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    Towards a Common European Framework of Reference for language teachers
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    The profession-related language competence profiles: Piloting and further development

A Guide to teacher competences for languages in education

These are the results of the project "Towards a Common European Framework of Reference for language teachers"

Piloting and use of the profiles

  • The profiles are used in teacher education as a resource to design and conduct appropriate and up-to-date foreign language teaching at primary and secondary level.
  • The profiles adhere to the recommendations made by Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK). 
  • They are referred to in context of recent official recommendations made by the Chamber of universities of teacher education swissuniversities. These recommendations propose the use of the profiles as a frame of reference for the development and assessment of language competences in teacher education in Switzerland.
  • They have been piloted and used in the development/design of curricular models at institutions of higher education in Switzerland, including the Universities of Teacher Education in St.Gallen (PHSG), Lucerne (PHLU) and the FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, The Lausanne University of Teacher Education (HEP), and the Department of Education and Learning of the University of Applied Sciences and Art of Southern Switzerland in Ticino (SUPSI-DFA).
  • They have been piloted in the context of continuing teacher education, in two courses in Liechtenstein (Nov 2015-June 2016), leading to a profession-specific certificate for primary English teachers; this piloting was conducted and monitored by the University of Teacher Education St.Gallen. 
  • The piloting and use of the profiles is monitored by the Center for Teacher’s Language Competences.

Further development of the profiles 

There are a number of exciting and important developments based on the profiles, including

  • Profils-langues.ch, an online platform which provides practical self-assessment and other-assessment tools
  • Evaluation and certification of profession-related language competences based on the profiles
  • Dissemination of the profiles to enable broader use in educational contexts throughout Europe. 
  • Research projects and publications

Profils-langues.ch

The profiles have been further developed for an online platform which provides a self-assessment tool as well as other-assessment activities. 

The self-assessment tool

With the help of this self-assessment instrument, users can evaluate their own profession-related language competences. Users rate their performance of communication-oriented linguistic tasks relevant to teachers of foreign languages with the help of can do-descriptors. The tasks address six areas of competence (reading; listening; writing; speaking production; speaking interaction; strategies and language awareness) and five areas of activity (preparing lessons; conducting lessons; assessing, giving feedback and advising; establishing external contacts; learning and further training). 

The following two examples in English and French show examples for self-assessment:

External assessment database

This database provides activities for the assessment of profession-related language competences. The commented tasks relate to different linguistic tasks from the profiles (https://www.phsg.ch/de/forschung/projekte/berufsspezifische-sprachkompetenzprofile-fuer-lehrpersonen-fuer-fremdsprachen) and address six areas of competence (reading; listening; writing; speaking production; speaking interaction; strategies and language awareness) and five areas of activity (preparing lessons; conducting lessons; assessing, giving feedback and advising; establishing external contacts; learning and further training). 

Center for Teachers’ Language Competences

The Competence Center monitors and coordinates various activities related to the profession-specific language competences, including research, development, in-service courses, counselling, and dissemination. If you or if you are interested in piloting the profiles, please contact one of the project members. 

For more information on the center’s competences and services and contact, please visit the website: 

https://www.phsg.ch/en/research/projects/centre-teachers-language-competences

The team of the Center for Teacher’s Language Competences