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Working with the Common European Framework. Cork & Dublin May 21st & 22nd 2009. Plan of the workshop. What is the CEFR? What are its contents? What other resources are linked to it? How can schools use it: to establish a levels system? to produce their curriculum and syllabi?

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working with the common european framework

Working with the Common European Framework

Cork & Dublin

May 21st & 22nd 2009

plan of the workshop
Plan of the workshop
  • What is the CEFR? What are its contents? What other resources are linked to it?
  • How can schools use it:
    • to establish a levels system?
    • to produce their curriculum and syllabi?
    • to influence teaching?
    • to assess progress, achievement and proficiency

Frank Heyworth

what are these
What are these?
  • The Common European Framework
  • The Common Reference Scale
  • The descriptor scales
  • Europass
  • European Language Portfolios
  • The Can do statements
  • The Portfolio checklists

Frank Heyworth

the result of 30 year s work
The result of 30 year’s work
  • 1971 – “a unit-credit scheme for Europe”
    • Functions and notions / Threshold levels / Needs analyses / Learner autonomy / Communicative methodology
  • 1991 – “coherence and transparency in language learning and teaching”
    • A Common Framework of Reference / A European Language Portfolio

Frank Heyworth

milestones
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
    • A Guide for setting language policies

Frank Heyworth

multilingual europe
Multilingual Europe
  • 500 different languages used in London
  • 29 African languages spoken in the Canary Islands
  • 10% of the population of France doesn’t have French as the mother tongue
  • 19 linguistic minorities are recognised in Romania
  • What about Cork?

Frank Heyworth

the cef aims
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

Frank Heyworth

the principles behind the cef
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”

Frank Heyworth

the contents of the cef 1
The contents of the cef 1
  • 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

Frank Heyworth

the contents of the cef 2
The Contents of the CEF 2
  • Chapters
    • Common Reference Levels
    • Language Use and the Language User / Learner
    • The User / Learner’s Competences
    • Language Learning and Teaching
    • Tasks and their role in language teaching
    • Language diversification and the curriculum
    • Assessment

Frank Heyworth

the contents of the cef 3
The contents of the cef 3
  • 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)

Frank Heyworth

this means a focus on learners
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?”

Frank Heyworth

plurilingual competences
Plurilingual competences
  • A “unique and individual” competence
  • An individual does not have a set of distinct and separate competences
  • but a plurilingual and pluricultural competence which includes the sum of the linguistic repertoire available

Frank Heyworth

partial competences
Partial competences
  • All knowledge of language is partial
  • Any partial knowledge is also more than it might seem
  • Those who have learnt one language also know a great deal about many other languages

Frank Heyworth

different kinds of competence 1
Different kinds of competence 1
  • communicative competence
    • Linguistic competence
      • Lexical / phonetic / grammatical
    • Socio-linguistic
      • Awareness of social norms
      • Appropriate to social situations
    • Pragmatic competence
      • Functional use
      • Discourse organisation

Frank Heyworth

different kinds of competence 2
Different kinds of competence 2
  • Transversal competences
    • Strategic competence
    • Existential competence
    • Ability to learn

Frank Heyworth

slide17

A – Basic user

B –Independent user

C –Proficient user

A1

A2

B1

B2

C1

C2

Frank Heyworth

examples of descriptors 1
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.”

Frank Heyworth

characteristics of the descriptors
Characteristics of the descriptors
  • They are all positive
  • They are in a standard sequence – reception, production, interaction, mediation
  • They are flexible – the scale can be reduced to three levels, or expanded to 12 or more
  • They can be expressed as a scale for self-assessment = “I can….”
  • They can be used as a basis for more specialised scales

Frank Heyworth

the cef isn t just the scale
The CEF isn’t just the scale
  • It gives a detailed, coherent description of:
    • Language use and language users
    • Competences and strategies
    • Processes of learning and teaching
    • Tasks
    • Diversification of the curriculum
    • Assessment
  • In the appendices, there are more specialised scales, “can do” statements, DIALANG descriptors

Frank Heyworth

specific descriptors
Specific descriptors
  • Strategies
    • Planning, checking and correcting, deduction, turn-taking
    • Avoidance and achievement strategies

