Linq 2013 session_blue_1_promaco_lt

Progressing with you LINQ 2013. Roma, 17/05/2013 Promoting Matching Competences in Language Training (PromacoLT) Mario García



Transcript of Linq 2013 session_blue_1_promaco_lt

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Progressing with you

LINQ 2013. Roma, 17/05/2013

Promoting Matching Competences in Language Training (PromacoLT)

Mario García

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Título del Curso

01 The Problem


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Mismatch in different real cases between the formal degree or certified qualifications obtained by the language learners and the real need of the organisation funding/commanding the language course.

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The Initial Finding


The customer/ commander of a language course in a variety of contexts usually seeks that the beneficiaries of the course:

Master a “foreign language in use” rather than just acquire “foreign language knowledge”.

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Commercial Chinese for Private Company (Spain). Sample 20 students.

Majority of Business Chinese courses focus on basic vocabulary in Mandarin, business related general sentences and “decontextualised” cultural aspects.


The company is interested in optimising the negotiation skills of its workers with its customer in Changzhou, by learning specific negotiation behaviours in a specific economic sector (textile) using basic Mandarin and colloquial Wu Chinese.

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Título del Curso

02 The Method

The project

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The project

12 cases selected from partners in 6 European countries were analysed taking as a basis the following questions:

1. Which competences should be more adapted to learners’ / customers’ needs? 2. How has the course been adapted to the learners’/ customers needs? 3. Is the course designed in such a way that it facilitates acquiring required skills? 4. Are the course components adjusted to learners’ needs / capabilities / resources? How?

The analysis of these cases was intended as a source of comparison to launch hypothesis of the best fitting solutions included in a method, which has been tested with some 80 stakeholders in the 6 countries.

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Structure of Model

The project

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Título del Curso

03 The revealed facts

The project

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The project

Sphere of influential aspects of foreign language training

Source Promacolt ©

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The project

Indicators for Evaluation Purely linguistic indicators (level of vocabulary, proper use of grammar, …) are often incomplete to characterise the validity of typical foreign language proficiency evaluation methods. A more complete sphere of evaluation of the language in use should take into account:

•Psycholinguistic Aspects

•Sociolinguistic Aspects.

•Cultural aspects. In particular intercultural elements. •Pragmatic aspects.

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The project

Non-Academic Purpose of foreign languages (the commanding organisation perspective) A multiplicity of organisations command foreign language courses with a purpose beyond the pure learning of the language by the learners. Private companies - > Increase of Competitiveness/ Sales/ Markets…

Public services -> Increase employment competences/ integration/ … of certain target groups. For this kind of purposes, the so called “foreign language pragmatic competences” are called for, in order to design, organise and perform a functional discourse of the foreign language in a particular context. Traditional evaluation methods (for instance, tests) can not normally recreate fully these particular contexts (working environment, plurality of interlocutors, a sequenced process like a negotiation, etc).

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The project

Non-Academic Purpose of foreign languages (the learner’s perspective) Besides the professional or social requirement purposes shared with many language course commanders, language learners usually have their own private purposes, related to leisure, culture or emotions, for instance: • Interacting with citizens of another culture. • Communicating with relatives speaking another language. For this kind of purposes, sociolinguistic, psycholinguistic and intercultural competences are extremely relevant. Also when we consider these extended competences linked to a foreign language, traditional evaluation methods can not possibly recreate many of the real situations where the foreign language is intended to be used (elements of surprise, excitement, empathy, etc).

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Whereas existing standards and instruments (CEFR, Language Test Development manuals) provide a sound basis for foreign language competence evaluation, many intended uses of a foreign language may require singular adaptations of these instruments and even complementary methods to provide additional validity and reliability. Where a particular context is required to use practically a foreign language, the cooperation of the language course commander, the target learners and the language course designer is key to: i) describe the course specifications; ii) facilitate compatible learning environments; iii) develop complementary evaluation indicators to those purely linguistic. Many of the professional intended uses of the foreign languages require competences beyond the purely linguistic ones, involving innovative approaches and quality ensuring specific methods, in particular in the fields of: pragmatics and sociolinguistics.

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Current state of research

7 European partners (ES, PL, BE, DE, IT, CZ, LV) involved in Language Training at different levels (University, Vocational, Adult learning) work currently on developing assessment tools to approach Employment Competences through foreign Language Learning. Taking the CEFR as starting point and specific recommendations of Project PROMACOLT, they intend to develop, test and benchmark real cases of language courses specification and proficiency assessment, in particular for employment and career development. Visit Promacolt previous results at: Visit current work at:

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Thanks for your attention !!