Common European Framework of Reference

Ok, so schools over here are trying their best to implement the CEFR (known over here as the ERK – Europees Referentie Kader). Even the national exam board (yes, THE, as there is only one – monopoly!), the CITO, claim they have linked the final exams to the CEFR. (I say ‘claim’ as having spent some time at the ECML in Graz learning about testing + CEFR, I’ve become somewhat cynical/critical about how institutions make claims of their exams being linked to the CEFR). Many establishments are offering CPD courses on how to use the CEFR, how to test with it etc, etc and there’s even a website (a very good one, actually) to help teachers (and pupils) with regards to the CEFR. BUT: my question is – what do people really think of it? Is it something that’s going to stick? Will it ever be used to replace the IELTS for example as a university entrance standard?

Personally I believe it’s a great tool for differentiation in the class (a topic I’m currently researching) as it offers ideal situations to differentiate per (sub)skill. The CEFR even has a very interesting descriptor for intercultural competence. I know the Canadians are currently using the CEFR as a starting point to create their own framework of reference but have not yet heard of any other countries taking up on it.

So – who has answers and opinions? I’d love to hear from people regarding this matter!


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