Advertisement

From Content to Competency: Challenges Facing Higher Education Language Teaching in Europe

  • Ian Tudor
Chapter
Part of the Educational Linguistics book series (EDUL, volume 14)

Abstract

The Bologna Process has accelerated the drive for a more competency-based approach to the definition of learning outcomes in all sectors of higher education, including language teaching. Traditionally, language learning was viewed in terms of the assimilation of a certain aggregation of content. At present, with languages assuming a rising profile in the academic programme of students of non-linguistic disciplines, there is an urgent need to define learning outcomes in terms of pragmatically relevant competencies. This is a reflection of the fact that, in the increasingly multilingual international context in which students and graduates are required to operate, practical language skills are crucial. The challenge facing language educators is thus to define what students will be able to do in the target language in a range of social, academic and professional contexts. The Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) offers language educators a precious tool in responding to this challenge. The chapter surveys the need for a competency-based approach to goal-setting in higher education language teaching and, on this basis, examines the way in which the CEFR can be used to guide goal-setting, course development and evaluation.

Keywords

High Education European Union Language Policy Language Learning Language Teaching 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Arnold, Jane (ed.). 1999. Affect in language learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Brindley, Gregory. 1984. Needs analysis and objective setting in the adult migrant education program. Sydney: New South Wales Adult Migrant Education Service.Google Scholar
  3. Brookes, Arthur, and Peter Grundy (eds.). 1988. Individualisation and autonomy in language learning. London: Modern English Publications.Google Scholar
  4. Brumfit, Chistopher. 1984. Communicative methodology in language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Coleman, Hywel. 1996. Society and the language classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Council of Europe. 2001. Common European framework of reference for languages: Learning, teaching, assessment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Council of Europe. European Language Portfolio. http://www.coe.int/T/DG4/Portfolio/?L=E&M=/main_pages/introduction.html. Accessed 15 April 2012.
  8. Dörnyei, Zoltan. 2000. Motivation in action: Towards a process-oriented conceptualization of student motivation. British Journal of Educational Psychology 70: 519–538.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dörnyei, Zoltan. 2001. Motivational strategies in the language classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. ENLU. 2004–2007. European Network for the Promotion of Language Learning among all Undergraduates. http://www.celelc.org/matrix_engine/content.php?page_id=507. Accessed 15 April 2012.
  11. European Ministers Responsible for Higher Education. 2003. Realising the European Higher Education Area. Communiqué of the conference of ministers responsible for higher education in Berlin on 19th September 2003. http://www.eua.be/fileadmin/user_upload/files/EUA1_documents/OFFDOC_BP_Berlin_communique_final.1066741468366.pdf. Accessed 10 July 2010.
  12. Holec, Henri. 1987. The learner as manager: Managing learning or managing to learn? In Learner strategies in language learning, ed. Anita Wenden and Joan Rubin, 147–157. Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  13. Holliday, Adrian. 1994. Appropriate methodology and social context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Hutchinson, Tom, and Alan Waters. 1987. English for specific purposes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Littlewood, William. 1999. Defining and developing autonomy in East Asian contexts. Applied Linguistics 20: 71–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mackiewicz, Wolfgang. 2002. Lifelong Foreign Language Learning. Speech presented at the European Seminar on Foreign Language Learning Needs in Education Systems. Valencia: Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte. 5–7 May, Valencia, Spain.Google Scholar
  17. MOLAN. 2007–2010. Network for the exchange of information about good practices that serve to motivate language learners. http://www.molannetwork.org/matrix_engine/content.php?page_id=1418. Accessed 15 April 2012.
  18. Munby, John. 1978. Communicative syllabus design. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  19. O’Malley, John M., and Anna U. Chamot. 1990. Learning strategies in second language acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Oxford, Rebecca. 1990. Language learning strategies: What every teacher should know. Boston: Heinle and Heinle.Google Scholar
  21. Richterich, René. 1973. Systems development in adult language learning. Strasbourg: Council of Europe.Google Scholar
  22. Robinson, Patricia. 1991. ESP today: A practitioner’s guide. Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  23. Skehan, Peter. 1989. Individual differences in second-language learning. London: Edward Arnold.Google Scholar
  24. Trim, John. 1980. The place of needs analysis in the Council of Europe’s modern languages project. In Foreign language teaching: Meeting individual needs, ed. H. Altman and C. James, 46–65. Oxford: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  25. Tudor, Ian. 1996. Learner-centredness as language education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Tudor, Ian. 2001. The dynamics of the language classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Tudor, Ian. 2006. Teacher training and ‘quality’ in higher education language teaching: Strategies and options. European Journal of Teacher Education 29(4): 519–532.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Tudor, Ian. 2008. Higher education language policy: Why and how? In Languages at work in Europe: Festschrift in Honour of Professor Wolfgang Mackiewicz, ed. Karen Lauridsen and Daniel Toudic, 51–64. Göttingen: V&R Unipress.Google Scholar
  29. Tudor, Ian. 2009. Promoting language learning in European higher education: an overview of strategies. European Journal of Language Policy 1(2): 188–205.Google Scholar
  30. Tudor, Ian, and Wolfgang Mackiewicz. 2009. Bologna and languages: Reference points for higher education language policy development. In English language teaching in the European Credit Transfer System: Facing the challenge, ed. Maria Pérez Canado, 35–53. Frankfurt-am-Main: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  31. West, Richard. 1994. Needs analysis in language teaching. Language Teaching 27(1): 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Widdowson, Henry. 1978. Teaching language as communication. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.English Linguistics DepartmentUniversité Libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium

Personalised recommendations