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Tho Common European Framework and the European Language Portfolio: Developing FL teaching in Europe as Language Education. Viljo Kohonen ELPiPL Project Seminar Kaunas College 12.6.2009. Outline of presentation.

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Tho Common European Framework and the European Language Portfolio: Developing FL teaching in Europe as Language Education

Viljo Kohonen

ELPiPL Project Seminar

Kaunas College 12.6.2009

outline of presentation
Outline of presentation
  • Common European Framework (CEFR 2001) and the ELP: central guidelines and principles
  • ELP research:

2.1. Inga Rebenius (2007, Sweden)

2.2. Manolis Sisamakis (2006, Ireland)

2.3. Radmila Perclová (2006, Czech Republic)

2.4. Viljo Kohonen (2006, Finland)

3. Why reflection in FL education, and how to facilitate it in the FL classroom?

4. Discussion: Exploratory practice, two dimensions in teacher development, professionalism

1 common european frame work cefr 2001 elp
1. Common European Frame-work (CEFR 2001) & ELP

Action-oriented approach: FL learner seen as asocial agent andlanguage user, a whole human being with a unique personal identity > developed in response to the enriching experiences of cultural otherness

> Plurilingual competence to which all knowledge/ experience of language contributes and in which languages interrelate and interact > to be developed as a life-longtask: motivation, skill,confidence(CEFR 2001, 4-5)


4. Intercultural



2. Socio-linguistic Competence:


  • General competences:
  • Declarative knowledge
  • Procedural knowledge
  • Existential competence
  • Ability to learn
  • 3. Pragmatic
  • Competence:
  • “Discourse cohesion and coherence”
  • 1. Linguistic
  • Competence:
  • “Accuracy”
  • lexical
  • syntactic
  • morphological
  • phonological
  • orthographic
  • 5. S t r a t e g i c
  • Competence:
  • “Fluency of action”
  • reception
  • production
  • interaction
  • mediation
the european language portfolio elp
The European Language Portfolio (ELP)

TOOL as part of the CEFR, withtwocomplementary functions:

  • Pedagogic function:to organize > take charge of the learning process: specifythe objectives > monitor/ reflect on the processes in the social context of learning > develop autonomy (>> Language Biography & Dossier)
  • Reporting function: to assess > document the outcomes in a transparent way, using the Common Reference Levels (A/B/C, Language Passport; Dossier) > international mobility
the european language portfolio elp6
The European Language Portfolio (ELP)...
  • THREE sections: 1. Language Passport,

2. Language Biography, 3. Dossier

  • Significant instrument for documenting the language user’s progress towards plurilingual and pluricultural competence over time > self-/ peer-assessment
  • Recording of learningexperiences and results > self-assessment of proficiency in all languages known > making FL and intercultural learning more visible > deeper understanding of com-munication > autonomy, agency, reflection
the cefr elp
The CEFR & ELP...

• Holistic approach: use of the cognitive, emo-tional and volitionalresources and a full range of abilities to carry out communicative tasks, using the specific competences to achieve a given result in communication (including para-linguistic communication)

• Emphasis on initiative, interaction andsocial responsibility: democratic citizenship education for multilingual/-cultural Europe

elp principles the common european core of the elp
ELP Principles: the common European core of the ELP

1. Tool to promoteplurilingualism/-culturalism

2. The property of the learner

3. Values the full range of language and intercultural competence and experience (acquired within or outside formal education)

4. Tool to promote learner autonomy

5. Pedagogic and reporting functions

6. Based on the CEFR(with the A/B/C Levels)

7. Encourages learner self-assessment, and the recording of assessment by the teachers etc.

the cefr elp 2001
The CEFR & ELP (2001)...

• Learner autonomy through an interactive process of learning to learn and learning to use language for authentic communication

  • Paradigm shift: plurilingualism/-culturalism: going beyond the attainment of a given level of proficiency in a particular language

• ELP:an important tool for developing, and

a formatfordocumenting, the language user’s progresstowards plurilingualism by re-cording the FL learning experiences > formal recognition of proficiency (eg. EUROPASS)

elp making the cefr more concrete accessible to the pupil
ELP: making the CEFR (more) concrete/ accessible to the pupil

• ELP: bringing the concerns, aims and per-spectives down to the level of the pupils: what they can DO in the FL (at A/B/C levels)

• Descriptor: a clear, transparent, positively formulated communicative act (performing a task) > Self-assessment Grid: descriptors with an independent, stand-alone integrity

