We brought together representatives from language departments of universities all over Belgium in a one-day brainstorming session on the future of language learning and testing.
The session was organised in response to what we identified as a common need for clarity on language teaching and testing in view of the imminent implementation of the Bologna Process. Whilst the British Council hosted the event and provided a neutral meeting ground, the success of the event was the result of the excellent input from our enthusiastic participants. View the list of participants.
The Bologna Process is the most important and wide ranging reform of higher education in Europe since the immediate aftermath of 1968. The ultimate aim of the Process is to establish a European Higher Education Area by 2010 in which staff and students can move with ease and have fair recognition of their qualifications. Find out more on the Council of Europe website.
Michaël Goethals (Linguistics & EFL Teacher Training Unit, KUL) gave a presentation entitled "Managing 'difficult' words in authentic texts with the (shareware) WordClassifier" (PDF 171KB) WordClassifier is a free simple piece of software that identifies the 'lexical difficulty profile' of texts and to classify the words in it in terms of their usefulness for further learning.
Download WordClassifier (ZIP 12.5MB);
Barbara Stevens (European Projects Officer, Cambridge University ESOL, ALTE Unit) presented "A Common European Answer to a Common European Problem" (PPT 226KB) in which she clarified the aims and objectives of the Bologna Declaration and the challenges this will raise for Higher Education Institutions;
Ian Tudor (Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, ULB) gave a presentation entitled "Europe, Bologna and the role of languages" (PDF 130KB) in which he highlighted the need for Higher Education institutions to accord greater attention to the learning of languages;
Piet Van Avermaet (Centre for Language and Migration, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) presented "Language teaching and language assessment in a multilingual Europe. A case of quality, diversity and transparency" (PPT 643KB) where he examined, among other issues, The Common European Framework;
And, Elke Van Steendam (Languages and Communications Dept., Faculty of Economics, University of Antwerp) presented the Language Lounge, an online resource for students of Business English devloped by the University of Antwerp. "Using the Language Lounge" (PDF 74KB).