Spotlight on the CEFR & the European Commission on Languages & Language Teaching

“One of the CEFR’s objectives is to encourage modern language teaching professionals to think about their practices.”

“The Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference for
Languages
(CEFR) is now regularly mentioned when the subject of modern languages crops up. However, it is still not well known.”

“The scale is composed of three sections:
– basic: level A
– independent: level B
– proficient: level C
and each section is itself divided into two levels, level 1 and level 2. We can therefore speak of a 6-level scale.”

The CEFR is a document prepared between 1993 and 2000 by experts brought together and directed by the Council of Europe. It was officially adopted after very broad consultation during the European Year of Languages in 2001.

The CEFR has been published in the two official languages of the Council of Europe, English (Cambridge University Press, 2001) and French (Éditions Didier, 2001), and has been translated into over 30 European languages.

It is not a dogmatic or prescriptive document that imposes one way of teaching modern languages, specific teaching arrangements and specific choices for all member States, in all institutions, for all target groups and for all languages.

Its primary purpose is to serve as a descriptive tool enabling the parties concerned with language teaching in these different contexts to consider their choices or those of the educational institution where they work.

Using the CEFR, they can describe and compare their teaching options, the teaching goals they are pursuing and the outcomes in terms of levels of proficiency.

The essential aim of the CEFR is to encourage transparency and comparability in language teaching arrangements and language qualifications. To this end, it proposes:

– a common methodology for analysing and describing situations and choices in language teaching and learning;

– a common terminology for all languages and educational contexts;

– a common scale of levels of language proficiency to assist with goal-setting and learning outcome assessment.

The CEFR deploys an action-oriented approach basing language teaching and learning on the performance of communicative tasks and on language communication activities.

In the spotlight

Source: European Commission

This section features areas which the European Commission has highlighted in recent policy documents and areas the EU is planning to work on in the immediate future.

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) involves teaching a subject through the medium of a different language.

Creativity and language: Creativity is central to innovation. The creative strategies necessary when learning a new language or trying to communicate in a foreign language, are transferable skills which are useful in other areas of learners’ lives and to society as a whole.

Early language learning helps learners develop positive attitudes towards other cultures and languages as well as laying the foundation for language learning in later life.

Language and culture awareness: The European Union is founded on ‘unity in diversity': diversity of cultures, customs and beliefs – and of languages. Language is the most direct expression of culture; it is what makes us human and gives each of us a sense of identity.

Language-friendly environment: Creating a living, learning and working environment which is ‘language-friendly’, where different languages are heard and seen, where speakers of all languages feel welcome and language learning is encouraged, is a benefit for all society.

Multilingual comprehension is about being able to understand a language if you speak one that is similar.

Information and communication technologies (ICT) offer more opportunities than ever before for learners and teachers to be in direct contact with the target language and target language communities.

The European indicator on language competence will, for the first time, provide Member States with valid and reliable data on citizens’ language skills, which they may then use to inform their decisions about foreign language teaching and learning.

Teachers Guide to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

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Academic Writing

At most universities world-wide, future EFL teachers are required to write in an academic style. Essays, research papers, and theses are examples of the most important academic writing that the student-teacher (hereafter ST) does. Furthermore, when they become EFL teachers, it is quite possible that they will teach students wishing to study at undergraduate or postgraduate levels. However, there are few published, experiential accounts of how future EFL teachers are taught to do academic writing. In this article, I will attempt to fill that gap by sharing an account of an integrated, genre-based/process-writing experience in the Chilean context.

Click on the link below to get Teaching Academic Writing:

https://www.createspace.com/3801287

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The International Baccalaureate [Kindle Edition]

The International Baccalaureate [Paperback]

The global search for high-quality education, embedded in high-performing education systems, has taken on mythical proportions, almost resembling the alchemists’ quest to turn common metals into gold.

It is my hope that the present day search for global education, equitable and providing equality of opportunity for all, shall not cease until the “gold” we seek, has been found.

I therefore dedicate this book to all the educators, researchers, parents and students the world over, who strive to achieve this elusive goal,high-quality education for all the citizens of the world.