• Self-assessment: pupils to consider and specify the level, value and quality of their learning products or FL use

elp cefr an example of descriptor spoken interaction
ELP <--> CEFR: an example of descriptor ”SPOKEN INTERACTION”

Level A1:

”I can interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase things at a slower rate of speech and help me formulate what I’m trying to say. I can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics” (CEFR, 26)

elp cef example of spoken interaction checklist a 1
ELP <--> CEF: example of SPOKEN INTERACTION Checklist (A 1)

• I can say basic greetings and phrases (e.g., please, thank you etc)

• I can say who I am, ask someone’s name and introduce someone

  • I can say I don’t understand, ask people to repeat what they say or speak more slowly, attract attention and ask for help
  • I can ask how to say something in the TL or what a word means
  • I can ask and answer simple direct questions on very familiar top-ics (e.g., family, school) with help from the person I am talking to
  • I can ask people for things and give people things
  • I can handle numbers, quantities, cost and time
  • I can make simple purchases, using pointing and gestures

> “Can do” Checklists useful for:goal setting > monitoring > self-assessment > more transparent, concrete, accessibleobjectivesfor action

how to begin the elp journey
How to begin the ELP journey?
  • Teachers need to understand well the goal of autonomyand the nature of the learning task that the students are to undertake, and the professional reasons/ educational goals for developing a reflective, ELP-oriented approach > essential pre-requisite for success
  • Begin from where the pupils/students are > facilitate them to understand the aims of the ELP > see themselvesas language users > learnareflective orientation, working on their personal experiences of language learning/use and intercultural learning
how to continue the elp journey
How to continue the ELP journey?
  • Negotiate curriculum-basedELP tasks:written/spoken tasks, done alone/in groups (e.g, “My hobbies/ home town/ favourite music”; review of a book/movie; a play/poem/ short story/argument about a topic; CV/ job application/ company presentation) > present & discuss in groups, using thetarget language
  • Provide specific help and support to design/ carry out the project work, reflection and self-/ peer-assessment > as part of doing real, relevant and challenging communicative tasks
continuing the elp journey
Continuing the ELP journey...

• From “teacher-imposed” differentiation to “self-differentiated” learning: encourage students to work at the frontiers of their current proficiency > “comprehensible output” > meaningful interaction

• Extend and go beyond the current limits > take risks > develop their TL repertoire > take social responsibility for learning: help others to progress in their tasks (peer-support/ help/ assessment/ correction/commenting)

• New culture of collaborative FL education

2 elp research 2 1 inga rebenius 2007
2. ELP research: 2.1. Inga Rebenius (2007)

Inga Rebenius (Sweden):Discourse on Learner Autonomy (LA, Council of Europe): a vague concept, mixing twostrands:

1. ”Mainstream” LA: emphasis on ”learner” > psychological basis, autonomy in language learning(for life-long learning)

  • Holec (1979): ”taking charge of one’s FL learning”: plan > carry out/ monitor > self-assess one’s learning

> ”technical”, individual perspective: learning to manage one’s learning without the teacher

2 1 rebenius 2007
2.1. Rebenius (2007)...

2. Critical LA:Autonomyas a person:

constrained, relational freedom, through participation in society; interdependence of person and society > individual as a moral subject, as an authentic person > finding > havinga ”voice”

> Revitalizing the LA notion as socialization of pupils towards democratic citizenship through perspectives from moral philosophy, values education/ society membership > use ofeducational power by the FL educators

2 elp research 2 2 manolis sisamakis 2006
2. ELP Research: 2.2. Manolis Sisamakis (2006)
  • Longitudinal study of the Irish ELP imple-mentation (2003-04);extensive quantitative and qualitative data (N= 364 pupils, 14 FL teachers)
  • Theoretical framework: learner autonomy (Little 1991; 2004; Dam 1995); self-deter-mination theory (Deci & Ryan 2002); motivation research (esp. social motivation; Ushioda 2003)
  • Pupils: ELP had a positive effect on intrinsic motivation; taking charge of their learning; acceptance of social responsibility in classroom
2 2 sisamakis 2006
2.2. Sisamakis (2006)...

• ELP helped them to develop ownership for their learning; goal-setting and self-assessment useful for organizing learning; making their own choices

• Getting emotionally engaged in the learning > confidence > ELP as a significant TOOL for autonomy; understanding the ”geography”of FL learning essential

2 2 sisamakis 200620
2.2. Sisamakis (2006)...

