What is it?
A tool may be a framework, assessment standard, testing method or other initiative to help develop language skills in the EU.
Why is it needed?
National education systems and assessment standards vary considerably across the EU. The yearly Education and Training Monitor and the comparative analysis produced by the expert group on languages in education and training show this clearly. If learners and workers are to move about freely within the EU, assessing skills and qualifications needs to be made easier.
In the 2014 Council Conclusions on multilingualism and the development of language competences, the Council of Education Ministers calls on national governments to make more use of EU transparency tools and initiatives designed to support and promote language learning.
What has been done so far?
The Common European Framework of Reference for language competences (CEFR) is gradually becoming the European standard for measuring progress in language learning. The European Commission and the European Centre for Modern Languages are working together on using and developing the CEFR.
The ability to communicate in foreign languages is one of the eight key skills set out in the 2006 Recommendation on key competences for lifelong learning. This provides an EU-wide framework for education and training priorities.
The Europass portal enables job seekers to document their language skills using the European language passport.