The Council of Europe’s new CEFR-CV: What’s important to know?
An IATEFL Webinar presented by Rudi Camerer
Among several innovations introduced by the Council of Europe’s CEFR-Companion Volume these two must definitely be mentioned:
- Firstly, the ‘native speaker’ construct is gone, so questions of STANDARD SETTING arise.
- Secondly, the four skills reading-writing-listening-speaking are replaced by four modes of communication: reception-production-interaction-mediation.
The concept of MEDIATION, in particular, has sparked discussions among EFL professionals. This new approach takes (cultural a.o.) CONTEXTS seriously. Communication skills appropriate to diverse contexts are described in scales for Facilitating Pluricultural Space, Facilitating Communication in Delicate Situations and Disagreements, Building on Plurilingual Repertoire, Leading Group Work, and others.
Since “the vast majority of verbal exchanges in English do not involve any native speakers of the language at all" (Seidlhofer 2005), the CEFR’s change in paradigm will prove helpful for teachers of English, native or non-native, around the globe. The new approach is highly promising in terms of its pedagogical potential and helps to specify the “added value” of foreign language teaching and learning – an urgent question, after all, in the days of digital translation tools like google translate.
About the Presenter
Rudi Camerer has a background in adult education and language testing. He is one of the two official translators of the German version of the CEFR-CV. Rudi also directs elc-European Language Competence, a consultancy based in Frankfurt/Main.