What competences, skills and strategies are needed?
When the learner mediates, s/he is involved in a process which first requires selection and then transferring of source text information into another text. The ability to mediate refers to a number of competences and skills which are manifested through the use of a number of strategies (see Teaching Guide, chapter 2 for more information). It is, therefore, important to keep in mind the following points:
To perform a mediation task successfully, the mediator must make use of cognitive skills (e.g., selecting, combining, problem solving, recalling information, predicting, analysing, guessing, making hypotheses, activating critical thinking skills etc.) which will enable him/her to evaluate (source) information and select the information which is suitable for task completion.
Possessing sociolinguistic competence is also important in order to recognise the communicative needs of the addressee and to form a message suitable for the situational context (e.g., using formal impersonal style when writing to a principal, or informal language when sending an email to a friend).
The ability to mediate across languages entails being linguistically competent in the languages involved in order to create a meaningful message.
Different tasks require the activation of different skills and competences. It is important to stress again that it is ultimately the task parameters (who is writing/speaking to whom and for what purpose) that determines language forms.
Mediation is not only concerned with the tasks that are performed but also with how somebody carries out the task. The effective use of mediation strategies is crucial for the effectiveness of mediation. Mediation strategies, which form part of someone’s strategic competence, are the techniques employed to “clarify meaning and facilitate understanding” (Council of Europe, 2020: 117), such as paraphrasing summarising, regrouping/ reorganising information, crisscrossing-information, condensing or expanding messages, blending new with source text meanings etc., illustrating with metaphors, multimodal texts or visuals, among others. Although learning how to mediate can be a life-long and challenging process, mediation strategies can be developed through pedagogic practices which incorporate a series of cross-linguistic mediation tasks. You can find the list of mediation strategies as presented through the CEFR-CV in Chapter 6 of the Teaching Guide.