en  fr  de
  1. Home
  2.  > 
  3.  > 
  4.  > 
    Mediation in teaching, learning and assessment
  5.  > 
    Before the design process

What to know before the design process

This section provides information on the principles on which the METLA mediation tasks are based and presents their characteristics.

The METLA project and types of cross-linguistic mediation tasks

The METLA project focuses on cross-linguistic mediation. Here are some types of tasks: 

reading/listening in one language, writing/speaking in another language 

understanding instructions in one language, carry out tasks in another language 

using resources in multiple languages with the aim to produce certain outcomes

using stimuli which are photographs or images infographs or posters and asking students to transfer the gist, to discuss main ideas, to write their feelings in another language

Principles underlying the METLA mediation tasks

METLA tasks are cross-linguistic mediation tasks and encourage learners to: 

  • recognise and actively create linguistic bridges;
  • become able to use different languages for different communicative purposes and semiotic resources (as gestures, postures, gazes, mimic, drawings, etc.) purposefully;
  • engage in open, respectful, appropriate, and effective interactions across languages and cultures;
  • adopt a positive attitude towards all forms of linguistic and cultural diversity

And they: 

... are aligned with the pluralistic approaches of learning foreign languages (i.e., didactic approaches using activities which involve different languages) as learners are asked to engage their full linguistic repertoire and productively make use of transfer of information across languages;  ... are in line with the new CEFR Companion Volume descriptors which refer to linguistic mediation;
... are context-oriented and purpose-related, which means that an attempt was made to present authentic tasks relevant to the students’ everyday communicative needs; ... can be either collaborative (involving pair or group work) or individual;
... are thematically organised (each scenario is organised around a specific topic (e.g., Travelling, Health) while the sub-tasks provide an internal sequence;  ... are learner-centred catering for learners’ needs and relating to their personal, social and emotional experiences;
... are adaptable meaning that they can be adapted for the different teaching contexts thus fostering teachers’ autonomy; ... are strategies-based, which means that in each scenario a number of mediation strategies are being developed;
... consider self/peer-assessment as a key feature of formative assessment, which leads to develop their autonomy 

The input and the output relationship

In mediation tasks, there is always the two-way dynamic relationship between the input (text in Language A such as a video, an audio extract, a newspaper article etc.) and the output (oral or written text/product in Language B) which is dependent upon the context of situation set by the task (task requirements). 

The context of situation refers to: 

  • the source (input) and target (output) text-type or genre (e.g., an email, a leaflet, a report, a formal letter, an announcement  at the airport, a news bulletin etc.); what are the characteristics of a radio show and how someone could transfer this information to a newspaper article, or how the information taken from a poster could be presented in an e-mail or how the content of a movie could become a podcast discussion?
  • the relationship between interlocutors (between friends, from a student to his/her teacher etc.); What is the level of formality according to the addressees?
  • the purpose for which they communicate. The mediator produces a text which may: inform, clarify, explain, analyse in detail, present, promote, urge, suggest etc.
  • the languages involved.

These aspects, which affect the final output of mediation, need to be considered by the mediator and should be clear in the task description.