I’ve debated with myself for quite a while: shall I just give you a brief digest (one slide, three bullet points)? But since this is a blog, I’ve finally decided to group the comments into categories and share them as they are. The discussions were incredibly fun, and the pictures don’t show all the excitement. So, these comments may give you a better idea of how it all happened.
Important caveat: I was taking notes very quickly, and I took down the names of just a few speakers. Consider this just a blurry snapshot!
CEFR is not a rating scale, it should inform curriculum development, task design and only then follows assessment. (Brian North)
Not everything can be pinned down or scaled; we should not forget about the big picture. For example, while mediation is generally useful, mediating too early can be annoying.
Plurilingualism in the new CEFR was brought about by globalisation, and it’s globalisation that caused the same shift in education, not CEFR.
Overall, CEFR and CV is synergised with the values of the European Council.
If we need to understand the difference between action-oriented and task-oriented approaches, the action-oriented approach in CEFR gives the power to the learner. It’s about learner agency and empowerment
CEFR is meant to be adapted.
There can be a stronger and weaker form of implementing CEFR.
There is tension between localisation and commonality. The way to align them is to use the top overview level. (Elaine)
It’s not the experts who should be simplifying the framework, but the local experts.
Can CEFR be used in Tunisia? Adopt it or adapt it (question asked by Dave Allan, Nile)
We need to learn how to speak to policy makers
LESS IS MORE
The COD principle (Barry Sullivan quotes): Capacity, Opportunity, Desire
How do we change public attitudes to CEFR?
There must be a continuous and on-going dialogue with parents.
We need to encourage whole-school policies.
We need to align people, not just systems.
We need more collaboration with psychologists, sociologists; between different associations.
The role of teachers
We need to start with teacher education.
Teachers have a duty to know what students are interested in and what they ought to be interested in.
Communities of practice and an online platform they have been using (Bessie)
Action research for teachers
joint SIG event with success stories (Dave Allan)
The role of materials
Why isn’t there a CEFR manual for materials writers? (Me, silently: hey, what about the core inventory?)
There’s no recycling in coursebooks, just chapters full of throwaway content (sic).
If we can’t influence publishers, let’s have language policies at unies.
Perhaps revisit the portfolio system?
We need to develop assessment literacy
Tests are reductionist
The washback effect can be quite unpredictable
Should we be scaling at all?
Let’s grade the behaviour instead of the task
What about the learners?
Shouldn’t we ask the students?
Learners see things differently from teachers.
We need to focus more research on the learners (Chris Brandwood)
In the inclusive approach, if we use screen readers for the visually impaired, are we testing reading or listening?
A dog needs to do something 17 times before it learns to do it. A human needs a lot of repetition, too.
We need to take EQ into account (Cliff Perry)
We need to take cognitive development into account
If we have just 3 hours a week, how can we hope to take anything into account?
We can use the scenario-based approach (Armin)
Tech may be the answer.
Phew 🙂 The next and last post in the series is going to be about my own takeaways from the whole event – stay tuned!