European Profile for Language Teacher Education – a frame of Reference Final Report a report to the European Commission Directorate General for Education and Culture Written by Michael Kelly, Michael Grenfell, Rebecca Allan



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European Profile for Language Teacher Education –

A Frame of Reference

Final Report
A Report to the European Commission

Directorate General for Education and Culture
Written by Michael Kelly, Michael Grenfell,

Rebecca Allan, Christine Kriza and William McEvoy

September 2004


Address for correspondence: Professor Michael Kelly,

School of Humanities, University of Southampton

Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK
European Profile for Language Teacher Education –

A Frame of Reference

Contents
Executive Summary 4

Main Report

Part I

Contexts for Developing a European Profile for Language Teacher Education 8

Introduction 9

Social and political context 10

Immediate policy context 11

The remit of the report 11

Conduct of research 12

Methodology 13


Part II

European Profile for Language Teacher Education –

A Frame of Reference 18

Using the Profile 19

Organisation of the Profile 20

The European Profile for Language Teacher Education –

A Frame of Reference

i. Structure 22

ii. Knowledge and Understanding 46

iii. Strategies and Skills 60

iv. Values 81

Part III

Summary of Case Studies 91


Identifying the case studies 92

Summary of the case studies 93

Summary of the case studies in relation to the Profile 102

Analysis of the case studies in relation to the Profile 104

Key issues in European foreign language teacher education 105
Part IV

Summary of Delphi Study 107

Introduction 108

Methodology 108

Conclusions and implications 114

Part V

Glossary 115

Appendix I

Case Studies
Appendix II

Quality Assurance and Enhancement Guidelines


Appendix III

Methodology



European Profile for Language Teacher Education –

A Frame of Reference

Executive summary

This report proposes a European Profile for language teacher education in the 21st century. It deals with the initial and in-service education of foreign language teachers in primary, secondary and adult learning contexts and it offers a frame of reference for language education policy makers and language teacher educators in Europe.


The findings draw on consultation with a wide range of European experts on language teacher education, and on the experience of eleven European teacher education institutions. The findings also suggest guidelines for quality assurance and enhancement.

By outlining the key elements in European language teacher education, the Profile aims to serve as a checklist for existing teacher education programmes and a guideline for those still being developed.


The report begins by examining the context of recent European enlargement and developments in the European Commission’s policies for education and languages. It outlines the need for a Profile for foreign language teacher education in Europe and explains the rationale behind the Profile as it has been developed. It deals with the structure of educational courses, the knowledge and understanding central to foreign language teaching, the diversity of teaching and learning strategies and skills and the kinds of values language teaching should encourage and promote.
Drawing on the expertise of policy makers and educators in the field of foreign language teacher education from a wide range of European countries, the Profile presents 40 key elements in language teacher education courses. It details how courses can be structured and delivered to give trainee teachers access to essential learning opportunities during initial and in-service teacher education. In particular, it focuses on innovative teacher education practices and ways of promoting cooperation, exchange and mobility among the new generation of Europe’s language teachers.
In the Profile, each element is explained in detail and supported by advice, guidelines and proposals from European experts. Eleven case studies of European teacher education institutions provide exemplifications of how each element works in practice. The case studies also help identify a number of possible issues that might arise in relation to items of the Profile.
In summary, the report proposes that foreign language teacher education in the twenty-first century should include the following elements of initial and in-service education:

Structure
1. A curriculum that integrates academic study and the practical experience of teaching.
2. The flexible and modular delivery of initial and in-service education.
3. An explicit framework for teaching practice (stage/practicum).
4. Working with a mentor and understanding the value of mentoring.
5. Experience of an intercultural and multicultural environment.
6. Participation in links with partners abroad, including visits, exchanges or ICT links.
7. A period of work or study in a country or countries where the trainee’s foreign language is spoken as native.
8. The opportunity to observe or participate in teaching in more than one country.
9. A European-level evaluation framework for initial and in-service teacher education programmes, enabling accreditation and mobility.
10. Continuous improvement of teaching skills as part of in-service education.
11. Ongoing education for teacher educators.
12. Training for school-based mentors in how to mentor.
13. Close links between trainees who are being educated to teach different languages.

