This publication looks at the development of intercultural competence as a key element of mainstream education. It stresses the need firstly for an appropriate education policy which puts intercultural competence at the heart of all education and, above all, for the development, on an everyday basis, of the necessary attitudes, skills and knowledge needed for mutual understanding. Without these, no sustainable societal change is possible.
The kit offers 107 worksheets, which serve as a bridge for teacher educators and teachers, to reflect on these concepts and to relate them appropriately to pedagogical practices.
These concrete examples illustrate the conditions of implementation and adaptation to national contexts of the 'Framework of teacher competences for engaging with diversity', which is one of the final products of the project. The competences, which break down into three main groups, namely 'Knowledge and Understanding', 'Communication and Relationships' and 'Management and Teaching', encourage future teachers to reflect on and identify their own personal positions, in various environments, in order to develop a clearer sense of their ethnic and cultural identities and to examine their attitudes vis- -vis different groups of students.
The EPOSTL is a portfolio intended for students undergoing their initial teacher education which encourages them to reflect on the didactic knowledge and skills necessary to teach languages, helps them to self-assess their own didactic competences and enables them to monitor their progress and to record their experiences of teaching during the course of their teacher education. At its heart are 195 “I can” descriptors of didactic competences, which teachers strive to attain. The EPOSTL has since been translated into 13 languages and is used widely across Europe and beyond.
The main aim of Insights into the European Portfolio for Student Teachers of Languages (EPOSTL) is to explore important theoretical issues, an understanding of which is necessary to support the use of the EPOSTL in teacher education programmes. The first part of the book provides discussions of relevant theoretical areas: the role of reflection, learner autonomy and intercultural awareness. In the second part, the focus is on the relationship between the EPOSTL and other European publications, such as the Common European Framework of Reference and the European Profile for Language Teacher Education. Suggestions are made as to how they can be used together in teacher education. The final section provides case studies on the use of the EPOSTL in three European countries.
Whether users of the EPOSTL or not, both teacher educators and their students will find that the discussions of this book provide important insights into key aspects of teacher education.