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Integration tests: helping or hindering integration

Reply to Recommendation | Doc. 13604 | 23 September 2014

Author(s):
Committee of Ministers
Origin
Adopted at the 1207th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies (17 September 2014). 2014 - Fourth part-session
Reply to Recommendation
: Recommendation 2034 (2014)
1 The Committee of Ministers has carefully considered Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 2034 (2014) on “Integration tests: helping or hindering integration?” and has brought it to the attention of the member States. It has also forwarded it to the Steering Committee on Educational Policy and Practice (CDPPE) for comments.
2 The Committee of Ministers notes that it is important that integration policies be based on the Council of Europe’s fundamental values and, in particular, allow migrants to develop their potential and participate actively in the life of the host country. The provision of language courses for migrants together with appropriate evaluation processes forms part of this because, as the Assembly stresses, knowledge of a receiving society’s language(s) facilitates successful integration. However, it is important that the language courses on offer should take account of each migrant’s specific resources and needs and enable him or her to acquire, in particular, language skills relevant to his or her work.
3 As regards the Council of Europe’s “Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)” and its use in the context of language tests and integration, the Committee of Ministers refers to its Recommendation CM/Rec(2008)7 on the use of the CEFR and the promotion of plurilingualism.
4 Furthermore, it emphasises that a set of tools has been drawn up and is available on line on the Council of Europe’s website devoted to the linguistic integration of adult migrants,Note answering the Assembly’s concerns. It also points out that, through its Language Policy Unit, the Council of Europe can provide assistance to member States wishing to adapt their policies, existing instruments and resources in order to meet their specific needs related to the linguistic integration of adult migrants.
5 Regarding further work on the CEFR, the Committee of Ministers informs the Assembly that a “Guide to Policy Development and Implementation” arising from the intergovernmental project on “Linguistic Integration of Adult Migrants (LIAM)” was recently published, as was a collection of documents entitled “The linguistic integration of adult migrants: from one country to another, from one language to another”,Note whose aim is to help authorities and practitioners to identify appropriate ways of using the CEFR in language education, in curriculum design and development and for the evaluation of adult migrants’ language skills.
6 With regard to options other than language tests for evaluating the language skills of migrants and candidates for immigration, mention should be made of the tools developed by the Language Policy Unit such as the “European Language Portfolio for Adult Migrants” and the related documents, which aim to put the emphasis on skills profiles rather than on levels.
7 The Committee of Ministers also notes that the 3rd Intergovernmental Conference on “Quality in the linguistic integration of adult migrants: from values to policy and practice”, which was held in Strasbourg on 3 and 4 June 2014, and to which the Assembly contributed, was the opportunity to publish the results of the survey conducted in the member States in 2013 on language policies for the linguistic integration of adult migrants, to improve knowledge of existing resources and the results of their piloting in some member States and to present guidelines for future action.
8 In conclusion, the Committee of Ministers wishes to stress that the work on linguistic integration of adult migrants has led to the development of synergy with other relevant Council of Europe sectors, as well as with the OECD and the European Union.
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