Knowledge and Understanding
14. Training in language teaching methodologies, and in state-of-the-art classroom techniques and activities.
15. Training in the development of a critical and enquiring approach to teaching and learning.
16. Initial teacher education that includes a course in language proficiency and assesses trainees’ linguistic competence.
17. Training in information and communication technology for pedagogical use in the classroom.
18. Training in information and communication technology for personal planning, organisation and resource discovery.
19. Training in the application of various assessment procedures and ways of recording learners’ progress.
20. Training in the critical evaluation of nationally or regionally adopted curricula in terms of aims, objectives and outcomes.
21. Training in the theory and practice of internal and external programme evaluation.
Strategies and Skills
22. Training in ways of adapting teaching approaches to the educational context and individual needs of learners.
23. Training in the critical evaluation, development and practical application of teaching materials and resources.
24. Training in methods of learning to learn.
25. Training in the development of reflective practice and self-evaluation.
26. Training in the development of independent language learning strategies.
27. Training in ways of maintaining and enhancing ongoing personal language competence.
28. Training in the practical application of curricula and syllabuses.
29. Training in peer observation and peer review.
30. Training in developing relationships with educational institutions in appropriate countries.
31. Training in action research.
32. Training in incorporating research into teaching.
33. Training in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL).
34. Training in the use of the European Language Portfolio for self-evaluation.

Values
35. Training in social and cultural values.
36. Training in the diversity of languages and cultures.
37. Training in the importance of teaching and learning about foreign languages and cultures.
38. Training in teaching European citizenship.
39. Training in team-working, collaboration and networking, inside and outside the immediate school context.
40. Training in the importance of life-long learning.
The report ends with a glossary of the key terms in European foreign language teacher education used in the report.
Appendices contain full descriptions of the eleven case studies, an in-depth set of quality assurance and enhancement guidelines relating to each item of the Profile, and an outline of the report’s methodology.

Part I

Contexts for Developing a European Profile for Language Teacher Education


Summary

This part presents an overview of the report, summarising the context for developing a European Profile for language teacher education. It examines how the Profile corresponds with recent developments in European language and education policy, and briefly describes the related Directorate-General for Education and Culture report ‘The Training of Teachers of a Foreign Language: Development in Europe’ that preceded it. As well as describing the present report’s remit and methodology, this part clarifies the Profile’s aims and objectives, underlining its voluntary nature. It outlines the rationale behind the Profile’s structure and content and the ways in which it could be used and referred to.



Introduction

This report proposes a European Profile for language teacher education in the 21st century. It deals with the initial and in-service education of foreign language teachers in primary, secondary and adult learning contexts and it offers a frame of reference for language education policy makers and language teacher educators in Europe.


The findings draw on consultation with a wide range of European experts on language teacher education, and on the experience of eleven European teacher education institutions. The findings also suggest guidelines for quality assurance and enhancement.

By outlining the key elements in European language teacher education, the Profile aims to serve as a checklist for existing teacher education programmes and a guideline for those still being developed.


Part I describes the broader social and political context of the Profile before focusing on the immediate policy context, including the related Directorate-General for Education and Culture report ‘The Training of Teachers of a Foreign Language: Developments in Europe’. It outlines who the Profile is aimed at and what its objectives are. It emphasises how the Profile has been established as a non-mandatory frame of reference containing examples of good practice and innovation, as well as information about the issues language teacher education programmes encounter. It ends by suggesting how the Profile could be used in practice.
Part II presents the Profile for European Language Teacher Education – A Frame of Reference. This part explains the organisation of the Profile and how the different sections have been constituted. The Profile contains 40 items. Each item contains an important element of foreign language teacher education. The Profile is divided into four sections: Structure; Knowledge and Understanding; Strategies and Skills and Values.
Part III provides an overview of the research data gathered from the case studies. It gives the reasons for choosing the case studies and suggests how they correspond with the Profile and the issues they raise about its implementation.
Part IV on the Delphi study presents the stages of the Delphi process and gives an overview of its methodology and main findings.
Part V is a glossary listing the key educational terms that appear in the report.
The appendices contain full versions of the research data found in the main report. Appendix I contains complete descriptions of the eleven case studies. Appendix II consists of detailed quality assurance and enhancement guidelines for each of the Profile items. Appendix III outlines the report’s methodology. It includes information on the expert participants in the research process and a detailed presentation of the Delphi study.

