The purpose of project (C6 within the ECML's 2nd medium programme) was to support the implementation of the European Language Portfolio (ELP) in Council of Europe member states by (i) developing a kit of materials and activities for ELP-related teacher training; (ii) mediating the materials and activities in a central workshop; and (iii) supporting national ELP training events arising from the central workshop. Accordingly, this booklet and the accompanying CD-Rom are aimed at teacher educators and multiplier teachers who are responsible for introducing language teachers to the ELP and helping them to explore its many dimensions and implications.
There were five members of the project team: David Little (Ireland; co-ordinator), Hans-Peter Hodel (Switzerland), Viljo Kohonen (Finland), Dick Meijer (The Netherlands), and Radka Perclová (Czech Republic). The project began in January 2004 with a planning meeting at which the project team identified the themes and issues that it wished to address in its teacher training materials. Each theme/issue was assigned to one team member for further development. At a second planning meeting, in July 2004, the team finalized the components of the kit and agreed on the programme for the central workshop, which was held in ECML from 23 to 26 November 2006. One place at the central workshop was allocated to each ECML member state and the remaining places were filled by other Council of Europe member states on a first-come first-served basis.
Including the project team, there were 42 participants in the central workshop, drawn from the following 32 countries: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria (2), Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic (2), Estonia, Finland (3), “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland (3), Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands (2), Norway (2), Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (2), United Kingdom (2). The aim of the central workshop was not only to mediate the first version of the teacher training kit to participants but also to encourage them to reflect on the kind of national training event they were in a position to organize.
At the beginning of the planning process the project team decided that the teacher training kit must be as wide-ranging as possible. Accordingly the central workshop addressed the following themes and issues:
- the Common European Framework of Reference – competences, levels and descriptors
- self-assessment in relation to the common reference levels (Dick Meijer);
learning how to learn – a model for reflection for teacher trainers, teachers and learners (Viljo Kohonen);
- learner autonomy – drawing together the threads of self-assessment, goal-setting and reflection (David Little);
- language in the ELP – language(s) of presentation and language(s) of process; plurilingualism (Radka Perclová);
- developing intercultural awareness (Dick Meijer);
- integrating the ELP with language curricula and textbooks (Hans-Peter Hodel, Radka Perclová, Viljo Kohonen);
- using the ELP to go beyond the textbook (Dick Meijer);
- connecting assessment with the ELP and the common reference levels (Hans-Peter Hodel).
In the first session of the workshop participants were invited to take stock of their own ELP situation and reflect on their options for a national training event. Thereafter each theme/issue was introduced in a plenary session and explored in working groups of not more than nine participants. The working groups remained the same throughout the workshop in order to encourage the growth of a strong interactive dynamic; each group was animated by a member of the project team. Most working group sessions produced poster summaries of their conclusions; these were displayed in the plenary room and were thus available to all other participants. As the workshop progressed, participants gradually compiled their own version of the teacher training kit comprising handouts and activity sheets, the products of group work, and individual notes and reflection.
At the end of the workshop a draft timetable of 25 follow-up events was drawn up. During January and February 2005 the project coordinator negotiated a final timetable, which was submitted to ECML at the end of February 2005. In May 2005 a lightly revised version of the teacher training materials and activities used at the central workshop was made available to participants on CD-Rom.
In 2005 national training events supported by members of the project team, and in one case by an Austrian colleague who attended the central workshop, were held in 10 countries: Finland (Radka Perclová), Liechtenstein (Margareta Nezbeda), Armenia (Dick Meijer), Norway (David Little), Sweden (David Little), Germany (Dick Meijer), Lithuania (Radka Perclová), Estonia (Radka Perclová), Latvia (David Little), Romania (Hans-Peter Hodel). In 2006 follow-up events were held in six further countries: France (Hans-Peter Hodel), Czech Republic (Hans-Peter Hodel), Albania (David Little), Poland (Radka Perclová), Austria (David Little), Iceland (Viljo Kohonen). In 2007 a follow-up event was held in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” (Dick Meijer).
On 30 June and 1 July 2006 the project team met in ECML to pool the experience they had gained from the national training events held so far, share the additional materials they had developed in response to the needs of specific national contexts, and discuss the form that the project’s final product should take. We decided to produce the present booklet and CD-Rom, the CD-Rom to contain a revised version of the kit of training materials; supplementary materials developed by project team members; reports on the national ELP training events together with training materials and papers/reports on ELP implementation submitted by the organizers of national events; and reference documents relevant to ELP-related teacher training.