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    Mediation in teaching, learning and assessment

Mediation in teaching, learning and assessment

This project sets out to develop a teaching guide for foreign language teachers of primary and secondary education who want to include linguistic mediation in their classrooms. This will contain information about the theory and practice of language teaching, learning and assessing mediation together with examples of mediation tasks in different languages, which draw on the Companion Volume of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). A digital database, which will include tasks for various educational environments, will also be produced.

Related resources


Working languages of the project: English, French
Project term: 2020-2021
Shortcut: www.ecml.at/mediation 


Main idea and objectives

This project sets out to develop guidelines useful for language teachers who want to include the linguistic mediation aspect in their classrooms. The goal is to familiarise teachers with a language pedagogy that will allow them to function “as agents of multilingualism in Europe” (Ziegler 2013) and to help them gain knowledge into how to develop and assess their students’ mediation skills.

Mediation, with which this project is concerned, as part of someone's plurilingual competence is an aspect in teacher education not yet touched upon. As highlighted by a study by Zeigler (2013) plurilingualism has become a mode of living on the one hand but is still in its infancy from a methodological and applied viewpoint. As stated in her study relating to the need for foreign language teachers to be trained in plurilingual methodology “language teachers faced with the challenge of multilingualism and plurilingual repertoires can no longer draw on single resources like bringing in materials in a given language or from experienced multilingual practices (e.g., Erasmus exchange)”. More than in the past, language teachers have to integrate language resources of multiple kinds. This project draws upon inclusive and pluralistic approaches to education – main priorities of the European Centre for Modern Languages - where the development of linguistic and intercultural competences play a key role.

Language teachers will hopefully become able to adopt new teaching methods in today's multilingual classrooms focusing on languages as resources rather than on languages as systems to be taught thus facilitating a shift from monolingualism to multilingualism.

Target groups

  • Teachers 
  • Teacher educators
  • Educational authorities responsible for foreign language teachers training programmes
  • Decision makers: principals, curriculum planners 
  • Material developers
  • School advisors
  • Teacher associations

Envisaged project results

The teaching guide to be produced will contain information about

  • what mediation entails,
  • how it can be implemented,
  • types of mediation tasks.

It will provide guided practice for the development of teaching and testing tasks for cross-linguistic and intralinguistic mediation drawing upon the CEFR Companion Volume with New Descriptors of mediation (Council of Europe, 2018).

A digital database which will contain activities and tasks to be used in different educational environments as well as digital materials and further references relevant to mediation will also be produced.

Using the work carried out so far by the Council of Europe as reference and as a base on which to expand the European vision of changing the language teaching paradigm to a more open and inclusive approach, this project will also entail a series of webinars focusing on providing further guidelines to participants as to how to teach and assess mediation. The webinars towards the end of the project will become available to teachers, teacher trainers, material developers, and syllabus designers. In this way, the project will attempt to exploit, as recommended by the European Commission, the transformational benefits of ICTs and other new technologies to “enrich teaching, improve learning experiences, support personalized learning, facilitate access through distance learning, and create new opportunities for the collaboration across cultural borders” (European Commission, 2011: 5)

Upcoming events

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Nov 2020
Mediation in teaching, learning and assessment -
Network meeting
Venue: ECML, Graz, Austria

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