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Proposal for European indicator of language competence

On 27th April, the European Parliament adopted, with an overwhelming majority, a report on the “promotion of multilingualism in the European Union and the creation of a European Indicator of Language Competence”, tabled by MEP Manolis Mavrommatis.

The aim of the indicator is to measure the foreign language competence of a sample of European citizens in four skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. This instrument, which will record data at regular intervals, is supposed to help the European Commission obtain reliable information about EU citizens’ profiency in foreign languages. Mavrommatis proposed that linguistic proficiency be initially tested in the most widely spoken languages of the EU, namely English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and that other languages be added at a later stage.

The report suggests that the language proficiency of the sample should be recorded at each of the six proficiency levels of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF). The CEF describes what language learners can do in a given language and skill at each of the six levels, thereby allowing learners’ progress to be measured on a life-long basis.

Press Release from European Parliament
Mavrommatis Draft Report
Common European Framework of Reference for Languages of the Council of Europe