Certification of Language Abilities for International Mobility (CLAIM)

News summary

Marina Mozzon-McPherson, Senior Learning Advisor at the University of Hull has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship for her contribution to excellence in teaching and learning. Marina was one of only fifty teaching staff nation-wide to receive a £50,000 prize awarded by the Higher Education Academy and the Higher Education Funding Council in 2004.

Marina is using her award to develop project CLAIM (Certification of Language Abilities for International Mobility) which will link four online language courses to the Common European Framework. The Fellowship will also help her to complete and disseminate a research project focused on the construction of online language learning communities.

CLAIM is a response to recent national and European changes in language teaching in both secondary and higher education. Such changes have seen a decline in student numbers, cuts in resources and funding, and a diversification of the language student profile. In addition, the introduction by the Council of Europe of a Common European Framework (CEF), aimed at benchmarking levels of linguistic competence throughout Europe, requires an alignment of university courses to ensure comparability and broaden the HE potential market (European and overseas). HE institutions are consequently urged to re-define their programme curricula, teaching approaches, resources and delivery modes. The debate on the integration and use of the Common European Framework (CEF) into degree programmes is timely, and project CLAIM will address some of the practical issues related to the implementation of the Common European Framework (CEF), the application of its relevant detailed set of descriptors for each competence and level (reading, writing, speaking and listening), as well as mobility and flexibility.

Marina 's project initially involves a team of language colleagues for French, Italian, Spanish and English as a Foreign Language.

This tool could be extremely useful to the HE sector (languages for specialists and non-specialists, European and overseas students in need of internationally recognised language qualifications) and the Regional Language Network (languages in the work-placement).