Accreditation of foreign languages skills
The creation of the European Higher Education Area has caused a significant increase in student mobility, marking a new strategy in the global context of higher education. Proficiency in different languages has become a basic instrumental skill for any graduate student of the Andalusian university system. Thus knowledge of foreign languages is considered a skill that facilitates mobility, but it also enables the access to knowledge and training that otherwise will not be accessible without these language skills.
Based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), Andalusian universities and the Andalusian Agency of Knowledge have elaborated a “Procedure for the accreditation of foreign language skills in Andalusian universities”, allowing the universities to organise and evaluate the tests of foreign language skills using the same set of criteria.
This procedure coordinates the evaluation, the elaboration of common test design criteria, the management and the marking of language tests for accreditation of the reference levels established by CEFR.
On July 2, 2011, the Vice-chancellors of Andalusian universities signed a collaboration agreement with the aim of establishing a framework for the certification of foreign language skills at the language centres of Andalusian universities. It established the common basic standards for the accreditation of foreign language skills that must be observed by each university signatory of the procedure. This agreement stipulates that the Andalusian universities shall adapt their own accreditation procedures within six months of signing.
Once the procedure for accreditation of foreign language skills is launched by the university, it has to request the the Andalusian Agency of Knowledge (AAC) for certification.
The AAC has drawn the “Guidelines for the certification of the Procedure for the accreditation of foreign language skills in Andalusian universities”. This procedure consists of three phases: certification, follow-up, and certification renewal. The universities that certify their procedure must undergo an annual follow-up and request the certification renewal after four years of the award.
The university shall present a report including the procedure implemented and an analysis of the results of at least one implementation period. Once the report is reviewed by the Certification Committee, the university will be visited by an external committee, which will evaluate if the procedure implemented by the university complies with the “Procedure for the accreditation of foreign language skills in Andalusian universities”. If the report of the committee is positive the AAC will certify the procedure with a validity of four years, although the completion and sending of an annual follow-up report is mandatory. After four years of the award of the certification the university has to request the certification renewal to the AAC.
The evaluation of the reports sent by the universities, the visits, and the review offollow-up reports will be performed by the Certification Committee.
The Committee will be composed of evaluators with different profiles:
a) President: a renowned academic with expertise in the use and evaluation of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). He/she will be in charge of the evaluation of the report for the certification and of monitoring follow-up reports, based on the criteria established in this document, as well as of leading the work of the committee and coordinate the drafting of the certification reports.
b) Members: two academics, one professional, one student. The academics and the professional must have a profile with expertise in the use and evaluation of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The student must have been involved in a process of accreditation of foreign language skills. The task of the members is to evaluate the report for the certification and follow-up reports, based on the criteria established in this document.
c) Secretary: a member of staff of the AAC. He/she will be in charge of assisting the president in the preparation and drafting of reports, based on the criteria established in this document.
- pdfResolution of March 18, 2013, of the Directorate of Management of the Andalusian Agency of the Knowledge, by which it is publicized the protocol for the evaluation of the procedure of accreditation of the domain of foreign languages in the Andalusian Universities (Spanish)
- pdfCooperation agreement between Andalusian universities for the accreditation of foreign language skills (Spanish)
- pdfRoyal Decree 1041/2017, of December 22, which sets the minimum requirements of the basic level for certification purposes, establishes the basic curriculum of Intermediate B1, Intermediate B2, Advanced C1, and Advanced C2, of the Teachings of languages of special regime regulated by the Organic Law 2/2006, of May 3, of Education, and establish the equivalences between the Teachings of languages of special regime regulated in diverse plans of studies and those of this royal decree. (Spanish)
- pdfAddendum to the agreement of June 13, 2016 (Spanish)