognise familiar names, words and very basic phrases on simple notices in the most common everyday situations” (page 70)

56 Some Issues Lack of definitions:
Simple, the most common, everyday, familiar, concrete, predictable, straightforward, factual complex, specialised, highly colloquial, short, long Ambiguity: Is a short text necessarily “easier” than a longer text?

57 Some Issues: synonymy Operations at A2 Understand Take Get Follow
Identify Infer Operations at B2 Understand Scan Monitor Obtain Select Evaluate Locate Identify

58 Some issues - FAQ 1. How can we ensure that we elicit target
language features? 2. How can we check both what the learners are able to do and also what they freely choose to do? 3. How can we ensure that tasks at a given CEFR level are parallel? Is my B1 your B1? 4. We need banks of validated reading and listening tasks to illustrate CEFR levels

59 Limitations of the CEFR
Not enough information for test development – DIALANG experience Lack of specificity as to how language proficiency develops No reference to specific languages - but see reference level descriptions:

60 CEFR and IELTS “As we grow in our understanding of the relationship between IELTS and the CEFR levels, so the frame of reference may need to be revised accordingly.” Taylor, L (2004a) 'Issues of test comparability', Research Notes, 15, 2-5.

61 CEFR vs IELTS - FAQ *Has the IELTS changed? No,it hasn’t.
*Some IELTS band scores are shown as borderline (e.g. it is not clear whether band 6,5 is B2 or C1). How should institutions and organisations interpret this? Our research shows that a C1 minimum threshold would fall between the 6.5 and 7 bands on the IELTS scale. Therefore, whilst many 6.5 candidates would be at C1, a number will be marginally below. *Does IELTS differentiate at C2 level? Band scores of 8.5 and higher are recognised as C2. Band 8 is borderline.

62 References A Common European Framework of Reference for Languages Learning, Teaching, Assessment. — Strasbourg, 1986. Common European Framework of reference for languages //Council of Europe: and IELTS (official site) Общеевропейские компетенции владения иностранным языком: изучение, преподавание, оценка / Департамент современных языков Директората по образованию, культуре и спорту Совета Европы; Перевод выполнен на кафедре стилистики английского языка МГЛУ под общ. ред. проф. К. М. Ирисхановой. — М.: Изд-во МГЛУ, 2003

63 Thank you very much Council of Europe and… Elena Golubovskaya,
Associate Professor, English Language Department Higher School of Economics 63

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