The ELP has three components: a language passport, a language biography, and a dossier.
The Language Passport provides an overview of the individual’s proficiency in different languages at a given point in time. It is expected that the learner will update the language passport at regular intervals, to reflect progress in language learning and the acquisition of new intercultural experiences. It will also normally include the Self-assessment Grid from the CEFR.
The Language Biography contains goal-setting and self-assessment checklists that expand on the summary descriptors contained in the Self-assessment Grid. It encourages the learner to state what he/she can do in each language and to include information on linguistic, cultural and learning experiences gained in and outside formal educational contexts. It is organised to promote plurilingualism, i.e. the development of proficiency in a number of languages.
The Dossier offers the learner the opportunity to select materials to document and illustrate achievements or experiences recorded in the Language Biography or Passport.
The main aims of the ELP are:
- to help learners give shape and coherence to their experience of learning and using languages other than their first language;
- to motivate learners by acknowledging their efforts to extend and diversify their language skills at all levels;
- to provide a record of the linguistic and cultural skills they have acquired (to be consulted, for example, when they are moving to a higher learning level or seeking employment at home or abroad.
Through its projects past and present, its project outputs and resources as well as its training and consultancy, the ECML has significant expertise in supporting teachers and teacher educators to understand the philosophy of learning, teaching and assessment on which these instruments are based, and to ensure their effective and efficient application in different learning contexts.
The website contains a wide range of information on how to use the ELP including practical materials like videos, PowerPoint presentations, posters, worksheets as well as links, references and FAQs. Information on ELP developments within individual European countries is provided with material in national languages.