• Teachers: assumed a broader perspective to teaching, feeling more confident/ at ease, less dependent on exams/ textbooks

• Cycles of negotiated learning: continuity for pupils’efforts > capacity for ”chopping” the intimidating TL learning task into more manageable ”chunks” > a cyclic process of goal-setting > monitoring > self-assessment > ”virtuous circle” in FL development > enhanced FL motivation > gained more confidence in using the TL for real communication

2 elp research 2 3 radmila perclov 2006
2. ELP Research: 2.3. Radmila Perclová (2006)

• The ELP in Czech compulsory education

• Participants:(1) Pilot project teachers (N=53) and their pupils (N=902) >How was the ELP pedagogy put into practice in the Czech context (1999-2000)?

  • Teachers: ELP created a rich, positive learning environment, supporting pupil motivation and active participation > reflective abilities gradually emerging in the classes > deeper learner understanding through setting personal objectives > autonomy; new educational culture
2 3 perclov 2006
2.3. Perclová (2006)...
  • Pupils: from FL learning as ”words and grammar” > to a broaderview: communication
  • ELP supported feelings of self-efficacy and self-confidence; teachersupportindis-pensable for sustained motivation
  • No significant correlation between the ELP and the grades: low achievers also positive; ELP was found predominantly positive; girls more positive than boys
  • Culture of working aloneprevailing; self-assessmentproblematic in the Czech context
2 elp research 2 4 viljo kohonen 2006
2. ELP research: 2.4. Viljo Kohonen (2006)

• Finnish ELP Pilot Project (1998–2001)

1.Significance of the ELP:tracking authenticevidenceof progressover time > self/peer-assessment > reflective learning > new educational culture

  • Recording of learningexperiences and results > making FL learning (more) visible > deeper understanding of communication > autonomy as a language learner/ user/ person
2 4 kohonen 2006
2.4. Kohonen (2006)...

2. Flexibility of the ELP: use at all levels of proficiency: doing something personal with the TL > gaining “power” over the TL

> Beginners: small modifications based on textbooks > Intermediate users: more open, demanding tasks > “stretching out” their FL > Advanced users: handling a variety of texts, producing own discourses, interacting fluently

3. Teachers need to understandthe goal of autonomy/ ELP well, and the rationale for developing a reflective approach; Pupils need a great deal of explicit guidance and support

2 4 kohonen 200625
2.4. Kohonen (2006)...

4. Begin with thepupils themselves: firstlearnabasic reflective orientation to FL learning

5. Motivation:teacher needs to justify the benefits of reflection/self-assessment to the students and explain why reflect on learning and assess their FL skills

6. Teacher: significant role in fostering reflection for learninglife-skills:personal comments on the progress > specific, concrete feedback as an important source of motivation for students;laborious for the teacher to do

  • Give the man a fish, and he won’t be hungry that day
  • Teach him to fish, and he won’t be hungry for the rest of his life

Pedagogical fishing ...

  • Teach theteacher (and thepupil) toreflecton his/her educational ”fishing” ... will be able to develop it ... and also teach others to ”fish”
3 why reflection in fl education kolb 1984 kohonen 2001
3. Why reflection in FL education? (Kolb 1984; Kohonen 2001)
  • Experience (language/ communication/ learning processes/ personal growth/ cultural learning) is the key to language learning – but not sufficient as such
  • Experience needs to beprocessed consciously: notice learning > develop awareness > take charge of learning
  • Transform observations/ information into personal understanding and knowledge
  • Learning has to be done by the pupil: active role
3 why reflection in fl education
3. Why reflection in FL education...

Leo van Lier (1996, 11):

“To learn something new one must first notice it. This noticing is an awareness of its existence, obtained and enhanced by paying attention to it.

Paying attention is focusing one’s conscious-ness, or pointing one’s perceptual powers in the right direction, and making mental ‘energy’ available for processing”.

3 what is reflection
3... What is reflection?
  • John Dewey (1938, 87-88): “To reflect is to look back over what has been done so as to extract the net meanings ... for intelligent dealing with further experiences. It is the heart of intellectual organisation and of the disciplined mind.”
  • Interplay between looking ahead (action directed by some idea) and looking back
  • Learning as a continuous process of recon-struction of experience: anticipate -> act -> observe -> organise ideas for future use
3 how to facilitate reflection in fl class
3... How to facilitate reflection in FL class?

