Исследование на английском языке на тему:"Общепринятая европейская система оценки знаний языка"

Автор: Янс Райнир Питер

Дата публикации: 25.04.2016

Номер материала: 2095

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Иностранный язык
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Райнир Питер Янс

Общепринятая европейская система оценки знаний языка и как ЕГЭ по иностранному языку в России соотносятся с этой европейской системой (исследование на английском языке).

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and how the Unified State Exam (USE) of Russia is related to the CEFR

CONTENTS

1. The European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

2. ‘ЕГЭ’, The Unified State Exam (USE)

3. The Unified State Exam and the Dutch State Exam: a comparison

4. Conclusion


1. The European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

Introduction of the Common European Framework

The Common European Framework was created by the Council of Europe. It provides a common basis for the elaboration of language syllabuses, curriculum guidelines, examinations, textbooks, etc. across Europe. It 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. The description also covers the cultural context in which language is set. The Framework also defines levels of proficiency which allow learners’ progress to be measured at each stage of learning and on a life-long basis. [1]

Basic principles

Three basic principles were set by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe:

• that the rich heritage of diverse languages and cultures in Europe is a valuable common resource to be protected and developed, and that a major educational effort is needed to convert that diversity from a barrier to communication into a source of mutual enrichment and understanding;

• that it is only through a better knowledge of European modern languages that it will be possible to facilitate communication and interaction among Europeans of different mother tongues in order to promote European mobility, mutual understanding and co-operation, and overcome prejudice and discrimination; Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

• that member states, when adopting or developing national policies in the field of modern language learning and teaching, may achieve greater convergence at the European level by means of appropriate arrangements for ongoing co-operation and co-ordination of policies.[2]

Definition of Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

The CEFR describes language ability on a scale of levels from A1 for beginners up to C2 for those who have mastered a language. This makes it easy for anyone involved in language teaching and testing (learners, teachers, teacher trainers, etc.) to see the level of different qualifications. It also means that employers and educational institutions can easily compare qualifications and see how they relate to exams they already know in their own country.[3]

The CEFR was published by the Council of Europe in 2001, it describes language learners’ ability in terms of speaking, reading, listening and writing at six reference levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2.

Description of the CFER levels[4]

Proficient

user

C2

Mastery

Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in more complex situations.

C1

Effective Operational Proficiency

Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.

Independent

user

B2

Vantage

Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

B1

Threshold

Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

Basic

user

A1

Waystage

Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.

A2

Breakthrough

Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

Some important features of the CEFR[5]

- Action-oriented approach

Language use, embracing language learning, comprises the actions performed by persons who as individuals and as social agents develop a range of competences, both general and in particular communicative language competences.

- Socio-cognitive approach

It also sets out a socio-cognitive approach, highlighting the cognitive processes involved in language learning and use, as well as the role of social context in how language is learned and used.

- Communicative approach

The CEFR invites readers to be explicit about their own beliefs about the process of learning; which teaching approaches they favour; what they take to be the relative roles and responsibilities of teachers and learners, and so on. These invitations to reflect on methodology show the CEFR as an open, flexible tool.

However, there are some broad teaching and learning principles underlying the CEFR approach. The text of the CEFR emphasises learners’ ‘communicative needs’, including dealing with the business of everyday life, exchanging information and ideas, and achieving wider and deeper intercultural understanding.

In this model the two key notions are tasks and interaction. Language use is seen as purposeful, involving communication of meanings which are important to learners, in order to achieve goals. The principle underlying this is that learning will be more effective where language is used purposefully.

- Task-based learning.

The CEFR scales describe levels in terms of what students can do and how well they can do it.

Focusing on tasks and interaction enables teachers to understand students’ performance level as

that level where they can tackle reasonably successfully tasks at a level of challenge appropriate to

their ability. This is not the same as demonstrating perfect mastery of some element of language; a

student can perform a task successfully but still make mistakes.

- Plurilingual approach

Another key aspect of the CEFR’s approach is the belief in plurilingualism. This is the understanding that a language is not learned in isolation from other languages. Studying a foreign language inevitably involves comparisons with a first language. Each new language that a learner encounters contributes to the development of a general language proficiency, weaving together all the learner’s previous experiences of language learning. It becomes easier and easier to pick up at least a partial competence in new languages.

