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Language Centre

Express yourself <> understand the world
Language CentreAbout usViews on Language Teaching

The 5 pillars of effective language teaching

1. Europe / The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)

The Language Centre uses the CEFR, the Common European Framework of Reference for language proficiency levels developed by the Council of Europe. This framework provides clarity on the interpretation of language proficiency levels across Europe, and increasingly outside Europe as well. In addition, the framework enables language learners to determine their existing and desired level by answering a number of questions about language use in specific situations. It also enables our teachers to use clear, uniform standards in their courses and tests. We regularly organize refresher training sessions for our teachers to ensure that everyone uses the same standards and assessment criteria. Our standard and tailored language tests are always related to this framework.

2. Experiences / Reflection

We encourage language learners to find their own most effective learning style. We ask them to regularly reflect on their learning process and ask themselves how they can most effectively learn and what motivates them most. Reflection on their own learning will result in better awareness of their learning process. This method increases the chances of effective language acquisition continuing after the course.

3. Individuals / Autonomy

Learning a language involves a lot of independent study. We help students develop an independent way of working. This is important, as the teacher plays only a minor role in the language learning process – it is at least as important to actively use the language yourself, to learn from your mistakes and to learn from others. We try to help our students actively work with the language, outside the classroom in particular.

4. Possibilities / A rich learning environment

We offer language learners a rich learning environment. The teacher guides the way and structures the learning process, and the student practises, learns and reflects. Our course material consists not only of textbooks, we also offer our students a wealth of online exercises, texts, videos, tips and tricks to help them improve the aspects that they find most important. Web 2.0 technology and media such as Skype, Facebook, Twitter, video conferencing , various apps, YouTube and MOOCs greatly enrich our language teaching.

5. The situation / Context-related

Our clients have a specific need, with a specific aim, in a specific context. Examples include ‘to be able to follow an English-taught Medicine degree programme’, ‘to be able to hold merger discussions in German with a German colleague in the car industry’, ‘to be able to welcome a Chinese trade delegation to the Netherlands’ and ‘to have a brochure translated’. The aims and context are discussed before the start of the assignment, and we will tailor our offer to them in the best possible way. Even tests can be related to the context in which the language is to be used. In such cases we will opt for a specific language assessment.

Last modified:15 September 2017 9.21 p.m.
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