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Council of Europe project:
CEFR descriptors for Mediation

 

We are pleased to share with you the news about the progress that has been made within the Council of Europe project on writing, validating and piloting new CEFR descriptors. The draft version of the descriptors was finished. St Petersburg state university was mentioned in acknowledgement together with the other participants of the project.

Acknowledgement of participation letter

The team of the Language Testing Centre of Saint Petersburg State University were happy and privileged to take part in the Council of Europe project on the new CEFR descriptors for Mediation in 2015-2016.

Background

Dr Brian North, CEFR co-author and the Eurocentres Foundation Project Coordinator, invited the team of the Language Testing Centre (LTC) of Saint Petersburg State University to take part in the project. By that time the LTC specialists had already completed the Standard Setting and some other procedures required by the Council of Europe to link their graduation examination in English, called the Second Certificate Examination, to the Common European Frame of Reference for Languages. The results achieved  by the LTC team in this work had paved the way to the further collaboration with the world’s leading science groups.

Invitation to take part in the project. Johanna Parthier`s Letter

LTC Team Experience

This is what the specialists of the LTC say about their experience in the CEFR descriptors for Mediation project:

“With this project we’re on the cutting edge of the language science and practical research. We pay special attention to the input information on the topic, and we appreciate the feedback information on the workshop results. It’s been good food for thought!”

“With 190 leading universities, examination centres and research groups taking part in the project, we feel that we’re part of the international scientific community. It’s an exciting feeling!”

“It’s been extremely useful for my scientific research! I feel that new concepts emerge out of the interaction of the old and new ideas. For example, the concept of “mediation” has acquired new features and became modern, as it now reflects the realia of the modern world.”

“The project is organised and led efficiently. Especially, we liked the experience with the SurveyMonkey questionnaire. It was quick and user-friendly.”

Importance of the Project 

Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) has been one of the best known and most used Council of Europe policy tools since its publication in 2001.

Mediation in its traditional view is the process of conveying received information. It is also one of the four basic communicative activities along with production, reception and interaction. The concept of mediation was presented in the CEFR (2001).

The Council of Europe decided on launching a project on the development of CEFR descriptors for Mediation (2013), as there were no such descriptors in CEFR.

Opportunities for the LTC Specialists

Naturally, the LTC specialists take every opportunity to develop professionally and this project provides and excellent opportunity to rethink and modernize some concepts and approaches, learn from new materials , analyse and develop the received information, and build up the team.

Acknowledgement of the LTC contribution

The number of the LTC participants (from 12 to 16), which was higher than average, and their contribution to the overall project execution and outcome were highly estimated by the Head of the Language Policy Unit, Council of Europe, Ms Johanna Panthier in her thank-you-letter  to the Director of LTC Ms Prokhorova. (Johanna Panthier`s Letter

Publication

According to the Information Letter of 6th February 2015, Strasbourg, Council of Europe, “The Extended Set of illustrative descriptors for the CEFR will then be published on the Council of Europe’s website in English and French mid-2016. All institutions participating in the validation will be acknowledged at publication and arrangements can be made for participating institutions to provide a certificate jointly with the Council of Europe to individuals who participate in all of the three rounds of validation.” (Information Letter, Council of Europe, 6.02.2015)

The draft of the Extended Set of illustrative descriptors for the CEFR was published, but it is not in public domain. All institutions participating were acknowledged. The work on CEFR descriptors project continues.