Frank Heyworth

the descriptor scales 1
The descriptor scales 1
  • There are 58 of them, divided into 41 scales of activities and 17 describing competences:
  • Communicative activities:
    • Production, reception, interaction, mediation
  • Competences
    • Linguistic competence
      • E.g. vocabulary range, grammatical accuracy
    • Socio-linguistic competence
    • Pragmatic competence
      • E.g. turntaking, cohesion and coherence
    • Strategic competence
      • E.g. Asking for clarification,

Frank Heyworth

the descriptor scales 2
The descriptor scales 2
  • User scales for self-assessment – all positive
  • Assessor scales, which include what cannot be done at the level described

Frank Heyworth

part 2 the cefr and the curriculum syllabus
Part 2 – The CEFR and the curriculum / syllabus
  • Curriculum – a general statement of the institution’s values, approach and the way these will be put into practice, plus an overall view of the levels system
  • Syllabus – the content of what is to be done in a specific time frame

Frank Heyworth

slide25
A. The school’s educational philosophy: what does this school believe about learning a language?

B. Outcomes: What should students be able to do, (CEFR Can Do statements) and what do they need to know at any given level in order to do it? How does this relate to exams used in the school?

C. Methods, techniques: how is this learning to be achieved? What methods and techniques should teachers use in their classrooms?

D. Syllabus; schemes of work; progress: what language and micros-skills will be learnt? How long is a level likely to take? How are specific periods of teaching (week, month, term) planned? How are lessons planned? How are learners informed about planning?

E. Assessment: pre/during/post: How are learners placed in classes? How and at what intervals is progress assessed? What assessment is there at the end of the course? What form of certification is given?

Frank Heyworth

linking level systems to the cefr
Linking level systems to the CEFR
  • Step one – get to know the scales
  • Step two – analyse what your present level system is – what are your bottom and top levels? How long do learners take to reach them? How long are your courses?
  • Step three - Compare your level system with the CEFR levels – revise it to show relation to CEFR

Frank Heyworth

cefr resources and curriculum syllabus planning
CEFR resources and curriculum/syllabus planning
  • Curriculum – use the general reference scale
  • Syllabus – use a combination of competence scales and activity scales
  • Lesson planning, schemes of work – look at Portfolio checklists
  • Assessment – use the self-assessment grid and the rater scales

Frank Heyworth

getting to know the levels 1
Getting to know the levels 1
  • Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously, almost effortlessly. Only a conceptually difficult subject can hinder a natural, smooth flow of language.

Frank Heyworth

levels 2
Levels 2
  • Can keep going comprehensibly, even though pausing for grammatical and lexical planning and repair is very evident, especially in longer stretches of free production.

Frank Heyworth

levels 3
Levels 3
  • Uses basic sentence patterns with memorised phrases, groups of a few words and formulae in order to commu-nicate limited information in simple everyday situations.

Frank Heyworth

levels 4
Levels 4
  • Can initiate discourse, take his/her turn when appropriate and end conversation when he/she needs to, though he/she may not always do this elegantly. Can help the discussion along on familiar ground confirming comprehen-sion, inviting others in, etc.

Frank Heyworth

planning the syllabus
Planning the syllabus
  • For each class:
    • CEFR level at beginning of course
    • Target level at end of course
    • Coursebook
    • Key « can do » statements for the course
      • Reception, production, interaction
      • Target competences
    • « Identifiable results »
    • Assessment procedures – self-assessment, tests, exams

Frank Heyworth

planning sequences of lessons 1
Planning sequences of lessons 1

Strategy

domain communicative competence

topic

linguistic, pragmatic, sociocultural

language activities

situation

Task

Frank Heyworth

try to apply this
Try to apply this
  • Can write accounts of experiences, describing feelings and reactions in simple connected text. (B1 creative writing)
  • Can give a clear presentation on a familiar topic, and answer predictable or factual questions. (B2 spoken production)
  • Can understand phrases, words and expressions related to areas of most immediate priority (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local area, employment) [A1 listening].

Frank Heyworth

where to find resources
Where to find resources

Some web sites

  • For the CEFR and Portfolios – www.sprachenportfolio.ch and www.coe.int/culture/portfolio
  • For applications of Council of Europe language policies – www.ecml.at
  • For general language resources – www.lingu@net.com

Frank Heyworth