I. Council of Europe materials on the Language Portfolio

Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment
(Download: g | e | f )
[1-1,6 MB]

The "Common European Framework of Reference for Languages" is a basic document for all kinds of developments in the fields of foreign language learning and teaching, of syllabus design, textbook development and language testing.
The "Framework" is based on an action-oriented approach.
A central element for the "Framework" is the description of "Common Reference Levels", meaning language proficiency descriptions sorted by difficulty and categories; these were developed under the auspices of the Council of Europe. (See Development).
Guide for developers of a European Language Portfolio
(Download: e
| f )

[4 MB]
The "Guide for Developers" by Günther SCHNEIDER and Peter LENZ explains the goals, functions and basic structures of the European Language Portfolio, and presents options in ELP design based on principles and illustrated through examples.
The appendices contain the most important basic texts of the Council of Europe.
Guide for teachers and teacher trainers
(Download: e
| f )

[1,5 MB]
The "Guide for Teachers and Teacher Trainers" by David LITTLE and Radka PERCLOVÁ shows by means of numerous examples, how a basis for effective use of the ELP in class can be achieved. Thereby, the development of learner autonomy is in the centre of interest.
Research into pedagogical aspects of the European Language Portfolio
(Download: e )
Well-known and reputed experts have undertaken research into selected pedagogical aspects of the use of the ELP. More studies will follow.

The document which is currently available contains two texts:
"Exploring the educational possibilities of the 'Dossier'" by Viljo KOHONEN and
"The ELP As an Instrument for Documenting Learning Experiences" by Gerard WESTHOFF.

Final report on pan-European piloting 1998-2000
(Download: e | f )
[1,5 MB / Word]
Report of the official pilot project (1998-2000) of different models of ELP in 16 national or regional and 4 trans-national projects, by Rolf Schärer, "Rapporteur général" for the Council of Europe Portfolio Project.

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II. Descriptions of the Council of Europe language proficiency levels
The Council of Europe "Common Reference Levels"
(Core element of all ELP models)
(Global Scale: g | e | f | i )
(Self-assessment Grid: g
| e | f | i )
(Oral Assessment Criteria Grid: g
| e | f)
The "Common Reference Levels" are contained in the "Common European Framework of Reference for Languages" and are succinctly but at the same time thoroughly described in three tables: the "Common Scale", the "Self-Assessment Grid" and the "Oral Assessment Criteria Grid".
Complete descriptor bank from the Swiss Research Project (NFP/SNF 33)
The Council of Europe system of language proficiency levels was developed within the context of a Swiss National Science Foundation project by Günther SCHNEIDER (University of Fribourg) and Brian NORTH (Eurocentres, Zurich). The bank of language proficiency descriptors is taken from the research report:
Schneider, Günther/North, Brian (2000): "Sprachen können - was heisst das? Skalen zur Beschreibung, Beurteilung und Selbstbeurteilung von fremdsprachlicher Kommunikationsfähigkeit".
Final report of SCHNEIDER and NORTH’s research project Schneider, Günther/North, Brian (2000): Sprachen können - was heisst das? Skalen zur Beschreibung, Beurteilung und Selbstbeurteilung von fremdsprachlicher Kommunikationsfähigkeit. Chur: Rüegger.
ISBN: 3 7253 0690 7
Short report on the development and use of validated and scaled language proficiency descriptors
"In anderen Sprachen kann ich ..."/"Dans d'autres langues, je suis capable de ...":
g | f )
In the course of the research project "Evaluation and self-evaluation of language competences at interfaces of the Swiss education system" (Information) a report on implementation was drawn up which concisely and clearly illustrates the research project and the results obtained.
Scientific article in the specialist journal Language Testing
(in English).

North, Brian / Schneider, Günther (1998): Scaling Descriptors for Language Proficiency Scales. In: Language Testing 15, 2, 217-262.
The article gives an overview of the research project and its methodology.
Article on the development of the proficiency descriptors for the Language Portfolio Schneider, Günther (2001): Kompetenzbeschreibungen für das "Europäische Sprachenportfolio". In: Fremdsprachen lehren und lernen (FLuL) 30
Provisional assignment of language diplomas to the Reference Levels
(Download: g )
Different examination institutions have assigned their own diplomas to the Reference Level. These assignments are generally based on self-declaration and are therefore to be regarded only as indicative.

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III. Publications on the European Language Portfolio
Report on the Council of Europe symposium in Rüschlikon with contributions from different authors on individual aspects 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.
First examples from draft ELP models Christ, Ingeborg / Debyser, Francis / Dobson, Alan / Schärer, Rolf / Schneider, Günther / North, Brian et al. / Trim, John (1997): European Language Portofolio. Proposals for Development. Strasbourg: Council of Europe.
Introduction to the ELP (Pilot project version) and its applications (Download: g ) Schneider, Günther (1999): Wozu ein Sprachenportfolio? Funktionen und Merkmale des Europäischen Sprachenportfolios (Schweizer Version). Online:
Basing itself on the 1999 Swiss pilot project version of the European Language Portfolio, this article is a comprehensive introduction to the ELP, easily understood and practice-oriented, which is still valid today.
2 special issues of the Journal Babylonia Babylonia. Special issue with cooperation of the Council of Europe: European Language Porftolio European Language Portfolio - Portfolio européen des langues - Europäisches Sprachenportfolio - Portfolio europeo delle lingue - Portfolio europeic da las linguas. 1999/1.
Babylonia. European Language Portfolio II - Das europäische Sprachenportfolio II - Il Portfolio europeo delle lingue II - Le Portfolio européen des langues II - Il Portfolio europeic da las linguas II. 2000/4.

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IV. Documents relating to the piloting of the European Language Portfolio in Switzerland (1999-2000)
Pilot project version of the ELP in electronic form
(Download: g | f | i | e )
Language Passport
(in four languages)
Schneider, Günther / North, Brian / Flügel, Christoph & Koch, Leo (1999). Europäisches Sprachenportfolio – Portfolio européen des langues – Portfolio europeo delle lingue – European Language Portfolio, Schweizer Version. Ed. EDK – Schweizerische Konferenz der kantonalen Erziehungsdirektoren, Bern: EDK.
Newsletters about the piloting of the ELP in Switzerland
Newsletter 1
Newsletter 2
Newsletter 3
In December 1999, in March 2000 and in January 2001, EDK published newsletters about the progress of the ELP pilot projects in Switzerland. Contributions were included from participants from different fields.
Final report on the ELP pilot project in Switzerland Lenz, Peter (2000): Piloting the Swiss Model of the European Language Portfolio. [54p., engl.)]
V. Other documents relating to the Language Portfolio
Declaration of the Swiss cantonal ministers of education and other partners at the launch of the ELP in Switzerland
(Download: g | f | i)
On the occasion of the press conference for the launch of the European Language Portfolio in Switzerland on March 1 2001, the cantonal ministers of education and other partners from the public and private sectors signed a declaration, in which they gave their support to the introduction of the European Language Portfolio.

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logo-cerle.gif (1185 Byte) In charge of the Background pages:
Centre of Language Teaching and Research (CERLE/LeFoZeF)
University of Fribourg, Criblet 13, CH-1700 Freiburg
Webmaster: Peter Lenz
Last update: 01.04.2008