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CEFR in Finland

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Title: CEFR in Finland


1
CEFR in Finland uses and adaptations Possible
implications for JS?
  • Sauli Takala
  • Tokyo, December 12, 2010

2
  • Overview
  • What is CEFR?
  • Work on curriculum development
  • Work on scale development and scale validation
  • Work on relating language examinations to the
    CEFR levels
  • Work on national assessments of FL proficiency
    in schools

3
Before CEFR
  • LOTS of seminars
  • LOTS of case reports (language study provision)
  • Narratives and anecdotes without a common frame
    of reference
  • All Dutch speak English very well.
  • The further south you go in Europe, the less
    people speak foreign languages.
  • Case 1 In my country
  • Case 2 In my country
  • Ad infinitum

I SUPPOSE this is useful
.but its so bOOORING!
(Wandering mind) I wonder if there isnt a
better way?
4
  • 50 years work on language education by the
    Council of Europe
  • 1960s - A unit-credit scheme for languages
    (adults migrant workers)
  • 1970s Development of a functional communicative
    approach (Threshold etc)
  • 1991 Coherence and transparency in language
    learning and teaching (start work on the CEFR and
    the European Language Portfolio, ELP)
  • 2001 publication of the CEFR and European
    Languages Portfolio
  • 2001 2008 Languages for Social Cohesion
  • 2008 Towards a plurilingual, pluricultural,
    inclusive society integration of all languages

5
CEFR its Finnish translation
6
After CEFR
  • 65 of students reach the target level, 15 one
    level and 5 two levels above it, 10 one level
    and 5 two levels below it.

Our B2 looks like this. What is your B2 like?
What evidence do you have for such claims?
Our target is B1 at the end of compulsory
education in A-language.
Our goal is A2 in B-language at the end of
compulsory education.
7
The Blue Bible (??)
8
Look! There are the Portflio people. How nice to
meet them!
9
How do I know that my B2 is your B2?
10
What is the CEFR?
  • Title Common European Framework of Reference for
    Languages Learning, Teaching, Assessment
  • Author Council of Europe
  • Published
  • in 2001
  • by Cambridge University Press
  • Available online http//www.coe.int/T/E/Cultural
    5FCo2Doperation/education/Languages/Language5FP
    olicy/Common5FFramework5Fof5FReference/

11
  • CEF construct of language proficiency
  • Language use, embracing language learning,
    comprises the actions performed by persons who as
    individuals and as social agents
  • develop a range of competences, both general and
    in particular communicative language competences.
  • They draw on the competences at their disposal in
    various contexts under various conditions and
    under various constraints
  • to engage in language activities involving
    language processes
  • to produce and/or receive texts in relation to
    themes in specific domains,
  • activating those strategies which seem most
    appropriate for
  • carrying out the tasks to be accomplished.
  • The monitoring of these actions by the
    participants leads to the reinforcement or
    modification of their competences.

12
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13
General competences Strategies
Communicative competences
sociolinguistic
linguistic
pragmatic
Language activities (rec/prod)
Domains topics
Situations
TASK
Identifiable result
14
Why was there a need of a framework?
need of
  • Co-operation and co-ordination in educational
    efforts
  • Mutual recognition of language qualifications

15
For what uses is the CEFR intended?
16
What criteria must the CEFR meet?
17
CEFR Horizontal dimension
Overall Language Proficiency
Communicative Language Competence
Communicative Language Activity
Use of Strategies
18
CEFR Vertical dimension
C2
C1
B2
Common Reference Levels
B1
A2
A1
19
Language Proficiency Common Reference Levels
C2
Mastery
C1
Effective Operational Proficiency
B2
Vantage
B1
Threshold
A2
Waystage
A1
Breakthrough
20
Language Proficiency Common Reference Levels
Broader Level Distinction
C2
Mastery
C
Proficient user
C1
Effective Operational Proficiency
B2
Vantage
B
Independent user
B1
Threshold
A2
Waystage
A
Basic user
A1
Breakthrough
21
Language Proficiency Common Reference Levels
Finer Level Distinction
C2.2
C2
Mastery
C2.1
C1.2
C1
Effective Operational Proficiency
C1.1
B2.2
B2
Vantage
B2.1
B1.2
B1
Threshold
B1.1
A2.2
A2
Waystage
A2.1
A1.2
A1
Breakthrough
A1.1
22
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23
CEFR-adapted target levels defined in the current
curricula in the basic school (2003) and the
upper secondary school (2004)
24
CEFR adaptation to school curricula
  • Needed to be adapted to the context, not just
    adopted as such
  • Keep the well-established curriculum traditions
    balance between tradition and reform
  • Add as a new component the proficiency levels to
    facilitate definition of progression
  • Indicate target levels for grades 6, 9 and 12
  • Need for more fine-grained levels at A1
  • fast qualitative progress at lower levels
  • to sustain and support motivation