Social and political context

This report into foreign language teacher education has great strategic importance for Europe. The European Union is working towards building unity across Europe’s many diverse nations, cultures, communities and languages. It is striving to increase exchange and cooperation in many areas so that Europe’s people develop a sense of mutual respect and understanding.


The European Union has recently undergone a major expansion with the accession of ten new countries and an increase in population to over 450 million. It is more important than ever that communication and exchange between Europe’s diverse range of citizens should be encouraged and promoted. The Union is designed to facilitate mobility in many areas and improving the Union’s language skills is a central part of this process.
Over the past decade, the European Union has undertaken a wide range of initiatives to promote the teaching and learning of foreign languages in Europe. The White Paper, Teaching and Learning: Towards the Learning Society (1995), recognised the key role played by languages in the construction of European unity, and emphasised the importance of every European citizen being able to speak at least two Community languages in addition to his or her own mother tongue. The Lisbon strategy of 2000 dealing with economic, social and environmental renewal focused on turning Europe into the world’s most competitive knowledge-based economy by the year 2010. Addressing the language skills of Europe’s citizens plays a key role in this strategy. Language teacher education in particular can be seen as pivotal to this process.
The purpose of the European Union’s Socrates and Leonardo da Vinci programmes has been to develop cooperation in the field of education and training. Many of the actions have been concerned with promoting linguistic diversity and encouraging life-long language learning. Key objectives include:


  • Raising awareness about the benefits of foreign language learning;

  • Improving the quality of language teaching;

  • Increasing the number of foreign language learners;

  • Promoting the learning of less widely used and taught languages;

  • Encouraging greater provision of language teaching and learning;

  • Improving access to language learning.

The European Commission complements the actions of Member States by using these programmes to promote innovative projects in language teaching and learning. It also supports Member States in the exchange of good practice and innovation.


Diversity is one of Europe’s main assets. Language teaching, learning and teacher education help safeguard Europe’s plurilingual and pluricultural heritage. Language learning encourages cooperation and exchange and a diversity of languages enriches Europe and highlights its cultural and linguistic variety. Learning each other’s languages brings Europeans closer together and encourages openness to other cultures and ways of life.

Immediate policy context

Since 2000, the European Union has increased attempts to improve language teaching and learning. The European Year of Languages in 2001 showed how language learning could be promoted at a European and national level. In 2002, the Barcelona meeting of the European Council proposed that European citizens should be taught at least two foreign languages from an early age.


Following wide consultation with European institutions, national ministries, organisations and the general public, the Commission developed an Action Plan for language learning and linguistic diversity. The Action Plan deals with three broad areas: the promotion of life-long learning, improving language teaching and creating a more language-friendly environment. The present report plays an important role in developing the Action Plan’s focus on improving language teaching.
The education of foreign language teachers is of increasing importance because of their key role in improving foreign language learning and awakening learners’ interest in languages. Language teachers play a major part in achieving the European Union’s objective that all EU citizens should have linguistic competence in their own mother tongue and two other languages.
The Directorate-General for Education and Culture report ‘The Training of Teachers of a Foreign Language: Developments in Europe’ found that the quality of language teacher education could be improved by giving language teachers access to a common core of knowledge, skills and values. It envisaged a shared body of concepts, terms and analytical tools for language teacher education. That report presented a list of the important elements in European language teacher education. The present report takes that list as its starting point.
The present report was commissioned by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture. It is directly linked to the Action Plan’s action II.3.2 proposing a study ‘to identify the core pedagogical and linguistic skills necessary for today’s language teachers’.
The Action Plan refers to the values the language teacher should promote, the key elements of language teacher education and the various ways in which courses can be delivered. In particular, it suggests that initial teacher education should equip teachers with a basic ‘toolkit’ of skills and techniques for teaching and learning. The present report and the European Profile for Language Teacher Education – A Frame of Reference outline what such a toolkit might consist of.
The remit of the report

The report was commissioned under the title: ‘Development of a Common Profile for Language Teachers in Europe’. Its remit was to summarise the principles of foreign language teacher education, focusing on the structure, content and values of teacher education programmes. It was asked to look at modes of course delivery and access to foreign language learning. The report was limited to examining the education of teachers of foreign languages, and did not include teachers being educated to teach their own mother tongue in courses such as TEFL or FLE.

