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    Teacher and learner competences

Teacher and learner competences

Key issues central to teacher education are, on the one hand, the range of competences that learners need to develop and, on the other, the role that teachers can play in supporting their development. The focus on enhancing and expanding language teacher competences in response to learners’ needs and to our complex and ever-changing society lies at the heart of ECML activities.

Council of Europe Resources
Other Resources


Teacher competences

The various methods and techniques that language teachers can use to support learning processes have, for centuries, been a central topic of discussion. With the advent of communicative language teaching in the 1970s the focus of methodologists was strongly directed towards classroom methods and procedures which would most effectively support the acquisition of language skills.

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Learner competences

Clearly, the question of teacher competences is closely connected with, and must be seen as complementary to, learner competences. This complementarity can be seen by comparing descriptors from the CEFR, relating to learner competences, with those from the EPOSTL, relating to teacher competences.

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How the work of the ECML contributes to the development of language teacher competences 

Some of the ECML’s most influential project outputs are concerned with the content and practice of teacher education, and these are playing a key role in pre-service education and in-service professional development in many countries.

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Teacher and learner competences and other thematic areas 

Discussions and projects dealt with in this thematic area relate to teacher competences in general; however, the theme of both teachers’ and learners’ is at the core of all other areas. Users are invited to continue their exploration of this theme in areas most relevant to their needs.

Evaluation and assessment 

New media

Early language learning

Plurilingual and intercultural education

Languages of schooling

Content and language integrated learning

Migrant education and employment 

Sign languages

Featured resources

A guide to teacher competences for languages in education

  This website offers a comprehensive guide to teacher competences for languages in education. Users will discover how existing tools and frameworks can be categorised and described according to areas of competences. In addition, teacher educators in different countries explain how these tools are being implemented in practice.

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Action research communities for language teachers

  The Action research communities (ARC) website offers activities which put teachers at the heart of the quality process in the language learning classroom. These aim to support teachers in European classrooms to use action research as an essential tool for the development of reflective classroom practice and highlight ways to promote professionalism within language teaching.

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Current projects

CEFR Companion Volume implementation toolkit
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Mediation in teaching, learning and assessment
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Building blocks for planning language-sensitive teacher education
view project

Latest news items

Collecting language learners’ voices – invitation to participate in a classroom activity and questionnaire

Launch of a new ECML project “Building blocks for planning language-sensitive teacher education”

Teacher competences for languages in education: ECML online workshop for teacher trainers in Serbia (4-6 November 2020)


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