An asylum seeker is someone who, by making an application for asylum, asks another country (not their country of origin) to provide protection against persecution. Seeking asylum is regulated by international agreements, such as the Geneva Convention or the Dublin III Regulation, as well as by national law.
Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (Council of Europe, 2001) describes what language users/learners can do in the languages they know and provides a basis for the elaboration of language syllabuses and curriculum guidelines, the design of teaching and learning materials, and the assessment of foreign language proficiency.
A broad sector of social life. Major domains relevant to language learning/teaching and analysed in the CEFR are: educational, occupational, public, and personal.
European Language Portfolio (ELP)
Developed by the Council Europe as a companion piece to the CEFR and used to manage and document language learning and support learner self-assessment.
ELP pages have been developed for adult migrants and can be found at www.coe.int/en/web/lang-migrants/instruments
The purposes for which language is used in communication, such as inviting, apologizing, enquiring, narrating etc.
Host community, Host country
A society which refugees have joined, or a country they have arrived in, sometimes in transit but often with the intention of remaining for a certain period or permanently
“Learning that takes place outside schools and colleges and arises from the learner’s involvement in activities that are not undertaken with a learning purpose in mind” (See also: ‘non-formal learning’).
Involves awareness of other cultures in relation to one’s own. The Council of Europe promotes a view of intercultural awareness that is founded on tolerance, respect for diversity, and avoidance of stereotyping.
Language repertoire, linguistic repertoire
The language or languages that a person can use to communicate in different contexts and for different purposes. When a person’s repertoire includes two or more languages, it is quite usual for him or her not to have the same level of proficiency in each language.
The ways in which individuals prefer to learn or are best able to learn, for example by using visual images, making associations between different concepts, learning by heart, repetition etc.
The status according to law of persons in migration situations, for example, asylum seeker, refugee, resident etc.
An individual’s accumulated knowledge and experience of using languages, and competence in them.
Literate / Literacy
Concerns a person’s ability to read and write in one or more languages, and the degree of competence they have in reading and writing.
Mediator, linguistic ~
A person who facilitates communication between individuals where one or both parties may have difficulty, perhaps because they speak different languages, have low proficiency in the language of communication or are unfamiliar with the terminology being used.
The Council of Europe uses the term ‘migrant’ to refer to all those who have migrated, including asylum seekers, those who have obtained refugees status or a similar type of protection, and so-called ‘economic migrants’.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) defines a migrant as any person who is moving or has moved across an international border or within a State away from his/her habitual place of residence, regardless of the person’s legal status.
The Council of Europe uses “multilingual” to refer to societies, regions or countries where two or more languages are spoken (see “plurilingual”)
Needs, communicative ~
The linguistic resources that learners must acquire in order to be able to communicate in a given range of situations.
“Learning that takes place outside formal learning environments but within some kind of organisational framework. It [….] is the result of intentional effort, but it need not follow a formal syllabus or be governed by external accreditation and assessment.” (See also ‘informal learning’)
The Council of Europe uses “plurilingual” to refer to persons who are able to communicate, at whatever level of proficiency, in two or more languages.
See also “multilingual”.
Profile, linguistic ~
The language and literacy characteristics of an individual (or group), specifying their level of competence in different languages, their ability to listen and speak, read and write, in different communicative situations, etc.
Real objects, such as items of food, personal possessions etc., that can be used in language activities to aid understanding and relate learning to the real world.
Progressive steps in acquiring a language, described in the CEFR as levels (for CEFR see above).
For the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), refugees constitute a distinct group of people because they have left their home in response to serious threats to life and liberty.
An activity for language support in which learners take the part of participants in an interaction, for example between a traveller and someone giving him or her information
A social activity (such as looking for accommodation, buying clothes, going to a restaurant) consisting of a predictable sequence of communicative situations and involving language activities of different kinds.
The writing system of a language, such as Arabic, Cyrillic (for Bulgarian, Russian etc.), Roman (for Italian, French, English etc.).
The process of evaluating one’s own competence, for example in a language. The European Language Portfolio can be used for this purpose.
A commonly shared image of a person, social group, nationality etc. that is based on simplified, fixed and sometimes prejudicial ideas.
A course (here, a language course) that is designed to meet the specific needs of a particular group, based on their existing competence and their future communicative needs.