The report was asked:


  • To build on the preparatory work undertaken in the Directorate-General for Education and Culture report ‘The Training of Teachers of a Foreign Language: Developments in Europe’;

  • To be based on a broad understanding of language teacher education issues in Europe;

  • To undertake further research into current theory and practice;

  • To cover the whole of Europe;

  • To work closely with language teacher associations and teacher education organisations to achieve consensus and validate the common principles of the Common Profile.

The main objective of the report was to deliver a detailed proposal for a Common Profile for language teachers including:




  • The core linguistic, pedagogical and methodological skills required for language teachers to be effective in a European context;

  • Other aspects of professional competence, for example, European citizenship, the psychology of learning, the philosophy of education, the teacher as manager, and ICT;

  • The characteristics of a good foreign language teacher and effective classroom teaching strategies to promote learner motivation and take account of differences between learners and different learning contexts;

  • Teachers’ career development from newly qualified to advanced and expert status.

The Profile was asked to provide guidance for practice at a national and European level, and to help institutions and educators develop their education programmes for trainee foreign language teachers. It should be a reference point for European providers of language teacher education, leading to greater transparency and portability of qualifications. Wider aims included improving mobility, the creation of dual qualifications and recognition of education components at various levels of professional language teacher education.


The Profile was to correspond with The Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference for languages, both in its use of terminology and references to levels of linguistic competence.
Conduct of research

The research and writing of the report took place between February and July 2004 at the University of Southampton, UK. The research team consisted of:


Professor Michael Kelly (project director)

Dr Michael Grenfell (assistant project director)

Mr Euan Reid (project external evaluator)

Ms Rebecca Allan (project research assistant)

Ms Christine Kriza (project research assistant)

Dr William McEvoy (project research assistant)


Research began with a review of existing European documents and sources on language teacher education, focusing on the report ‘The Training of Teachers of a Foreign Language: Developments in Europe’ and the Common European Framework of References for Languages. A database of sources relating to teacher education, language teaching and learning provided key information for developing the Profile. A network of teaching organisations was put in place to begin dissemination of the Profile’s objectives and the project website was planned. Eight experts in European language teacher education formed a Consultative Group that met in March 2004 (see Appendix III, page 161) to comment on the first draft of the Profile. The key issues at this stage were:


  • The importance of creating a body of shared concepts and terminology;

  • The need for a coherent link between the Profile and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages;

  • The need to emphasise European values in foreign language teacher education;

  • The need to promote and harmonise in-service teacher education at a European level;

  • The need for European agencies to be involved in increasing trainee mobility and the recognition of qualifications.

The research team designed the Delphi study in March 2004, lasting three months, to elicit the opinions of twelve European language educators about improvements to language teacher education in their own country and from a European perspective.


The research team carried out case studies at eleven European teacher education institutions to find out how their teacher education programmes compared to the Profile. The case studies provided two types of data: exemplifications of how the Profile items worked in an institutional context, and examples of the problems and issues the Profile’s implementation might encounter in practice.
A second meeting held in June brought together the Consultative Group and the Delphi study participants to examine the full Profile in close detail. In addition, there were two meetings between the project directors and representatives of the Commission in May and June 2004. The first of dealt with plans for the Profile’s dissemination and implementation; the second asked the Commission’s Languages Expert group for detailed feedback on the Profile and the quality assurance and enhancement guidelines that complement it.
The research team sent the case studies for revision to relevant national experts wherever possible. A full set of quality assurance and enhancement guidelines was drafted, and a glossary of the report’s key educational terms was compiled.

