Common Competence Framework: general teaching competences

If you look at Section 1 of the CCF that was put together as a result of the CATAPULT project, you will see that there are four areas of expertise:

  • general language teaching methodology
  • CALL
  • andragody
  • affect in language education

The first area seems unquestionable: to be a good LSP teacher, one needs to be a good language teacher in general. This implies, first of all, the knowledge of how to teach languages communicatively, especially through tasks (projects in particular!) and effective content interaction.

Why CALL? Well, it’s the 21st century, the world in networked and so should be education. The recent development, triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic made this particularly clear. As a result, an LSP teacher is the one who can enhance his/her teaching with technology.

In turn, the focus on andragogy is strongly motivated by the fact that LSP pedagogy is addressed to adults (higher education) and young adults (vocational training). As a result it only seems natural that the teacher will know how to motivate the mature learner; and – even more importantly – how to involve him/her in course and activity design as well as material writing. This leads to the final area of expertise: acknowledgement of and respect to the affective domain – one of the most powerful factors in education, including adult learning of languages for specific purposes.

Did we miss anything? Are there areas of knowledge and skills that should have been included in the know-how of the general language teaching methodology? We would be more than happy to hear from you on this subject ūüôā

Image:; CC BY steveriot1

Introducing Common Competence Framework

Part of the Catapult project was the creation of the Common Competence Framework (CCF) Рa model of knowledge and skills necessary in an LSP teacher. The framework, to be found here  Рwas divided into 5 sub-sets of competences in the following areas:

  • general teaching
  • collaboration and intercultural mediation
  • (data) analysis
  • course / material design
  • evaluation

We did the sub-division based on two assumptions:

  1. Contemporary language teachers in general – and LSP teachers, in particular – face a number of challenges that go beyond on-focus competences;
  2. Being an LSP teacher is far more demanding in terms of content than regular teaching: the school-life connection is usually much more pressing and far more explicit; the materials are scarce; communicative competence to be developed in learners very frequently needs to provide for intercultural communication.

All in all, being an LSP teacher is a challenge we would like to celebrate in this blog. The posts to follow will be dedicated to the 5 sub-competences of the present CCF. We very much hope that you would get involved in a dialogue about them, giving us feedback based on first-hand pedagogical experience.