In this endeavour, it is my belief that the International Baccalaureate merits a closer look, based on their more than 40 year history of delivering consistently excellent results.

I add that all of the reflections and views in this book are mine alone, unless otherwise noted, and can not be attributed to my employer or any other organization I am affiliated with, past or present. For any errors or oversights, I bear the complete responsibility.

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Amazon Author Page: Thomas Jerome Baker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He is the Head of the English Department at Colegio Internacional SEK in Santiago, Chile.

He is the Co-Founder and Co-Organiser of EdCamp Santiago, free, participant-driven, democratic, conversation based professional development for teachers, by teachers. EdCamp Santiago 2012 was held at Universidad Mayor in Santiago.

Thomas is also a member of the Advisory Board for the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL), where he also serves as a reviewer and as the HETL Ambassador for Chile.

Thomas enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. Thus far, he has written the following genres: romance, historical fiction, autobiographical, sports history/biography, and English Language Teaching. He has published a total of forty six (46) books overall.

The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family, his wife Gabriela, and his son, Thomas Jerome Baker, Jr.

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Participating in a MOOC

Currently, there are two ways to find out what learning in a massive, open, online course is like: One, you can participate in such a course, provided you have the time necessary to invest in such a learning experience. When your time is the limited and precious commodity that we all know it to be, you may not be able to participate, however.

Don’t feel bad about that. That’s life, and for the majority of us mortals, we work for a living in a world that will not let us simply employ our time in any pursuit. We have to be selective, to be balanced with the way in which we invest our time. Families, friends, hobbies, rest & relaxation demand an equal share of the 24 hour clock. So, if we can’t participate in a MOOC, that leaves option two available.

Option Two? You can read this book…

My #CCK11 Experience
by Thomas Jerome Baker

Stephen: “On Jan. 17 George Siemens and I will launch the third offering of our online course called ‘Connectivism and Connective Knowledge’ – or CCK11. We use the term ‘connectivism’ to describe a network-based pedagogy. The course itself uses connectivist principles and is therefore an instantiation of the philosophy of teaching and learning we both espouse.” This book is the result of my participation in the #CCK11 course

My #CCK11 Experience

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The International Baccalaureate [Kindle Edition]

The International Baccalaureate [Paperback]

The global search for high-quality education, embedded in high-performing education systems, has taken on mythical proportions, almost resembling the alchemists’ quest to turn common metals into gold.

It is my hope that the present day search for global education, equitable and providing equality of opportunity for all, shall not cease until the “gold” we seek, has been found.

I therefore dedicate this book to all the educators, researchers, parents and students the world over, who strive to achieve this elusive goal,high-quality education for all the citizens of the world.

In this endeavour, it is my belief that the International Baccalaureate merits a closer look, based on their more than 40 year history of delivering consistently excellent results.

I add that all of the reflections and views in this book are mine alone, unless otherwise noted, and can not be attributed to my employer or any other organization I am affiliated with, past or present. For any errors or oversights, I bear the complete responsibility.

**

Amazon Author Page: Thomas Jerome Baker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He is the Head of the English Department at Colegio Internacional SEK in Santiago, Chile.

He is the Co-Founder and Co-Organiser of EdCamp Santiago, free, participant-driven, democratic, conversation based professional development for teachers, by teachers. EdCamp Santiago 2012 was held at Universidad Mayor in Santiago.

Thomas is also a past member (2011-2012) of the Advisory Board for the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL), where he also serves as a reviewer and as the HETL Ambassador for Chile.

Thomas enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. Thus far, he has written the following genres: romance, historical fiction, autobiographical, sports history/biography, and English Language Teaching. He has published a total of forty six (46) books overall.

The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family, his wife Gabriela, and his son, Thomas Jerome Baker, Jr.

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Pinterest: Paperback Books by Thomas Jerome Baker

Pinterest: Books by Thomas Jerome Baker on Amazon

Amazon Author Page: Thomas Jerome Baker

About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family.
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