Mediation is one of the four modes in which the CEFR model organizes communication. Learners seen as social agents engage in receptive, productive, interactive or mediation activities or, more frequently, in a combination of two or more of them. While interaction stresses the social use of language, mediation encompasses and goes beyond that by focusing on making meaning and/or enabling communication beyond linguistic or cultural barriers. Both types of mediation rely on collaborative processes.

When learners/social agents engage in mediation activities they create the space and conditions for communicating and/or learning, (co)construct new meaning, collaborate to make sense of a text, or convey ideas and information to others. Mediation happens across languages or varieties (cross-linguistic mediation) or within the same language or variety.

Mediation is a strategic process which requires agency at every stage, develops linguistic and cultural awareness, and highlights the developmental nature of linguistic repertoires. Mediation plays a crucial role in successful plurilingual/pluricultural encounters and in distance communication.

Ideas for implementation


Watch Mediation (2022: Council of Europe) (06:01)

Watch The CEFR descriptors for mediation and the dynamic nature of language learning (2020: Enrica Piccardo) (14:48)

CEFR Companion volume - Descriptors for mediation and related concepts (2018: Enrica Piccardo & Brian North) (50:53)


Action-oriented plurilingual mediation in collaborative tasks (2021: Brian North)

Mediation in/for the language classroom: Learning situations and formative assessment (2022: Adolfo Sanchez Cuadrado)


CEFR Companion volume - Section 2.5

Info sheet: Mediation

Developing illustrative descriptors of aspects of mediation for the CEFR (2016: Brian North and Enrica Piccardo)

Guide for the development and implementation of curricula for plurilingual and intercultural education -Section 2.7 (2016: Jean-Claude Beacco et al.)

Education, mobility, otherness: The mediation functions of schools (2015: Daniel Coste and Marisa Cavalli)


Mediation and the plurilingual / Pluricultural dimension in language education (2023: Enrica Piccardo)