- European Language Portfolio

The European Language Portfolio (ELP), (is) an initiative developed in parallel with the CEFR. The Portfolios are documents, paper-based or online, developed by many countries or organisations according to a general structure defined by the Council of Europe. They have been designed for young learners, school children and adults.

The Portfolios provide a structured way of encouraging learners to reflect on their language learning, set targets, record progress and document their skills. They are an effective aid to developing independence and a capacity for self-directed learning, and so are useful in language study. [6]

The CEFR brought into practice

Cambridge ESOL(English for Speakers of Other Languages) integrates the CEFR into relevant aspects of its work and takes a multi-dimensional, long-term approach to ensure that comparisons between the CEFR and the levels of its exams are reliable and meaningfully explained to users.

Some assessment providers base their claims of alignment to the CEFR on a ‘one-off’ standard setting study. Cambridge ESOL believes that this is not appropriate and that standard setting needs to be an ongoing process which is integrated as part of an iterative programme to reinforce and monitor alignment.[7]

Cambridge ESOL exams are directly linked to the CEFR levels. In this table only the exams for school children and young learners are given, in reality Cambridge ESOL offer more exams.

Cambridge ESOL exam

CEFR Level

CPE

Certificate of Proficiency in English

C2 Mastery or proficiency

CAE

Certificate of Advanced English

C1 Effective Operational Proficiency or advanced

FCE

First Certificate in English

B2 Vantage or upper intermediate

PET

Preliminary English Test

B1 Threshold or intermediate

KET –

Key English Test

A2 Waystage or elementary

Young Learners English

YLE Flyers

YLE Movers

A1 Breakthrough or beginner

2. ‘ЕГЭ’, The Unified State Exam (USE)

Federal Educational Standards (FES)

Federal Educational Standards (2009) of the Ministry of Education is a document which contains the new education standards in Russia. The standards form the basis for:

  • the development of educational programs, materials and exams.
  • setting standards for financial support for the implementation of the basic educational programs at schools
  • legal monitoring and supervision of education;
  • assessment of students;
  • monitoring the quality of education in educational establishments;
  • organizing the work of teaching services;
  • certification of teachers and administrative staff of educational establishments;
  • training of teachers

Unified State Exam

The Unified State Exam (USE, Единый государственный экзамен, ЕГЭ) is an exam in the Russian Federation that students should pass in order to enter a university or a professional college. It is since 2009 obligatory. The exam takes place at the very end of the last term of the eleventh class (end of May - beginning of June). Two subjects, Russian language and mathematics are obligatory. Pupils are allowed to take two more examinations. They can choose the following subjects: Foreign languages (English, German, French, Spanish), Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Literature, History, Informatics and Social Studies.

Three documents are underlying the USE English language: the ‘Specification’, the ‘Codifiers’ and the ‘Demo version of the USE’. The ‘Codifiers’ sums up what the minimum knowledge of the language pupils should have. The ‘Demo version of the USE’ is a model exam with all the subjects and differentiation in three levels of difficulty.


Specification

The exam is fully described in the ‘Specification’. The USE consists of 5 test subjects: Listening, Reading, Grammar & Lexis, Writing and Speaking. The three difficulty levels (according to European standards) of the tasks are described. The three levels in the USE are: A2, B1 and B2

Furthermore, the assessment of each separate task and the amount of time that can be spend on the tasks are given. The duration of the entire exam is 180 minutes.[8]

N

Parts

Number of tasks

Percentage of the total

Maximum points

Type of task

1

Listening

14

20%

18

Matching, multiple choice, or short answers

2

Reading

9

20%

19

3

Grammar and Lexis

23

15%

23

4

Writing

2

15%

30

Full answers

5

Speaking

3

30%

45

Total

51

100%

135

Assessment of elements per category

Checked components per category

Number of tasks

Maximum points

Percentage of maximum points

Listening

Understanding of the main idea of the text

1

5

20

Understanding of the specified information from the text  

6

6

Full understanding of the text

7

7

Reading

Understanding of the main idea of the text

1

6

20

Ability to understand the relevant information of the text

1

6

Full and accurate understanding of the information in the text

7

7

Grammar and Vocabulary

Grammar skills

8

8

15

Lexical and grammar skills

7

7

Lexical and grammar skills

8

8

Writing

Writing an informal personal letter

1

15

15

Opinion essay

1

15

Speaking

Monologue speech about one theme

1

15

30

Dialogue with a view to exchanging factual information

1

15

Collaborative task

1

15

Total

51

135

100%

Tasks and their difficulty level (CEFR level)