Methodology

The central objective of the report was to produce a definitive draft of the European Profile for Language Teacher Education – a Frame of Reference. The research process consisted of four stages:




  • Wide consultation of existing material on language teacher education;

  • Meetings with experts to discuss the structure, content and terminology of the Profile itself;

  • A Delphi study asking teacher educators how language teacher education could be improved from national and European perspectives;

  • Case study field work in eleven European language teacher education institutions involving interviews with institutional policy makers, language teacher educators and trainee teachers.

Full details of these processes can be found in Appendix III.


1. Research process

The research process is summarised in the table below:




Research stage


Research output

Consultation of relevant EU and academic material on language teacher education

  • Re-draft of Profile summary

  • Initial development of Profile

Consultative meeting with European language teacher education experts

  • Re-draft of Profile summary

  • Expansion of Profile

Delphi study involving a three stage questionnaire

  • Creation of potential new items for Profile

  • Major development of Profile

Identification, execution and verification of case studies

  • Addition of case study exemplifications to Profile

  • Identification of potential problems and issues facing Profile’s implementation

Research into quality assurance and enhancement

  • Development of quality assurance and enhancement guidelines corresponding to Profile

Meeting with Commission representatives

  • Development of dissemination and implementation strategies

Joint conference with Consultative Group and Delphi study participants

  • Full re-draft of Profile

  • Agreement of conference participants to promote Profile

Meeting with Commission’s Languages Expert group

  • Revision of report

Completion of final report draft and appendices

  • Draft final report submitted 31 July 2004

Amendments to final report

  • Final report



2. Establishing the Profile

The first major draft of the Profile followed the meeting with the Consultative Group in March 2004. Key issues were:




  • Precise use of terminology;

  • Organisation of sections to move from the macro to the micro level;

  • Avoidance of passive and impersonal constructions;

  • Added emphasis on areas such as special educational needs, life-long learning and language learning for professional and vocational purposes.

The second major draft was established after the meeting with the Consultative Group and Delphi study participants in June 2004. The key issues were:




  • Incorporating items generated by the Delphi study;

  • Clarity of item headings and explanations;

  • Up to date and accurate terminology;

  • Good use of case study exemplifications.

The final draft of the European Profile for Language Teacher Education – A Frame of Reference is organised in four sections:




  • Structure;

  • Knowledge and Understanding;

  • Strategies and Skills;

  • Values.

The rationale behind this division and the constitution of each item are explained at the start of Part II.


3. Consultative Group

The Consultative Group was composed of eight leading European experts in foreign language teacher education. They were chosen to represent a wide geographical spread across Europe and a broad range of areas of expertise (see Appendix III, page 161).


Their role was to provide expert advice on the structure and terminology of the Profile. They advised on accurate use of teacher education terminology and the best way to organise the Profile. They also discussed how to disseminate, implement and provide quality assurance and enhancement guidelines for the Profile and ways of conceptualising its use.
4. Delphi Study

Following extensive research into the Delphi research methodology, twelve European language teacher educators were invited to participate in the three stage iterative process. The Delphi group was established with the following criteria in mind:




  • Participants had experience as language teacher policy makers or educators in a European context;

  • They represented a broad geographical spread across Europe, with a good balance of northern, southern and accession countries;

  • They were willing to commit to all three stages of the iterative process over a period of three months.

The Delphi study aims to establish consensus from a group of selected individuals on a given subject. The first round of the study asked participants to respond to four broad, open questions about improving language teacher education nationally and in a European context. Once these answers were collated, the second round of 36 statements asked participants to grade the statements on a scale of one to five, adding further comments. The answers that achieved greatest consensus were then graded and commented on in the third round.


As a result, eight potential new items were considered for inclusion in the Profile at the June 2004 consultative meeting. Of these, six became new Profile items, while the other two were integrated elsewhere.


5. Case Studies

Eleven teacher education institutions in Europe were selected for detailed study in relation to the Profile.


The criteria for the choice of case study institutions were:



  • A broad geographical spread across Europe, with a good balance of northern, southern and accession countries;

  • A balance of established centres of excellence and centres with recently created or still emergent language teacher education programmes;

  • Teacher education courses already corresponded with a number of items on the Profile;

  • A balance of institutions dealing with primary, secondary, initial or in-service teacher education;

  • Institutions were involved in European cooperation and exchange or emphasised the European dimension in their teacher education programmes;

  • Institutions were from different countries unless there was clear reason for duplication.

