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Mediation in teaching, learning and assessment

The METLA project proposes innovative and engaging ways in which teachers can include language mediation in their everyday classroom practice. Here you will find essential information about language mediation, plenty of examples of cross-linguistic mediation tasks and step-by-step guidelines on how you can design and evaluate your own language mediation tasks.

teaching materials database

Introduction

Through cross-linguistic mediation activities, learners are encouraged to make use of the different languages they know. In this section, we:
 
1

provide information about the types of mediation tasks and we give examples of different tasks;

2

discuss task requirements for the completion of such tasks;

3

present the METLA task template (the template the METLA team uses to design and analyse the METLA tasks with information of how to use it);

4

provide information on how to design mediation tasks and how to adapt mediation tasks for your own contexts;

5

give suggestions on how to assess mediation.

 

Types of mediation tasks

Mediation tasks are those tasks which require learners to selectively extract information from one text and relay/transfer it into another. They can be either intralinguistic (within the same language but across texts, discourses and registers) or cross-linguistic (involving more than one language). 

Cross-linguistic mediation tasks, on which this project focuses, are those that require users of languages to relay information from one language to another for a given communicative purpose or to engage in meaning negotiation across languages.

When learners are involved in a mediation task across languages, they first have to process information presented in a text (either verbal or visual) in Language A and then transfer some of its messages in Language B (or other languages, i.e., Language C or D etc.) in a way that is appropriate for the context of situation. More than two languages may be involved either at the level of reception and/or at the level of production. 

Examples of cross-linguistic mediation tasks


Retelling a story the students know in their home language in the language they learn, or the other way around;

Reading the news in Language A and tell / write the main ideas in Language B;

Writing an abstract / a report of the foreign language class in other languages for the students who were not present;

Attending a meeting in another part of the country where another language is spoken, then trying to summarise its main points in the language spoken for colleagues who could not attend;

Providing cultural input to a tourist who - although knowing the local language -  cannot manage in a situation without this knowledge;  

More examples are available in the Teaching Guide.