Level of difficulty

Number of tasks

Maximum number of initial points

Maximum % of the total test points

Pre intermediate (A2)

11/12

43

32

intermediate (B1)

15/16

40

30

Upper intermediate

(B2)

24

52

38

Total

51*

135

100


3. USE and the Dutch State exam: a comparison

At the end of this essay an attempt is made to compare the USE with a similar exam in an EC country (the Netherlands). This is of course a very general comparison, for the Russian and Dutch education systems have a different history and development. However it seems to be possible to make some comparisons on the subject of the English exam. There are roughly four levels in the Dutch secondary school system: low, middle, high (HAVO) and preparation for scientific education (VWO).

Only the last (VWO) is interesting for this small study, because with a VWO diploma one can enter university to obtain a bachelor and a master degree. About 20 % of the Dutch school children attend VWO. [9] In the table we can see that the USE levels are A2, B1 and B2, while the VWO levels are B2 and C1. It is important to say that Dutch pupils study 12 years before they attend the final exam (6 years primary and 6 years secondary school).

Furthermore, ‘Listening’, ‘Reading’ and ‘Writing’ are parts of the exam in both countries. ‘Speaking’ is a part of the demo version, but has not yet been integrated in the actual USE. There is no ‘Grammar & Lexis’ part in the Dutch exam; instead ‘Literature’ and ‘Orientation on study and profession’ are separately tested in the Netherlands.[10] Taking all these facts into consideration the USE exam is almost equal to the VWO exam in the Netherlands. In other words the big difference in knowledge of English that used to exist is rapidly disappearing

Comparison National Unified Exam, Russia and State exam VWO, The Netherlands

 

Russia

USE Demo version

Russia

USE (ЕГЭ)

The Netherlands

State exam VWO

CFER Level

A2+, B1, B2

A2+, B1, B2

B2, C1

Subjects

1. Listening

2. Reading

3. Grammar and lexis

4. Writing

5. Speaking

1. Listening

2. Reading

3. Grammar and lexis

4. Writing

1. Reading

2. Listening

3. Speaking

4. Writing

5. Literature

6. Orientation on study and profession

Class

11

11

12

Minimum % to pass the exam

25

25

50 [11] 

4. Conclusion

  • The six level division of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is adapted by the Russian education system. The National Unified Exam English knows three levels of difficulty: A2, B1 and B2. Translated into Cambridge exams the USE must be considered as partly KET, PET and FCE. Therefore we can say that the National Unified Exam is related to Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

  • Listening Reading, Speaking and Writing are tested in National Unified Exam. The same test aspects are part of Cambridge exams of corresponding levels (KET, PET and FCE). So, USE doesn’t only meet the CEFR standards, but it also tests the same aspects of speech.

  • Due to the introduction of CEFR in the USE English it becomes possible to compare the levels in different countries. Generally seen the knowledge of the English language of Russian and other European schoolchildren is comparable.


[1] Council of Europe, CEFR online, Full text, Page 1 http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/linguistic/Source/Framework_en.pdf

[2] Council of Europe, CEFR online, Full text, Page 3 http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/linguistic/Source/Framework_en.pdf

[4] Council of Europe, CEFR online, Full text, page 24

http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/linguistic/Source/Framework_en.pdf

[5] Using the CEFR: Principles of Good Practice October 2011 Page 14 University of Cambridge ESOL examinations

[6] Using the CEFR: Principles of Good Practice October 2011 Page 14 University of Cambridge ESOL examinations

[7] Using the CEFR: Principles of Good Practice October 2011 Page 31 University of Cambridge ESOL examinations

[8] Спецификация, контрольных измерительных материалов для проведения в 2011 году единого государственного экзамена по ИНОСТРАННЫМ ЯЗЫКАМ, 2011 Федеральная служба по надзору в сфере образования и науки Российской Федерации

[10] Syllabus centraal examen 2012, Moderne vreemde talen vwo, page 6,  Minister van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap

[11] http://www2.cito.nl/vo/ce/omzet2013_havovwo/tabellen/13108_omzettingstabel.htm