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Analysing written production competence descriptors for academic and professional purposes and their calibration to the CEFR
Pierce McMahon, Joana and Durán Escribano, María del Pilar
Analysing written production competence descriptors for academic and professional purposes and their calibration to the CEFR.
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) "describes in a comprehensive way what language learners have to learn to do in order to use a language for communication and what knowledge and skills they have to develop so as to be able to act effectively" (Council of Europe, 2001: 1). This paper reports on the findings of two studies whose purpose was to assess written production competence descriptors meant for their inclusion into the Academic and Professional English Language Portfolio KELP) for students of engineering and architecture. The main objective of these studies was to establish whether the language competence descriptors were a satisfactory valid tool in their language programmes from the point of view of clarity, relevance and reliability, as perceived by the students and fellow English for Academic Purposes (RAP) / English for Science and Technology (EST) instructors. The studies shed light on how to improve unsatisfactory descriptors. Results show that the final descriptor lists were on the whole well calibrated and fairly well written: the great majority was considered valid for both teachers and students involved.
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