Let´s use the European Language Portfolio in class

There is a growing social demand focused on people with mastering different languages and cultures beside the capability of managing any situation in a global world. Therefore, to know a foreign language is almost “mandatory” to finally get a good job and succeed in a career.

Language leaning is a lifelong activity, for that reason if we had a document that could allow us to better know how much we know and what we should learn to improve our competences and skills, we could focus our learning process on these aspects.

ELP

European Language Portfolio (ELP) could be a guideline to teachers when preparing the lessons to fix the objectives with a double aim, on the one hand to teach a particular subject and on the other hand, to make students improve their language skills.

Although there are several advantages, there is also one disadvantage concerning the implementation of ELP in classrooms.

Disadvantage

Since it is not widely used, students would need time to get use to understand the procedure, how to carry out the self-assessment (and the importance of being honest) and to fill in the form in an appropriate way. Although students would certainly be supported by the teachers along the training process, the first times it would require time that should be discounted from lessons.

Advantages

The ELP is clearly and transparent written what permits to fix learning realistic objectives. Three ELP´s components serve for both pedagogical and for reporting activities.

On the one hand, pedagogical function would allow students to be more aware of learning process and to develop their capacity of self-assessment and reflection. Nowadays, ask students to evaluate themselves is not usual, generally is the teacher o students´ classmates who evaluate the student achievements.

By assessing themselves, students would make an effort to explain to the teacher their achievements by giving examples and features that justify they have followed the descriptors. It would contribute itself to the learning process too (when explaining or teaching someone else, you fortify your understanding).

On the other hand, since the document would permit students register their own learning results and intercultural experiences, they could realize about their achievements what would be a motivation to continue improving their competences. Moreover, to be aware of their achievements could boost student´s self-confidence.

If teachers used the ELP frequently to fix every lesson objectives, and then make students aware of language goals before, during and after the lesson, it would help students to work towards them and thus maximize lessons´ effort.

Furthermore, like concepts explained in subjects, language aspects learnt by following ELP´s descriptors could be used by the students outside the classroom. They would be a resource students could use in any occasion to better manage a particular situation.

In conclusion, the implementation of ELP in a classroom routine would contribute to improve students training and would provide them with linguistic resources that could be use in their daily life.

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