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    Teacher and learner competences

Teacher and learner competences

Key issues central to teacher education are, on the one hand, the range of competences that learners need to develop and, on the other, the role that teachers can play in supporting their development. The focus on enhancing and expanding language teacher competences in response to learners’ needs and to our complex and ever-changing society lies at the heart of ECML activities.

Council of Europe Resources
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Teacher competences

The various methods and techniques that language teachers can use to support learning processes have, for centuries, been a central topic of discussion. With the advent of communicative language teaching in the 1970s the focus of methodologists was strongly directed towards classroom methods and procedures which would most effectively support the acquisition of language skills.

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Learner competences

Clearly, the question of teacher competences is closely connected with, and must be seen as complementary to, learner competences. This complementarity can be seen by comparing descriptors from the CEFR, relating to learner competences, with those from the EPOSTL, relating to teacher competences.

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How the work of the ECML contributes to the development of language teacher competences 

Some of the ECML’s most influential project outputs are concerned with the content and practice of teacher education, and these are playing a key role in pre-service education and in-service professional development in many countries.

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Teacher and learner competences and other thematic areas 

Discussions and projects dealt with in this thematic area relate to teacher competences in general; however, the theme of both teachers’ and learners’ is at the core of all other areas. Users are invited to continue their exploration of this theme in areas most relevant to their needs.

Evaluation and assessment 

New media

Early language learning

Plurilingual and intercultural education

Languages of schooling

Content and language integrated learning

Migrant education and employment 

Sign languages

Featured resources

CEFR Companion Volume implementation toolkit
How to help teacher educators use and disseminate the ideas of the CEFR Companion Volume
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Mediation in teaching, learning and assessment
How foreign language teachers in primary and secondary education can include (cross)linguistic mediation in their teaching practices
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Building blocks for planning language-sensitive teacher education
What is language-sensitive teaching and how can it be embedded in teacher education programmes?
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A guide to teacher competences for languages in education
Categories and descriptions of existing tools and frameworks according to areas of competences
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Action research communities for language teachers
Linking professional networks, academic expertise and good practice in the language classroom
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Latest news items

Collecting language learners’ voices – invitation to participate in a classroom activity and questionnaire

Launch of a new ECML project “Building blocks for planning language-sensitive teacher education”

Teacher competences for languages in education: ECML online workshop for teacher trainers in Serbia (4-6 November 2020)



Sep 2024

Enhancing language learning and teaching through Action Research Communities for language teachers
ECML training and consultancy for member States
Training workshop
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Sep 2024

Pluriliteracies for global citizenship: Deeper learning in the foreign language classroom
Network meeting
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Oct 2024

Fostering the plurilingual wellbeing of language teachers
Network meeting
View details