Opening doors, building connections: the new vision of mediation in the CEFR Companion Volume and its potential for language education

This event featured a webinar for ELT teachers and professionals working across a range of sectors, interested in learning more about how the concept of mediation has been integrated into the recent updates to the 2018 CEFR Companion Volume.

The notion of mediation, studied in psychology, pedagogy and the social sciences, has proved crucial for casting light on phenomena implying contact between the social and the individual and bridging between different elements and spaces.

The CEFR pioneered the introduction of mediation, alongside interaction, to indicate communicative language activities which are not covered by reception and production. However, the notion developed over the last two decades and gave rise to the broader and richer conceptualization of mediation. The emerging vision of language acquisition as socialization into communities of practice and its implications in the field of language education informed the Council of Europe project that has produced the new illustrative descriptors for mediation of the CEFR Companion Volume (Council of Europe, 2018).

This presentation will introduce the way mediation has been conceptualized in the project and how such conceptualization has been translated into illustrative descriptors articulated around three categories: mediation concepts, mediating communication, and mediating a text.

The talk will then explain how the concept of mediation is related to other descriptors produced, particularly for plurilingual/pluricultural competence and online communication. Finally the potential of mediation for second/foreign language education and for social inclusiveness will be discussed.

Presentations and handouts