The English Profile Network (EPN) encompasses various educational establishments from Primary to Tertiary, an internationally renowned publisher and assessment body, plus several research centres and key educational professionals throughout Europe. The EPN is fully committed to the Council of Europe initiative to apply the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), and the core purpose of the EPN is to further that initiative.
The EPN has two main focuses: firstly, partners will cooperate to develop a corpus of learner English from students across Europe and further afield. This will facilitate development of an innovative methodology for describing a language which is empirical and not solely concerned with the language as it is spoken in its home nation. Although English is used as an exemplar language, the methodology is transferrable to other languages. English will provide an exemplar of best practice in terms of how to create Reference Level Descriptors (RLDs) for any language. The EPN will also cooperate on raising awareness of both the CEFR and the English Profile aspect of it. A range of networking activities will aid this collaboration, including working group meetings, seminars, conferences and a members area on the EPN’s website.
The EPN aims to develop RLDs so that an individual’s linguistic proficiency can be more accurately rated in terms of the CEFR. The EPN will build a corpus of learner English which will provide the main tool for research aimed at producing the RLDs. This will help ensure a robust CEFR, which will both enhance multilingualism, and contribute to mobility within the EU by producing a recognisable Europe-wide framework within which to assess an individual’s linguistic ability. Subsequent improvements in language learning will help meet a vital element in the EU’s Lisbon strategy for promoting economic mobility and fostering social inclusion and cohesion.
EPN’s marketing activities will also promote language learning and raise awareness of the CEFR and the Europass language passport.
Commencement of project (January 2010)