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European Language Portfolio III

In collaboration with the Institute of Teaching and Learning, University of Teacher Education Lucerne
Direction: Hans-Peter Hodel (PH Luzern)
Project adviser: Thomas Studer (Institute of Multilingualism)
Duration: 2013–2015

This project is based on the results of a survey of teachers at upper secondary schools, which was carried out by the General Secretariat of the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK). The results revealed a need to couple new methodological approaches in foreign language teaching – and the corresponding instruments – with teaching literature. This issue is of particular relevance in upper secondary schools, where language learning is embedded in a literary-cultural context. While tools such as the European Language Portfolio offer practical help when using new teaching methods, they have no tangible link to literary studies to date.

The project’s overarching aim is to develop an additional element for the online version of the European Language Portfolio (ELP) III in the interest of promoting Switzerland’s national languages in the context of teaching literature at upper secondary schools. An innovative instrument is planned and should be able to link literary studies with current approaches such as skills-oriented teaching, (learning) strategies, (cross-)cultural competence and self-evaluation. Work is based on a broad understanding of “literature”, which includes fiction as well as other written texts, film and other media. The instrument should enable learning a Swiss national language to be closely associated with (cross-)cultural aspects of the language area concerned. The additional element will be integrated in the online version of ELP III and therefore be readily available to teachers and students throughout Switzerland. By combining existing checklists/descriptors with new descriptors and the related exemplary tasks (good practices), selected aspects of an individual’s language biography and their dossier can be supplemented or enhanced.

The final product should be easy to use and should support both teachers and learners in both activity-oriented and skills-oriented literary studies. The project also focuses on raising awareness for multilingualism and cross-cultural aspects, and stresses the promotion of autonomy in learners.