25
New Finnish FL Syllabuses
Level Listening Speaking Reading Writing
A1.1
A1.2
A1.3
A2.1
A2.2
B1.1
B1.2
B2.1
B2.2
C1.1
26
Language Proficiency Levels in the Finnish Core
Curriculum
A1 Limited communication in the most familiar situations
A1.1 First stage of elementary proficiency A1.2 Developing elementary proficiency A1.3 Functional elementary proficiency
A2 Basic needs for immediate social interaction and brief narration
A2.1 First stage of basic proficiency A2.1 Developing basic proficiency
B1 Dealing with language use situations in everyday life
B1.1 Functional basic proficiency B1.2 Fluent basic proficiency
B2 Managing regular interaction with native speakers
B2.1 First stage of independent proficiency B2.2 Functional independent proficiency
C1 Managing in a variety of demanding language use situations
C1.1 First stage of fluent proficiency
Mastery
C1.2
Vantage
B1.2
Threshold
Breakthrough
27
New Finnish FL Syllabuses
Level Listening Speaking Reading Writing
A1.1 First stage of elementary proficiency First stage of elementary proficiency First stage of elementary proficiency First stage of elementary proficiency
A1.2 Developing elementary proficiency Developing elementary proficiency Developing elementary proficiency Developing elementary proficiency
A1.3 Functional elementary proficiency Functional elementary proficiency Functional elementary proficiency Functional elementary proficiency
A2.1 First stage of basic proficiency First stage of basic proficiency First stage of basic proficiency First stage of basic proficiency
A2.2 Developing basic proficiency Developing basic proficiency Developing basic proficiency Developing basic proficiency
B1.1 Functional basic proficiency Functional basic proficiency Functional basic proficiency Functional basic proficiency
B1.2 Fluent basic proficiency Fluent basic proficiency Fluent basic proficiency Fluent basic proficiency
B2.1 First stage of independent proficiency First stage of independent proficiency First stage of independent proficiency First stage of independent proficiency
B2.2 Functional independent proficiency Functional independent proficiency Functional independent proficiency Functional independent proficiency
C1.1 First stage of skilled proficiency First stage of skilled proficiency First stage of skilled proficiency First stage of skilled proficiency
28
 
29
A1.1 Speaking First stage of elementary
proficiency
  • Can answer simple personal questions with short
    phrases. Needs considerable assistance and
    depends on gestures to express meaning. May also
    switch to first language at times.
  • Makes often long pauses and repetitions.
  • Pronunciation difficulties may seriously impede
    communication.
  • Has a very limited repertoire of basic vocabulary
    and a few memorised sentence patterns.
  • Cannot produce extended speech, but shows
    reasonable control of the very limited linguistic
    repertoire.

30
  • Categories incuded in the Finnish syllabus
    adaptation
  • Listening Reading
  • Themes, texts, tasks 1) Themes, texts, tasks
  • 2) Conditions 2) Conditions
    constraints
  • constraints
  • Speaking Writing
  • - Themes/texts/tasks
    Themes/texts/tasks
  • (narrative/interaction) Range of language
  • - Fluency Accuracy
  • Pronunciatton
  • Range of language
  • Accuracy

31
Grade 6 Grade 9 Grade 12
A- English (starts in grade 3) LC A1.3 S A1.2 RC A1.3 W A1.2 LC B1.1 S A2.2 RC B1.1 W - A2.2 LC B2.1 S B2.1 RC B2.1 W B2.1
B1- Swedish (starts in grade 7) LC A2.1 S A1.3 RC A2.1 W A1.3 LC - B1.2 S B1.1 RC B1.2 W B1.1
B2/3-language Grade 8/10) LC A2.2 S A2.1 A2.2 RC A2.2 B1.1 W A2-1 A2.2
32
  • Developing rating scales for assessing oral
    performance (computerized testing)
  • Story line with 6 different tasks
  • Task-specific criteria for
  • Telephone conversation
  • Reading aloud
  • Summarizing a tex (mediation L1-gt L2)
  • Description (of pictures)
  • Pragmatic situated responses
  • Monologue/speech

33
  • Task-specific rating scales are needed
  • Two main parts
  • Task performance and interaction (task-specific)
  • Language-related part (basically indentical for
    all tasks)
  • See next slide for a visual summary

34
Levels Task perfor-mance and inter-ction Range of language Pronun-ciation Fluency Accuracy
0 xx xx xx xx Xx
Below A1.1 xx xx xx xx xx
A1.1 xx xx xx xx Xx
A1.3 xx xx xx xx Xx
A2.1 xx xx xx xx Xx
xx xx xx xx Xx
C1.1gt xxx xx xx xx xx
35
Scale development and scale validation
36
CEFR Scale Validation/National Scale
Validation Interrater reliability
0.87-0.99 Correlation with CEFR above
0.92 Pattern matching (Trochim 1999) theory vs.
empirical outcomes L .89, R .91, W
.84 Discriminant analysis probablity of
correct membership - gt .985 Aiken agreement
coefficient L .90, R .90, W .80 SAME level as
CEFR L 75, R 65, W 52 Conclusion CEFR scales
are valid enough to be used as a framework for FL
teaching assessment Several scales have been
developed/adapted and validated for different
contexts in Finland
37
CEFR in the Examination and National Assessment
context
38
  • Linking Matriculation Examinations (high stakes)
    to the CEFR
  • What level is obtained at the end of the Upper
    Secondary School (age 19)?

