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    Programme 2020-2023
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    Mediation in teaching, learning and assessment
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    Before the design process

Before the design process

This section provides information on the principles on which the METLA mediation tasks are based and presents their characteristics.

The METLA resource and types of cross-linguistic mediation tasks

The METLA resource focuses on cross-linguistic mediation. Here are some types of tasks: 

reading/listening in one language, writing/speaking in another language 

understanding instructions in one language, carry out tasks in another language 

using resources in multiple languages with the aim to produce certain outcomes

using stimuli which are photographs or images infographs or posters and asking students to transfer the gist, to discuss main ideas, to write their feelings in another language

Principles underlying the METLA mediation tasks

METLA tasks are cross-linguistic mediation tasks and encourage learners to: 

  • recognise and actively create linguistic bridges
  • become able to use different languages for different communicative purposes and semiotic resources (as gestures, postures, gazes, mimic, drawings, etc.) purposefully
  • engage in open, respectful, appropriate, and effective interactions across languages and cultures
  • adopt a positive attitude towards all forms of linguistic and cultural diversity

And they: 

... are aligned with the pluralistic approaches of learning foreign languages (i.e., didactic approaches using activities which involve different languages) as learners are asked to engage their full linguistic repertoire and productively make use of transfer of information across languages ... are in line with the new CEFR Companion Volume descriptors which refer to linguistic mediation
... are context-oriented and purpose-related, which means that an attempt was made to present authentic tasks relevant to the students’ everyday communicative needs ... can be either collaborative (involving pair or group work) or individual
... are thematically organised (each scenario is organised around a specific topic (e.g., Travelling, Health) while the sub-tasks provide an internal sequence ... are learner-centred catering for learners’ needs and relating to their personal, social and emotional experiences
... are adaptable meaning that they can be adapted for the different teaching contexts ... are strategies-based, which means that in each scenario a number of mediation strategies are being developed
... consider self/peer-assessment as a key feature of formative assessment, which leads to develop their autonomy 

What does the mediator need to consider?

In mediation tasks, there is always the two-way dynamic relationship between the input (text in Language A such as a video, an audio extract, a newspaper article etc.) and the output (oral or written text/product in Language B) which is dependent upon the context of situation set by the task (task requirements). 

In a cross-linguistic mediation task the mediator needs to consider: 

  • the source and target text: What type of texts are involved? For example, what are the characteristics of a radio show and how can one transfer information from a radio show to a newspaper article? How can the information taken from a poster be presented in an e-mail or the content of a movie become a podcast discussion?
  • the people involved: Who are the interlocutors? What is the relationship between them? What is the level of formality according to the audience?
  • the goal of the communicative event: What is the communicative purpose set by the context? The mediator produces a text which may: inform, clarify, explain, analyze in detail, present, promote, urge, suggest etc.
  • the source and target language(s)/cultures: What are the languages involved? The way we express politeness, irritation, friendliness, formality, discomfort etc. might vary significantly from one language to another.