Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Questions (99)

John Lyons

Question:

98 Deputy John Lyons asked the Minister for Education and Skills the Higher Education Authority accredited courses that are currently assessed using the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages; his plans to align all third level foreign language courses with the CEFRL; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35695/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Skills)

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL) is a reference tool developed by the Council of Europe to assess the achievement of learners of foreign languages. While programmes of education and training provided by the universities and Institutes of Technology lead to awards which are aligned to the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ), those awards have not been systematically referenced to the CEFRL.

The proper alignment of language courses and awards to the CEFRL is a complex process as there is no natural comparison between national qualifications frameworks and language reference tools like CEFRL, and this needs to be considered in formulating a principled approach. It should also be borne in mind that the CEFRL has been designed based on research into European languages and therefore is not automatically applicable to all languages. The National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI), the body responsible for the NFQ, has undertaken some work in transposing the NFQ and the CEFRL and it is intended to progress this further following the establishment of the new Qualifications and Quality Assurance Authority of Ireland (QQAAI).