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Presentation on theme: "1 COMMON EUROPEAN FRAMEWORK OF REFERENCE FOR LANGUAGES – WHAT IS BEHIND IT?"— Presentation transcript:


2 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 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 4 The World Is Changing

5 5 Traditional Approaches Memorization Teacher-centeredness Rote- learning Short term study habits Structures as a course subject Recent Approaches 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

6 6 THE KEY CONCEPTS OF THE NEW CURRICULUM 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

7 7 The new curriculum has been prepared in the light of CEFR

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



11 11 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 What is CEFR ?

12 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 13 Council of Europe Policy “providing a common basis for the elaboration of language syllabuses, curriculum guidelines, examinations, textbooks, etc. across Europe” (CEFR, p.1) 13 The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) was developed to support the Council of Europe policy How?

14 14 Background 14 Notional-functional syllabus (Wilkins, Morrow) – Threshold – Waystage – Vantage – Learning target specifications 1970s work encouraged by the Council of Europe 1986-2001 ( European Union Council Resolution )

15 15

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

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

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

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

20 20 CEFR: purposes 1.Elaboration of language syllabuses and curriculum guidelines. 20 2.Design teaching and learning materials. 3.The assessment of language proficiency The CEFR aims are

21 21 CEFR: characteristics 21

22 22 Main Factors to Take into Account

23 23 Competences as the Key Aspect 1.General Competence 23 2.Communicative Language Competence Two main types to draw on

24 24 Knowledge (declarative knowledge): academic and empirical Skills and Know-how Existential competence A b i l i t y t o l e a r n General Competences

25 25 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) Communicative Language Competence

26 26 Practice makes PERFECT!!! Being more competent means to be able to carry out more and more activities competencesactivities

27 27 Level Division PROFICIENT

28 28 CEFR: levels 28 Basic User

29 29 CEFR: levels 29 Independent User

30 30 CEFR: levels 30 Proficient User

31 31 Subdividing Levels

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

33 33 Our communications 33 Dimensions of our language COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE COMPETENCE 1. Reception 2. Production 3. Interaction 4. Mediation CONTEXT BODY LANGUAGE

34 34 Sub-scale (Conversation)

35 35 Subscale – Turntaking (strategies)

36 36 Subscale – Orthographic Control

37 37 Subscale – Vocabulary range

38 38 Subscale -???

39 39 Subscale - ???

40 40 Subscale (substr.)- ???

41 41 CAN DO STATEMENTS 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.

42 42 Self-assessment checklist

43 43 Teaching or Learning?

44 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

45 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 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.

47 47

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

49 49 CEFR: purposes 49 The CEFR aims to develop 4 projects

50 50 CEFR: purposes The Portfolio 50

51 51 CEFR: purpose 51 The Dialang Project

52 52 CEFR: purpose 52 Common groups of exams

53 53 CEFR: purpose 53 Specific documents

54 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 62 References A Common European Framework of Reference for Languages Learning, Teaching, Assessment. — Strasbourg, 1986. A Common European Framework of Reference for Languages Learning, Teaching, Assessment Common European Framework of reference for languages //Council of Europe: and FINAL_en.pdf FINAL_en.pdf IELTS (official site) http://www.ielts.org 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 63 Thank you very much 63 Council of Europe and… Elena Golubovskaya, Associate Professor, English Language Department Higher School of Economics


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