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Making Connections in a Changing World: A European Language Education and Assessment Perspective

Författare och institution:
Mats Oscarson (Institutionen för didaktik och pedagogisk profession)
Publicerad i:
Power to Connect in a Changing World: International Conference on Language, Literature & Translation. The Faculty of Foreign Language, University of Jordan, Amman, s. 28
Konferensbidrag - refereegranskat abstract
Sammanfattning (abstract):
The need for improved conditions for learning and better intercultural communication is recognised worldwide. The concept of language, in all its ramifications, is at the very heart of this universal realisation. A noteworthy example of responses to the need is the Council of Europe’s longstanding work undertaken in order to promote linguistic diversity and language learning in member states (Council of Europe, 2007). Extensive development work has been conducted in pursuit of this goal and considerable advances have been made in many areas of language policy, language education and language assessment. Examples are the formulation of principles for the description of goals for language learning (van Ek & Trim, 1991), the elaboration of a comprehensive Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, CEFR (Council of Europe, 2011a), and the production of a model for a European Language Portfolio (Council of Europe, 2011b). Steering documents in the educational sector, such as school curricula and syllabuses, as well as evaluation principles and practices in language programs and language examinations, have been greatly influenced by ideas coming out of the Council of Europe and the European Union. A special token of the concerted European effort to serve language assessment needs is the development of Dialang, a free online test instrument to be used for self-diagnosis of language abilities (Lancaster University, 2014). In this Keynote paper I illustrate some of the work done and relate it to the general theme of the Conference “Power to Connect in a Changing World” (University of Jordan, 2014). My thesis is that the results achieved are likely to have facilitated communication between citizens, thereby increasing their opportunities to connect across cultural and national boundaries, much in keeping with declared aims not only of the Council of Europe but also of the European Union. I furthermore provide examples of, and comment on, some other research and development activities that reflect a European language education perspective and point to further useful sources of information in the area. I conclude the paper by making the point that language study is an endeavour that leads to enhanced learner empowerment and improved intercultural communication and that this is particularly so if it can be pursued within a conceptual framework that supports transparent evaluation of results and easy comparison of targets and procedures across organizational structures. My final argument is that this view is corroborated by recent developments on the European language education and assessment scene.
Ämne (baseras på Högskoleverkets indelning av forskningsämnen):
Språk och litteratur
language assessment, CEFR, language portfolio, ELP, Dialang,, self-assessment, empowerment
Ytterligare information:
The contribution is an invited Keynote at the conference "Power to Connect in a Changing World", The Faculty of Foreign Language, University of Jordan, Amman (April 22-24 2014) The full text has been accepted for publication in the International Journal of Arabic-English Studies (IJAES), 15, 2015 (13 pages).
Postens nummer:
Posten skapad:
2015-04-30 10:40
Posten ändrad:
2015-04-30 16:52

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