Marion Sadoux, Head of Modern Language Programmes, University of Oxford Language Centre
“For anyone working in educational leadership in a University Wide Language Centre, the Common European Framework of Reference is a must go tool in terms of course design – it really represents the state of the art in terms of thinking around how to teach and assess languages. Yet it is not so easy to use if one wants to do it coherently across different languages because educational cultures and practices around the teaching of different languages often create barriers. Everyone seems to have an opinion about the CEFR but very few teachers have engaged with it beyond the descriptors.
This is why I approached EAQUALS to organise a training course that would empower us as a team of teachers of different languages to be able to use the CEFR and its instruments to enhance our practice. The process of setting up the course involved extensive consultation and discussions as part of a very robust needs analysis – the training was planned through different phases and modes of delivery matching our requirements and extended beyond the training session to a very insightful debrief from our trainer. It felt like such a treat to be learning from and with the experts and to have the opportunity to map out and reflect on the way in which the new descriptors could shape our curriculum and assessment design. For many of us, the training genuinely transformed our practice as it invited us to embrace concepts of mediation and plurilingualism and to rethink key elements of our teaching approach such as for instance language interference. This was without a doubt the most relevant and empowering training event that I have been able to part engineer. I would warmly recommend such practice to all Language Centres!”