Positive response to CEFRL briefing for ELEs


On the 9th and 10th September, the International Education Unit, in collaboration with Stakeholder Engagement, hosted the first in-person ELE event for academic members of staff at the Ashling Hotel in Dublin.

This event was the first of two briefings, with the second one planned for November, and was presented by Thom Kiddle, Director of Norwich Institute of Language Education (NILE). The topic of Thom’s briefings is the alignment of English language programmes with the Common European Framework Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Invitations were circulated to all ELE providers who intend to apply for the International Education Mark for English Language education (IEM ELE), as well as to all HE providers that offer English Language education programmes and who also intend to apply for the International Education Mark for Higher Education (IEM HE). 66 attendees from 62 ELE and HE providers from all over the country attended the briefing over two days.

The IEM ELE and IEM HE, both currently under development at QQI, will be the national quality mark awarded to Irish higher education (HE) and English language education (ELE) providers who have demonstrated that they meet national standards to ensure a high-quality experience for international learners, from enrolment to completion of their programme of education and training. A fundamental requirement of the Code of Practice for ELE providers is the providers’ demonstration of alignment of their English Language programmes to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

To support this requirement, the International Education Unit, with support from the Stakeholder Engagement Unit, developed a project designed to provide opportunities for ELE providers to focus on the development, or further development, of their curriculum, syllabus and programme design to align with the CEFR. As a key part of this, these core briefings for providers were organised to help them focus on programme alignment to the CEFR. The content of these briefings include:

  1. The concepts of language education underpinning the CEFR;
  2. The approach to language education reflected in the Framework;
  3. Ideas on how to approach the design of programmes using the CEFR;
  4. Some practical applications to support providers’ syllabus and programme design.

Feedback from participants on both days was very positive and there were many opportunities created for cross-sectoral collaboration among ELE and HE academic management staff.

The second briefing for ELE and HE providers will be held in November and webinars will be organised for attendees between the two briefings to promote the development, or further development and enhancement, of provider programme alignment to the CEFR. This initial alignment work will continue at a later date with a focus on areas such as assessment and English for Academic Purposes, among other areas.

If you would like any further information on these briefings, or on the development of the IEM, please get in contact with us at international.education@qqi.ie