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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.


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

European portfolio for student teachers of languages (EPOSTL)


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European portfolio for pre-primary educators – The plurilingual and intercultural dimension


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Current projects

Towards a Common European Framework of Reference for language teachers 
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Action research communities for language teachers (ARC)
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Latest news items

New European Commission Proposal for a Council Recommendation on improving the teaching and learning of languages

Council of Europe Launching Conference: CEFR Companion Volume with New Descriptors (CEFR/CV)

"Towards a Common European Framework of Reference for language teachers" (CEFRLT): project update - January 2018


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