EUROLTA - The European Certificate in Language Teaching to Adults
by Mandy Jore

EUROLTA - The European Certificate in Language Teaching to Adults - was developed by the ICC.

The ICC - International Certificate Conference - is a Network. The ICC reflects and embodies a spirit of international understanding and cross-cultural co-operation. They bring together people actively involved in foreign language teaching and provide them with a forum for exchange. They share expertise, services and experience. The ICC has thirty members from thirteen countries

A key element in the delivery of quality language teaching is the qualification of teachers.

The ICC has recognised that many teachers of languages engaged in the field of adult education

  • look for opportunities to advance in their profession
  • often do not have the possibility to gain certification for the tasks they are fulfilling.

The ICC has therefore developed a European wide framework for teacher development with training schemes that lead to certification: Eurolta - The European Certificate in Language Teaching to Adults - is a teacher training framework and a certification scheme. It is a qualification for those who wish to teach modern languages to adults.

Eurolta

  • is recognised by all member organisations of the ICC
  • guarantees that the holder of the qualification has received specific training in language teaching to adults
  • sets minimum standards for quality teacher training for language teachers

The ICC is responsible for maintaining these standards through

  • the accreditation of tested institutions
  • the training of auditors and assessors.

Eurolta is European: the following organisations were responsible for writing the framework:

  • Association de Gestion du Réseau des Centres d'Etude des Langues des Chambres de Commerce et d'Industrie (France)
  • Comune di Milano (Italy)
  • Deutsches Institut für Erwachsenenbildung (Germany)
  • Deutscher Volkshochschul-Verband (Germany) represented by Rheinland-Pfalz and Hamburg
  • Folkeuniversitetet Norway
  • Folkuniversitetet Sweden
  • Coordination Office of the Club Schools (Switzerland)
  • Royal Society of Arts (Great Britain)
  • Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Austria)
  • Verband Wiener Volksbildung (Austria)
  • Universität Gesamthochschule Kassel (Germany)

The Framework

The ICC Teacher Training Framework is a comprehensive system of guidelines regarding overall aims, methodology, contents and objectives for teacher training programmes as well as criteria for assessment and certification of trainees.

The Framework also defines quality standards for training institutions and establishes a system of quality assurance and development through the accreditation of institutions and the training of auditors and assessors.

There are five content areas:

  • language learning,
  • language and culture,
  • language teaching,
  • planning and evaluation
  • self-assessment.

Trainees document their competence by producing a dossier of tasks. The dossier should document all five content areas and should include:

  • the documentation of at least one task carried out in the area of Language and Culture,
  • the documentation of at least one task carried out in the area of Language Learning Processes,
  • the documentation of at least two tasks carried out in the area of Language Teaching,
  • the documentation of at least one task carried out in the area of Planning and Evaluation,
  • the records of a lesson observed by the trainer for the area of Self-Assessment and Development.

Further requirements are:

  • At least one of the tasks should have involved learner observation.
  • At least one of the tasks should have involved a focused lesson observation (of a colleague, or done on the basis of a video recording).
  • At least one of the tasks should have involved focused self-observation (preferably on the basis of an audio- or video-recording).
  • Up to two tasks may have been carried out jointly with one or two colleagues, in which case the individual trainee's contribution towards the group project should be clearly evident in the documentation. The other tasks should represent the trainee's individual work.

The ICC Teacher Training Framework defines objectives, aims and procedures for teacher training as well as assessment criteria for certification at two levels: Level One and Level Two. Level two is available in a general and a VOLL version.

Level One

Level One training is intended primarily as pre- and early in-service training.

  • It provides the trainees with the knowledge and skills necessary to plan, run and evaluate language learning events independently within a given institutional context and a given course framework.
  • It will enable them to reflect on and evaluate their performance as language teachers in order to look for improved procedures for day-to-day teaching situations.

Core components of Level One training programmes are

  • drawing up lesson plans
  • detailed preparation of particular teaching sequences or activities
  • reflection on specific teaching techniques or activities
  • focused self-observation of a teaching sequence with subsequent evaluation
  • focused class-observation (live or video) with subsequent evaluation
  • observation and analysis of an adult learner group
  • analysis of teaching/learning material
  • adapting tasks for specific groups of learners
  • a teaching sequence conducted by the trainee and observed by a trainer with sub-sequent analysis.

The form and length of a training programme is determined by the training institution. However, the amount of time to be devoted to the training programme is likely to be a minimum of 100 hours.

Level Two

Level two general involves a deepening of knowledge in the same content areas as level one, enabling the trainee to work more independently.

For example in level one the trainee adapts material to work in a given institutional context in level two the trainee is able to produce a course plan and write course materials.

Level two VOLL involves drawing up course plans and adapting tasks to cater for the specific language needs of occupational / professional individuals.

The Training Institutions

The ICC Framework allows for various forms of delivery of the training programmes according to different regional traditions, contexts and conditions.

The organisational form, the duration of the training and the support systems offered to trainees are defined by the organisations running such schemes.

However, they will conform to the principles expressed in this Framework document, i.e. they will

  • subscribe to the overall aims stated.
  • adhere to the methodological principles stated
  • refer to the content areas and the objectives specified.

Why is certification necessary?

Because it allows teachers to illustrate their competence.

Why should you use Eurolta?

Because it is European-wide.
Because it is recognised by all member organisations of the ICC - and some other institutions as well. Teachers with this qualification will be given priority when applying for employment.

Because it aids mobility - the ICC has forty members in sixteen countries.

Contact:

Mandy Jore, EUROLTA, Rue Fausse Cave 1, B-5032 Gembloux.
mandyjore@eurolta.de

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