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CEFR Journal - Research and Practice (June 2020)


Volume: CEFR Journal - Research and Practice Volume 2 (

Date: June 10, 2020

Title: The new CEFR descriptors for the assessment of written mediation: Exploring their applicability in a local context in an effort towards multilingual testing
Page: 40 -78
Author: Maria Stathopoulou (Hellenic Open University / National Technical University of Athens)
This article is open access and licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license.
Abstract: Focusing on the process of written mediation, this paper deals with the newly developed descriptor scales presented in the CEFR Companion Volume with New Descriptors (CEFR/CV) (Council of Europe (CoE) 2018). It investigates the views of both language education experts and teachers in Greece regarding these new descriptors in an effort to explore the extent to which they can be exploited in a local context. The questions this study addresses are: Which descriptors can be useful in the Greek educational context, and to what extent? The research project was organised into two phases. In Phase 1, 18 language experts (mainly from the two major state universities in Athens and Thessaloniki) completed online questionnaires containing the 90 new CEFR written mediation descriptors and they judged the clarity of these descriptors in terms of language, their usefulness for assessment purposes, and their relevance for the Greek context. Phase 2 involved 94 language teachers in Greece who were invited to judge the degree to which the same 90 CEFR descriptors correspond to the proficiency level for which they had initially been designed. Based on empirical evidence, the present paper stresses the urgent need for language testers to consider (cross-lingual) written mediation as a fundamental ability which needs to be both taught as well as tested, and discusses the possibility of transforming the monoglossic paradigm in assessment.

Keywords: written mediation, CEFR/CV, descriptors, multilingual, plurilingual, cross-lingual, (trans)languaging, pluricultural, assessment/testing 
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(Update March 28, 2022 MGS)

This online toolkit is supported by KAKEN Grant-in-Aid project no. 20K00759, no. 19K00808 and no. 16K02835 and aims to support teachers of all foreign languages in Japan in using the CEFR and CEFR/CV efficiently.