This ECML project "Mediation in teaching, learning and assessment" sets out to develop a teaching guide for foreign language teachers of primary and secondary education who want to include cross-lingual mediation in their classrooms. Teachers will gain awareness of how to develop tasks which will incorporate more than one language (e.g. foreign language + mother tongue + other languages). These mediation tasks will aim not only at making learners competent in using the target language, but they will also raise learners’ awareness of the importance of language alternation.
Moving away from the traditional way of teaching and learning, this guide suggests a plurilingual approach to the teaching of languages. Specifically, it will contain information about the theory and practice of language teaching, learning and assessing mediation together with examples of mediation tasks in different languages. The examples of mediation tasks will draw upon the new descriptors of the Companion Volume of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) (CEFR-CV).
The key points of the METLA Teaching Guide are:
- theory and practice of cross-linguistic mediation for the development of plurilingual competence;
- the CEFR-CV performance descriptors of mediation and how they related to learning and assessment tasks;
- guidelines for the alignment of mediation tasks with CEFR CV descriptors;
- guidelines for designing oral, written and multimodal mediation tasks with examples;
- guidelines for assessing and testing mediation performance.
Cross-lingual mediation activities which ask for the parallel use of languages in the classroom can be used to soften linguistic and cultural barriers. The benefits of such fluid language practices in the foreign language classroom are many, the challenges as well!
Dr Maria Stathopoulou, Coordinator