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The Dutch CEF Construct Project

Project: Non-funded ProjectProjects

31/01/0331/12/07

The Council of Europe's Common European Framework (CEF) is a reference document for curriculum and syllabus development, textbook writing and teacher training, and for assessment. It is increasingly referred to across Europe, but the experience of a number of Projects, including DIALANG, suggests that the CEF may not in itself provide sufficient theoretical and practical guidance to enable test specifications to be drawn up for each level of the CEF, particularly for reading and listening.

The Dutch Ministry of Education therefore funded a project from 2003 to 2007 to address the following research questions:

1. Do we have an instrument to help us construct tests based on the CEF? Are the CEF scales, together with the detailed description of language use contained in the document, sufficient to construct tests based on the CEF?

2. If not, what is needed to develop such an instrument, and what should the document be like?

An Internet-based Grid was developed to enable test analysts to examine the relationship between tests of reading and listening, and the CEF (see www.ling.lancs.ac.uk/cefgrid). An article describing the Project and its results was published in Language Assessment Quarterly in Vol 3 (1) in 2006.