39
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40
  • How to accommodate national grading and reporting
    systems and the CEFR (levels)?
  • Matriculation exam grades from top to pass
    roughly 5, 15, 20, 24, 20, 11 ltgt CEFR 6
    levels C2-A1
  • One solution by means of conversion tables/
    charts, which show how national grades are
    related to the CEF levels.

41
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42
Increased transparency and comparability English
(10 yrs) vs Swedish (6 years)
43
FIGURE 1a. Distribution of CEF levels)
FIGURE 1b Distribution of CEF_levels A-English

B-Swedish

44
  • Linking National Assessment outcomes to the CEFR
  • What level is obtained in English at the end of
    the Comprehensive School after seven years of
    study (age 15-16)?
  • cf EU-project SurveyLang

45
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46
  • Linking examinations results has only begun.
  • Replication to verify tentative linkages.
  • International co-operation to develop compeence
    in linking examinations/tests to the CEFR (cf.
    EALTA workshops Barcelona, 2007 Budapest, Turku
    workshop in Siena, May 2011)
  • International co-operation in mutual verifying of
    national efforts of linkage?
  • International teams of judges?
  • External validation by sharing tests?

47
  • A rough time/level (English) estimate based on
    CEFR
  • In the Finnish context (L1 And L2 not related)
  • Getting from A1.1 (age 9/10) to the average of
    B1 (age 15/16) takes about 300 lessons and
    perhaps 100 hours of homework -gt 400 hours.
  • Getting from the average of B1 to the average of
    B2 (at 18/19) takes about 250 lessons and
    probably some 200-250 hours of homework -gt 450
    500 lessons/hours
  • A1 -gt B2 800 900 hours

I could never have predicted such develop-ments!
48
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49
Summing up
50
  • Finnish perspective on the CEFR- Implications?
  • A valuable tool in all national language
    education
  • A valuable tool in international contacts and
    co-operation
  • Not prescriptive or dogmatic but descriptive
    responsibility for thoughtful application lies
    with the user (eg. Japanese context)
  • A reference tool it is not a curriculum or a
    programme
  • While comprehensive, does not cover everything

51
  • Finnish perspective on the CEFR Implications?
  • While the most useful tool around, needs to be
    elaborated through international co-operation
  • Useful supplements Manual for relating examins
    to the CEFR, Reference Supplement....
  • CEFR and the Portfolio excellent examples of
    transnational projects through voluntary
    co-operation, which serves enlightened national
    self-interests no effort to force consensus or
    exercise power

52
The basis of the CEFR lies in the descriptions
of The language user what kind of person is
s/he? How s/he uses language The texts to be
processed, the tasks to be accomplished The
competences needed to do this Are these relevant
and applicable in all contexts and for all
languages?
53
The global levels, the general competence
descriptors, many of the activitiecan probably
be transferred directly? New activities needed to
be added or put at a different level for
example Greetings more complicated in
Japanese? Inter-cultural knowledge needs to be
stressed?
54
DIFFERENT LANGUAGES Spoken reception, production
and interaction progresses in parallel with other
languages Development of reading and writing in
L2 is probably slower and requires additional
 can do  statements for recognising and
producing the Latin alphabet?
55
  • Some references
  • Hildén, R. Takala, S. (2007) Relating
    descriptors of the Finnish school scale to the
    CEF overall scales of communicative activities.
    (pdf available from sjtakala_at_hotmail.com
    raili.hilden_at_helsinki.fi)
  • Kaftandjieva, F. (2004) Standard setting.
    Section B in Reference Supplement to the Manual
    for relating language examinations to the CEFR.
    Council of Europe (available at
    http//www.coe.int/T/DG4/Linguistic/Default-en-asp
    )
  • Kaftandjieva, F. Takala, S. (2002) Council of
    Europe Scales of Language Proficiency A
    validation study.In Common European Framework of
    Reference. Case studies, Council of Europe,
    106-129. (pdf available from sjtakala_at_hotmail.com)

56
  • Kaftandjieva, F. Takala, S. (2003)
    Development and Validation of Scales of Language
    Proficiency. In W. Vagle (ed.) Vurdering av
    språkferdighet, NTNU. Trondheim, 31-38 (pdf
    available from Takala sjtakala_at_hotmail.com)
  • Takala, S. Kaftandjieva, F. (2002) Relating
    the Finnish Matriculation Examination English
    Test Results to the CEF Scales. Helsinki
    Seminar, June 31- July 2, 2002 (available by
    request from Takala sjtakala_at_hotmail.com)
  • Tuokko, E. (2007) What level do pupils reach in
    English at the end of the comprehensive school?
    U of Jyväskylä, Finland. (PhD thesis in Finnish,
    with English summary tuokko_at_pp.inet.fi)
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