"Language Passport" - "Learner
Passport" - "Language Portfolio":
About 10 years passed between the birth of an idea for a "Language Passport", "Learning Passport" or later "Language Portfolio" and the publication of the first Swiss printed version of a Language Portfolio.
Working groups of Eurocentres and CILA
Council of Europe Symposium in Rüschlikon
Lit.: COUNCIL OF EUROPE (1992): Transparency and Coherence in Language Learning in Europe: Objectives, Assessment and Certification. Symposium held in Rüschlikon, 10 - 16 November 1991. (Edited by North, Brian). Strasbourg: Council for Cultural Co-operation.
During the Rüschlikon Symposium the Swiss delegation came up with the idea of a research project, in which a system of language proficiency descriptions should be developed; on this base first Language Portfolio prototypes should then be created.
Development of language proficiency
Goal of this project: development of descriptors that describe language proficiency for a broad range of levels from an action-oriented communicative perspective. Possibly also strategic and (inter-)cultural competences should be described.
The most important development steps:
- Self-assessment Grid
- Oral Assessment Criteria Grid
- Checklists for self-assessment
The descriptors resulting from this project were included in theCommon European Framework of Reference for Languages of the Council of Europe in order to describe the Common European Reference Levels.
Literature for the research project: see Documentation
End of 1995/beginning of 1996: first Portfolio draft
The teachers who take part in the research project
receive a first photocopied version of the European Language Portfolio. In it, most of the
instruments are available in draft form, which later on will be part of the printed
version. At this point the ELP is already available in German, French, English and
September 1996: Portfoliotagung in Fribourg
Before the conference in September, a slightly changed draft version (yellow version) of the Language Portfolio has been sent to teachers and then discussed at the conference. The results are generally positive.
April 1997: Council of Europe agrees to the development of the Language Portfolio
On the occasion of the closing conference of the Council of Europe on the project "Language Learning for European Citizenship", with delegates from 40 member countries, it is decided to develop the European Language Portfolio alongside the development of the Framework of Reference. At that point, drafts from France, Germany, Great Britain and Switzerland are submitted to the delegates.
Autumn 1998 to summer 2000: pilot project
Between autumn 1998 and summer 2000 language portfolios are trialled in 15 European countries and by trans-national organisations(Schlussbericht des Europarats).
In Switzerland a first printed version is set up for the pilot project phase (in four languages). It is tested in about 450 classes between April 1999 and June 2000
Günther / North, Brian / Flügel, Christoph & Koch, Leo (1999). Europäisches
Sprachenportfolio - Portfolio européen des langues - Portfolio europeo delle lingue -
European Language Portfolio, Schweizer Version/Swiss version. Ed. EDK - Schweizerische Konferenz der kantonalen
Erziehungsdirektoren, Bern: EDK/Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education.
Pilot project in Switzerland is evaluated
by Peter Lenz of the Centre of Foreign Language Teaching and Research of the University of
Herbst 2000: Einsetzung des European Validation Committee durch den Europarat
The Council of Europe sets up a committee to accredit new versions of the Language Portfolio. The committee consists of national delegates and invited experts. The Swiss ELP for young people and adults receives the accreditation number1.2000
(Overview of the accredited Language Portfolios)
2001 - European Year of Languages
On the occasion of the Conference of the Council of Europe, European Union and UNESCO, for the European Year of Languages in Lund/S, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and the European Language Portfolio are officially launched.
Already in October 2000 the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education of the Council of Europe passed aResolution, which recommended to the member countries the introduction of the Language Portfolio.
On March 1, 2001 in Switzerland the Swiss cantonal ministers of education and other partners from the public and private sectors sign aDeclaration, in which they give their support to the launch of the "European Language Portfolio for young people and adults".
At a press conference the revised version of the European Language Portfolio for young people and adults is presented. It is distributed by the Berner Lehrmittel- und Meidenverlag (BLMV).
At the same time the development of a Language Portfolio for younger learners is decided on.
After the launch, the cantons and regions start developpingschemes for practical implementation, and training of disseminators begins.
Language Portfolios for younger learners
On January 16, 2002 a conference to launch work on the Swiss Language Portfolios for younger learners takes place in Bern. Portfolios for two different age groups are to be developed. Together with documentation for learners, also class files and teacher handbooks are to be created.
Great importance is to be given to the awareness and development of multilingualism.
In May 2002 the Berner Lehrmittel- und Medienverlag commissions a teacher handbook for the European Language Portfolio for young people and adults.