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    A guide to teacher competences for languages in education

A guide to teacher competences for languages in education

How do existing tools and publications define and present language teacher competences? How are these tools used in practice, and which competences could be highlighted in future instruments? This website offers a comprehensive guide to teacher competences for language in education.


Language teacher competences are crucial to the quality and effectiveness of language education. Successful language learning depends in large part on the knowledge, skills and attitudes of language teachers. In addition, in the world of today all teachers need to be critically aware of the role that language and communication play in education and in life in general, to be able to use language(s) sensitively in their teaching, whatever their subject, and to develop students’ general language awareness.

Over recent years, various projects have developed frameworks and descriptions of language teacher competences for various contexts. Some of them are general and international, others are more specialised or aimed at a national context. In addition, some national and regional authorities have developed standards or guidelines for all teachers, including language teachers, working in public education. But until now there has been no overview of these different tools and their potential uses, and no overarching framework exists that covers all areas of language teaching. 

The aim of this resources platform is to provide such an overview to enable users to quickly to familiarise themselves with a significant number of these instruments and to examine more closely those that are potentially useful to them in their role as teacher educators or teachers working autonomously or with mentors on self-improvement. The full list of instruments reviewed in the course of the project can be found here.

In developing the Resources Platform, a key focus has been to examine and to raise users’ awareness of the ways in which initial and in-service teacher education and development and the resources developed to support it contribute to the fundamental aims and values of the Council of Europe. These aims and values are set out on the page Council of Europe principles.


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“Towards a common resource for language-related teacher competences?”

In the webinar Lukas Bleichenbacher and his team present their approach to a number of the project’s key questions: 

  • What need is there for a future resource that describes the competences of language teachers and the language-related competences necessary for teaching other subjects?
  • Is it feasible to propose a model with common competences for all teachers, and specific adaptations for different kinds of teachers?
  • In what ways could the development of such a resource be of concrete value for teacher education and professional development?

The webinar also provides a practical introduction to the online guide to the many existing instruments available that describe teacher competences.

Project team




United Kingdom


These are the results from a project of the European Centre for Modern Languages within its "Languages at the heart of learning" programme 2016-2019.
View project pages