Initial data was collected from printed or web-based sources. One of the research team visited the institution to conduct interviews with the institution’s policy directors, teacher educators and, whenever possible, trainee language teachers themselves.


The case studies examined how the institutions exemplified the Profile and what could be learnt about the way the Profile might work in practice. Each case study adopted a similar reporting structure:


  • National Background;

  • Initial teacher education;

  • Continuing teacher education (in-service);

  • Case study context;

  • Organisation of institution;

  • Structure (of programmes);

  • Content (of programmes);

  • The Profile elements exemplified;

  • Points to note;

  • Summary - Main strengths;

  • Areas for further consideration;

  • Contacts/Acknowledgment of sources.

By employing a common reporting structure, the research team was able to compare different language teacher education programmes in terms of provision, delivery, priorities, problems and issues.


6. Quality Assurance and Enhancement Guidelines

Detailed quality assurance and enhancement guidelines have been developed to correspond with every item of the Profile. They were researched using existing written and web-based documents, and in consultation with quality assurance experts at the University of Southampton. Draft quality assurance and enhancement guidelines were presented at the meeting between the project directors and the Commission’s Languages Expert group; they were also discussed at the two consultative conferences.


For each Profile item, the quality assurance and enhancement guidelines present:


  • The educational aims: describing what the item will help the trainee teacher achieve;

  • The intended learning outcomes: describing what additional knowledge and understanding the trainee teacher will develop as a result

  • Transferable skills: dealing with skills applicable to other areas of the trainee teacher’s teaching and learning

  • A Checklist: indicating what trainee teachers do in relation to a particular Profile item, how they do it and how they know they do it.


7. Dissemination and Implementation

Dissemination and implementation guidelines were discussed at both consultative conferences and presented to the Commission’s Languages Expert group in June 2004. In relation to dissemination issues, the key strategies are to publicise the Profile through a high quality brochure, the project website and the network of participants in the research process. Articles and presentations at a number of academic conferences will explain and present the Profile to a wider public in language teacher education. Plans for implementation include establishing a formal network of language teacher educators who will work collaboratively in promoting the Profile in their institutions.


8. Glossary

The glossary contains a list of all the key terms in language teacher education used in the report. It was developed using printed and web-based glossaries in teacher education and language teaching and learning, among them the glossary of terms compiled by Tuning Project 1.1 The Consultative Group and Delphi study participants were also invited to contribute to the glossary.


9. External Evaluation

The project directors appointed an external evaluator at the start of the research process. Mr Euan Reid of the Institute of Education, London, UK, was invited to engage in close liaison with the research team over the course of the six month research period. The external evaluator’s duties included participation in strategic team meetings, and involvement in the two consultative conferences. He was also invited to offer advice on key issues relating to the Profile and to liaise with the team of European language teaching experts and educators. The external evaluator will submit an independent report on the research process.


Part II
European Profile for Language Teacher Education –

A Frame of Reference


Summary

This part of the report contains the European Profile for Language Teacher Education – A Frame of Reference. It begins with a description of how to use the Profile and how it is organised. It then presents each item of the Profile, composed of a heading, an explanation, elaboration and exemplifications from the case studies.


It shows how the item may be implemented practically, based on the checklist of quality assurance and enhancement guidelines found in Appendix II.
This part also provides a series of issues illustrated by the case studies concerning the implementation of the item. The case study exemplifications are cross-referenced with the full case study reports contained in Appendix I.



Using the Profile

The Profile’s scope

It is important to note that the Profile is not designed as a mandatory set of rules and regulations for language teacher education. In order to take account of the rich diversity of language teacher education programmes already offered in Europe, the Profile has been designed as a voluntary frame of reference that policy makers and language teacher educators will be able to adapt to their existing programmes and needs. The Profile incorporates the expert advice of a wide range of educational experts and teacher educators in order to provide a firm but flexible foundation for improving the education of language teachers in Europe.


What the Profile offers

The Profile is designed as a source of expert advice and good examples concerning language teacher education. It could be used as a checklist for institutions with longstanding strengths in language teacher education, and as a reference document providing guidance to institutions with plans to improve their language teacher education programmes.