1. Personal awareness: Guiding the students to reflect on their beliefsof language learning/ their task and role, as part of the language lessons:

  • What strengths/ shortcomings do you have as a (language) student?
  • How do you see your role as a language learner?
  • What expectations do you have for your language teacher?
3 how to facilitate reflection in fl class31
3... How to facilitate reflection in FL class...

2. Process and situational awareness

  • How are you going to work on your aims for this course (week, etc)?
  • How might you improve your work/ working habits?
  • What is a good group member like in our language class? Why?
  • How might you improve your participation in your groups?
3 how to facilitate reflection in fl class32
3... How to facilitate reflection in FL class...

3. Task awareness:

  • How do you understand FL communication?
  • What elements and skills does language learning include?
  • What aspects of the (X) language are easy (difficult) for you?
  • What skills are you good at? What can you improve?

– What aims are you going to set for yourself for the this course (this week, etc)?

cefr pedagogy

“Users of the Framework may wish to consider and where appropriate state:…”, i.e., consider different options and arrive at well-informed decisions, in the local context (learning culture)

Language teacher to develop an inquiring professional mind -> a reflective approach

CEFR as a comprehensive “TOOLBOX” containing a set of well-defined concepts; does not providea consistent theory of how to use them in a given setting for a particular educational purpose

dialogical teaching
Dialogical teaching
  • Jorma Lehtovaara (2001, 157-58): our teaching methods are our philosophy of praxis: > we need to clarify our conception of man: “What is it – being human? What is the meaning of that for me?”
  • Open dialogue >> to facilitate the pupils to learn dialogue, the goal is the open dialogue, <--> development of open dialogue achieved only through open dialogue

> How do I organize/guide my pupils’ work in my classrooms? How do I encourage them?

4 discussion 1 exploratory practice ep in fl education
4. Discussion 1: Exploratory Practice (EP) in FL education

1. Putting quality of classroom lifefirst

2. Understanding life in FL classrooms

3. Involve everybody in practitioner research

4. Work for mutual development, seeing pupils as developing practitioners in their own right

5. Integrate work for understanding into classroom practices -> use class time to make space for understanding, without losing FL time

6. Continuous work for practitioner-based understanding of learning (Allwright 2006)

ep what is quality of life
EP... what is ”quality of life”?

• FL classrooms as communities of practice with complex social relationships

> integrating local understandings into the teaching-learning events: teaching, learning and quality of life closely intertwined; culture of learning: sharing and respect

  • focus on understanding the contextual nature of classroom “problems” in the first place
  • provide a range of learning opportunities/ individual options, encouraging autonomous life-long learning (Allwright 2006)
ep as situated classroom understanding
EP... as situated classroom understanding

• Situated classroom discourse: participants talk to each other in the context of a shared history of interaction

  • create opportunities for learning, based on contextual understanding: using the elements of time, space, affective engagement, participation, material and cognitive resources to enhance the quality of classroom life
  • a puzzle-orientedview of classroom life, inviting participants to be seekers after their understandings  social actors(Allwright 2006; Gieve & Miller 2006)
discussion 2 two ways of pro gressing al gore nobel prize interview 2007
Discussion 2: Two ways of pro-gressing: Al Gore (Nobel Prize Interview 2007)

If you want to go quickly,

go alone.

If you want to go far,

go together.

(an African saying)

2 two dimensions in teacher education and teaching
2... Two dimensions in teacher education and teaching

1.Professional development and work within a prevailing individual-cognitive dimension: cultural socialization for teacher isolation(cf. Dan Lortie 1975, Schoolteacher)

2.Professional growth and work within a social-interactive dimension: cultural socialization for collegial collaboration

teacher isolation
Teacher Isolation

”I did it my way...”

Individual - Cognitive Dimension

teacher collaboration
Teacher Collaboration

”I did it our way...”

Social-Interactive Dimension

professionalism as collective knowledge creation bereiter 2002
Professionalism as collective knowledge creation (Bereiter 2002)
  • Innovative knowledge creation: going beyond the frontiersof current knowledge > work at the edgeofunderstanding > take on new challenges > stretching outtogether(Bereiter & Scardamalia 1993: “surpassing ourselves”
  • Collective professional empowerment: enhancing the profession by working on increasingly challenging tasks >collegial interaction/dialogue as an essential source of professional renewal
teacher development some quotes
Teacher Development: some quotes
  • There is no curriculum development without teacher development (Lawrence Stenhouse 1975)
  • There is little significant school development without teacher development (David Hargreaves 1994)
  • It is teachers who, in the end, will change the world of school through understanding it(Stenhouse1975)