From Profile to Portfolio: A Framework for Reflection in     Language Teacher Education


March 2007 |

November 2006 |

October 2006 |

April 2006 |

March 2006 |

April 2005 |

Action Plan |

Calendar |


October 2007: Publication available in pdf format

Newby, David / Allan, Rebecca / Fenner, Anne-Brit / Jones, Barry / Komorowska, Hanna / Soghikyan, Kristine (eds.), European Portfolio for Student Teachers of Languages - A reflection tool for language teacher education, Strasbourg / Graz: Council of Europe / European Centre for Modern Languages, 2007, ISBN 978-92-871-6207-6

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March 2007: European Portfolio for Student Teachers of Languages

From 22 - 23 March, 2007 a meeting of the EPOSTL expert group took place at the ECML It was attended by five authors of the EPOSTL, David Newby, Anne-Brit Fenner, Barry Jones, Hanna Komorowska and Kristine Soghikyan and by three additional advisers, Sylvia Velikova, Department of Language and Literature Teaching Methodology, University of Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria and Nada Vojtkova, Faculty of Education, Masaryk University, Czech Republic, who had attended the central workshop and have since been involved in disseminating the EPOSTL, and Dick Meijer, former senior curriculum adviser at SLO, Netherlands, and author of the Dutch teacher portfolio.

The meeting had two main aims: firstly to take stock of the large number of dissemination and piloting activities that have taken place in connection with the EPOSTL and secondly, to plan a follow-up project for the third medium-term programme, which will be submitted to the ECML.

Most of the time was devoted to the planning of the follow-up project, which will bear the acronym 'EPOSTL2'. This will consist of several 'modules' or sub-projects as follows:

1. Rationale & theory; discussion of content of EPOSTL with regard to theoretical issues

2. Dissemination and networking; establishment of national and regional networks

3. Cooperation between EPOSTL and the Dutch Portfolio project

4. Monitoring of EPOSTL activities

5. Practical examples of EPOSTL in use; examples of good practice

6. Piloting; case studies/research projects in connection with EPOSTL

7. Curriculum development; how can EPOSTL inform teacher education curriculum development and aid programme comparison?

The main outcome of these strands will be a final publication comprising both a training kit for users of the EPOSTL and articles based on research findings arising from the use of EPOSTL.

David Newby

November 2006: Editorial meeting at the ECML

The final, editorial meeting of the project took place from Friday 13 to Sunday 15 November 2006, attended by David Newby, Anne-Brit Fenner and Barry Jones. The aim of this meeting was to finalise the structure and content of the European Porftolio for Student Teachers of Languages (EPOSTL). This entailed making final decisions on the 193 descriptors which form the core of the Portfolio as well as writing and editing texts for the other sections. In addition, the introduction, glossary and index were completed. Despite an intensive working weekend there remained various tasks for the team to complete. The final manuscript has now been submitted to the ECML. It is expected to be available online in the first few months of 2007.

October 2006: Expert Meeting at the ECML

Barry JONES, Anne-Brit FENNER and David NEWBY.

The final, editorial meeting of the FTE project took place at the ECML from 13 - 16 October 2006, attended by three members of the coordinating team: David Newby, Anne-Brit Fenner and Barry Jones. The overall aim of this meeting was to produce the manuscript version of the European Portfolio for Student Teachers of Language (EPOSTL).

After making some final amendments to the approximately 200 didactic descriptors, which form the core of the EPOSTL, the group set to work on finalising the glossary and index. Following this, the structure of the publication was reconsidered, as the result of which it was agreed that the document would contain the following sections:

  • An introduction, which provides a brief overview of the EPOSTL

  • A personal statement section, to help students about to begin their teacher education to reflect on general questions related to teaching

  • A self-assessment section, consisting of 'can-do' descriptors, to facilitate reflection and self-assessment by student teachers

  • A dossier, for students to make the outcome of self-assessment transparent, to provide evidence of progress and to record examples of work relevant to teaching

  • A glossary of the most important terms relating to language learning and teaching used in EPOSTL

  • An index of terms used in the descriptors
Attention was then given to the final format and layout of EPOSTL. In particular, the editors discussed how the EPOSTL could be made both attractive and easy to use.

On the last day of the meeting, we devoted some time to considering the next phase of the FTE project. The fact that the ECML has encouraged a follow-up project in the next medium-term programme provides an excellent opportunity to set up a framework in which the EPOSTL can not only be disseminated among member states but for optimal ways of using the EPOSTL to be dealt with in a systematic way.

The final manuscript will be delivered to the ECML in the next two weeks and it is hoped that the publication will be available early in 2007.

April 2006: Workshop at the ECML

From 27 - 29 April, 2006 the central workshop of our project was held, which was attended by 30 representatives of the 33 member states plus additional participants from the Russian Federation and Austria. The main aims of the workshop were:

a) to present the draft version of the Student Teacher Portfolio;
b) to allow participants to analyse, comment on and suggest amendments to the draft version
c) to draw up plans for disseminating and piloting the STP.

During the workshop, considerable enthusiasm was expressed for the concept of the STP and a range of constructive suggestions were put forward during group work and discussions as to how it might be improved. At the conclusion of the workshop, the coordinating team met to discuss amendments that will be made on the basis of the workshop feedback and of discussions. One significant change that is to be made is that the title of the portfolio is to be "European Portfolio for Student Teachers of Languages' (EPOSTL), subtitle 'a reflection tool for language teacher education'. Changes in structure and content will be made by the coordinating team over the summer months based on the workshop feedback and the final version of EPOSTL is due to be published later this year.

In the meantime participants at the workshop and coordinators will be disseminating and piloting the portfolio and we all look forward to hearing how the portfolio is received by student teachers and teacher educators.

See also FTE Workshop report.

The workshop 5/2006 participants

March 2006: Student Teacher Portfolio

Over the past year the project group 'A framework for teacher education' has been developing a 'Student Teacher Portfolio' (STP), which is intended to be used in initial teacher training. The completed STP will be presented at an ECML workshop in April. Here you can read extracts of the STP. This contains the full 'Guide for Teacher Educators' and an extract from the Biography section of the Portfolio. It is expected that the final version of the Portfolio will be published at the end of 2006.

April 2005: Project team report

From 8-10 April the first meeting of the project team took place. Our overall aim of drawing up a profile of competences for teacher education was stimulated by the wide range of cultural experiences reflected in our group of teacher educators, whose members come from Armenia, Austria, Norway, Poland and the UK.

In this first meeting our main task was to consider how to draw up a form of categorisation which might serve as the basis of our task, what type of model to use, how our work may be helped by the European Language Portfolio and the Common European Framework etc.

In addition, we considered the most appropriate way of using the Southampton University-based European Profile for Language Teacher Education¸ which we are taking as our starting point and with whose team we are cooperating. At the conclusion of our meeting, we had agreed on the main structural aspects of our portfolio and will now start work on this complex and comprehensive task.