One way of thinking about the Profile is as a toolkit that allows institutions to improve the programmes they offer. Another way is to see it as a set of building blocks that policy makers, teacher educators, teachers and trainee teachers can assemble to support their provision of foreign language teacher education.
Some of the Profile items could form ‘add-ons’ to existing teacher education programmes. However, one of the key concerns of the Profile is to promote an integrated approach to language teacher education. Items such as those dealing with the European dimension of language teacher education, for example, will work best if integrated into existing course modules.
Who will use the Profile?

The Profile will be a valuable resource for European, national and institutional policy makers in the field of teacher education. It also addresses teacher educators who want to introduce trainee teachers to some of the European initiatives in language teacher education.


The Profile will be an important frame of reference for its stakeholders, whether they specialise in primary, secondary, young or adult learning. It contains information for those qualified teachers and teacher educators involved in in-service education, especially in the areas of mentoring, exchanges and international cooperation.

In addition, the Profile will be a flexible framework for language trainee teachers and language teachers themselves, since it deals with independent learning strategies, life-long learning and new learning environments. The Profile is built on the conviction that language teacher education is a life-long process that should occur both inside and outside organised teaching and learning contexts.



Organisation of the Profile

The European Profile for Language Teacher Education – A Frame of Reference contains 40 items describing important elements in foreign language teacher education in Europe. The Profile is divided into four sections: Structure, Knowledge and Understanding,

Strategies and Skills, and Values.
i. Structure

This section contains items describing the different constituent parts of language teacher education and indicates how they could be organised.


ii. Knowledge and Understanding

This section contains items relating to what trainee language teachers should know and understand about teaching and learning languages as a result of their initial and in-service teacher education.


iii. Strategies and Skills

This section contains items relating to what trainee language teachers should know how to do in teaching and learning situations as teaching professionals as a result of their initial and in-service teacher education.


iv. Values

This section contains items relating to the values that trainee language teachers should be taught to promote in and through their language teaching.


These four sections should be viewed holistically as the composite parts of teacher education. Teacher education is a multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary activity which is reflected in the division of the Profile. The sections interact to form a comprehensive guide to teacher education programmes in the 21Century.


Organisation of the Profile items

Each item of the Profile is divided into parts. The parts are Heading, Explanation, Elaboration, Exemplifications from case studies, and Implementation.


Heading

This is the summary of the item.


Explanation

This provides details of what the heading means, drawing on advice from experts in European language teaching.


Elaboration

This provides a detailed set of comments and observations related to the item. The information has been taken from the Delphi study data, meetings with the Consultative Group and Delphi study participants, the case studies and independent web and academic research.


Exemplifications from Case Studies

Most items have been exemplified by specific examples taken from the eleven case studies. The exemplifications have been cross-referenced with the full case studies available in Appendix I. After each exemplification, there is a reference to the full case study using the following key to the institutions and the relevant paragraph number:


CIEP Centre international d’études pédagogiques, Sèvres, France

OU Open University, UK

PA Pädagogische Akademie, Innsbruck, Austria

StM St Martin’s College, UK

B University of Bremen, Germany

G University of Granada, Spain

J University of Jyväskylä, Finland

L University of Latvia, Latvia

O University of Oslo, Norway

V University of Venice, Italy

W University of Warsaw, Poland
In the case of a few items, particularly those that outline future plans for language teacher education, such as item 9 proposing a European-level framework, there are significantly fewer specific examples from the case study. Some items are only rarely exemplified because institutions do not offer their trainees specific educational course or units in these areas, even though these areas are part of their programmes.
Practical Implementation and Issues

This section gives details of how the item might work in practice and how it can be implemented. This is based on a checklist from the quality assurance and enhancement guidelines found in Appendix II.


This section also outlines issues which may be encountered when the item is put into practice, based on the case studies.

European Profile for Language Teacher Education –

A Frame of Reference
i. Structure
Foreign language teacher education in the twenty-first century should include the following elements of initial and in-service education:


1. A curriculum that integrates academic study and the practical experience of teaching


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