The CEFR - The Common European Framework of Reference

The CEFR - The Common European Framework of Reference

Сообщение makhzuna » 22 янв 2014, 14:52

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The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment, abbreviated as CEFR, is a guideline used to describe achievements of learners of foreign languages across Europe and, increasingly, in other countries. It was put together by the Council of Europe as the main part of the project "Language Learning for European Citizenship" between 1989 and 1996. Its main aim is to provide a method of learning, teaching and assessing which applies to all languages in Europe. In November 2001 a European Union Council Resolution recommended using the CEFR to set up systems of validation of language ability. The six reference levels are becoming widely accepted as the European standard for grading an individual's language proficiency.
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) plays a central role in language and education policy worldwide. It has growing relevance for language testers and examination boards, helping to define language proficiency levels and interpret language qualifications.
This internationally recognised framework describes language ability on a scale of levels from A1 for beginners up to C2 for those who have mastered a language. The CEFR is used by organisations all over the world as a reliable benchmark of language ability.This makes it easy for anyone involved in language teaching and testing (learners, teachers, teacher trainers, etc.) to see the level of different qualifications. It also means that employers and educational institutions can easily compare qualifications and see how they relate to exams they already know in their own country.
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Re: The CEFR - The Common European Framework of Reference

Сообщение makhzuna » 22 янв 2014, 15:01

The Common European Framework divides learners into three broad divisions that can be divided into six levels:
A Basic User
A1 Breakthrough or beginner
A2 Waystage or elementary
B Independent User
B1 Threshold or intermediate
B2 Vantage or upper intermediate
C Proficient User
C1 Effective Operational Proficiency or advanced
C2 Mastery or proficiency

The CEFR describes what a learner is supposed to be able to do in reading, listening, speaking and writing at each level.
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Re: The CEFR - The Common European Framework of Reference

Сообщение makhzuna » 24 янв 2014, 08:55

What is the purpose of the CEFR?
The aim of the CEFR is to stimulate reflection on current practice and to provide common
reference points to facilitate communication, comparison of courses and qualifications, and
personal mobility. Before the CEFR there was a practical “Tower of Babel” problem in making
sense of course certificates and test scores, but also a theoretical one: of relating course and
test content and assessment results to real world practical language ability
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Re: The CEFR - The Common European Framework of Reference

Сообщение makhzuna » 24 янв 2014, 08:57

How is it relevant to a language school?
The CEFR promotes joined-up thinking: using a defined scale of levels as the backbone of an integrated approach to planning, teaching and assessment. It is just far easier when students’ entry level, class level, objectives, materials and final level are all classified with the same
system. CEFR-based teaching implies analysing and meeting the needs of learners in relation to the requirements of the level, rather than just following a book. The CEFR/ELP “Can Do” descriptors offer an ideal starting point for planning terms, weeks and even lessons, ensuring a
link between real life tasks and language points necessary to perform them effectively.
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Re: The CEFR - The Common European Framework of Reference

Сообщение makhzuna » 24 янв 2014, 08:58

Where do the levels come from?
The process started in 1913 with CPE (C2). “The Threshold Level” (B1), first published by the Council of Europe in 1976, defines the language needed to live in another country. It inspired the development of many course books and examinations. Specifications were then developed
for Waystage (A2), on which Cambridge KET is based, for Vantage Level (B2), partly derived from Cambridge FCE, as well as for Breakthrough (A1). Level C1 was formalised by the appearance of the French exam DALF (Diplôme Approndi en Langue Française) and Cambridge CAE in 1991. Brian North defined the levels A1-C2 (including “plus levels” A2+, B1+, B2+) with descriptor scales developed in a Eurocentres/Swiss National Research project 1993-6.
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Re: The CEFR - The Common European Framework of Reference

Сообщение makhzuna » 24 янв 2014, 08:59

Why should we harmonise on it?
The CEFR was developed to contribute to innovation and encourage networking; it is certainly not a harmonisation project, as the authors make very clear: “We have NOT set out to tell practitioners what to do or how to do it. We are raising questions not answering them. It is not the function of the CEF to lay down the objectives that users should pursue or the methods they should employ”. (CEFR: xi). The Common Reference Levels (A1-C2) facilitate communication. Clients increasingly expect to talk about levels in terms of CEFR levels.
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Re: The CEFR - The Common European Framework of Reference

Сообщение makhzuna » 24 янв 2014, 09:01

How does it relate the European Language Portfolio (ELP)?
The idea of a common European scale of levels originated in the Portfolio, a reporting tool to profile plurilingual achievement, but was lifted to the heart of the CEFR by the 1991 Symposium. The descriptors were developed in the Swiss research project to serve both the CEFR and the ELP. The ELP has a reporting function but also an awareness-raising one. Insistence on the latter has led to a rather heavy document that has hindered adoption outside teacher training and the state sector, though 100 versions have been developed. A light, electronic ELP was developed by EAQUALS with ALTE (www.eelp.org). It enables the learner to print off a one page EUROPASS summary of their plurilingual profile.
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Re: The CEFR - The Common European Framework of Reference

Сообщение makhzuna » 24 янв 2014, 09:02

What is so special about “Can Do’s”?

“Can Do’s” have been used for self-assessment since Mat Oscarson’s pioneering work in relation to The Threshold Level (B1) in the 1970s and 1980s. In contrast to earlier “Can Do’s” the CEFR descriptors are the product of serious research, and validation in pre-and post- development
studies. They usually combine an action with provisos, in order to pin down the level. They are mathematically calibrated to the scale of levels. “Can Do’s” encountered outside the UK now increasingly reflect the CEFR/ELP style and formulation.
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Re: The CEFR - The Common European Framework of Reference

Сообщение makhzuna » 24 янв 2014, 09:03

Can the CEFR be used with a grammatical syllabus?

Naturally. The CEFR does not promote functional, phrase book teaching. In the CEFR book, Chapter 4 is devoted to contexts, activities, strategies etc, whilst Chapter 5 is devoted to the different aspects of the learner’s competence: linguistic, pragmatic (functional and discourse),
socio-linguistic and intercultural. There are “Can Do” descriptor scales in both chapters, but people who have not seen the book tend to over-associate the CEFR with a functional approach rather than the competence-based approach that it really promotes. However, although the
CEFR values grammar and phonology, it promotes an “action-oriented approach:” language should be taught because it is relevant to learners’ practical language needs, not merely because it is part of a grammatical system.
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Re: The CEFR - The Common European Framework of Reference

Сообщение makhzuna » 24 янв 2014, 09:05

What is the relationship to Task-Based Learning?

THE CEFR and TBL are certainly very compatible. However tasks will tend to involve a cluster of CEFR descriptors. It is a mistake to associate descriptors one-to-one with tasks and think one progresses through a sequence with a checklist – though that may be appropriate at A1. The
CEFR’s “action-oriented approach” sees the learner as a language user with specific needs, who has to act in the language. It is commonplace to pay lip service to this idea, but it is another matter to orient a curriculum through a balanced set of ”Can Do” objectives, and to then provide opportunities to acquire/learn the competences and strategies necessary to be successful in the relevant real world tasks they refer to. This implies considerable practice with realistic listening, reading and speaking tasks in addition to language-focused work and written production. It also implies adopting pragmatic, socio-linguistic/pragmatic and strategic “communication aims” in addition to and in contrast to the more traditional linguistic aims.
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