What would be the advantages and disadvantages of using the ELP (European Language Portfolio) with my groups?

In this post I’m going to explain the advantages and disadvantages of using the European Language Portfolio (ELP) with my class’ groups.

First of all, we have to know that the European Language Portfolio (ELP) is a personal document for register the own language learning and cultural experiences at school or outside formal education. So a learner develops strategies to review the learning skills he/she has acquired. The learning becomes more real and efficient.

This is already an advantage but we have more. In this sense, the ELP motivates learners by acknowledging their efforts to diversify their language skills at all levels. Moreover, it helps learners to take responsibility for their learning and increases his/her satisfaction, putting it into a wider European framework. Consequently, the labor mobility is facilitated.

Not only that, but the ELP may trigger and support changes of teaching practice, curriculum design and assessment by promoting the plurilingualism as a general educational goal. Furthermore, this tool can support the autonomy classroom because it provides learners and teachers some learning tasks they can use to plan, monitor and evaluate the teaching and learning process. And it helps to promote the use of the target language reflexively and consciously (goal setting, reflection on learning styles, communication strategies…).

To summarize, we have dealt several positive points such as self-assessment, language awareness, intercultural learning, co-operation among teachers, reflective learning and out-of-school learning.

Nevertheless, we can find some disadvantages. I mean teachers must take on the challenges that the ELP poses. If they don’t integrate it into the learning-teaching program, this tool could be perceived as an extra work and unnecessary. So they must be trained to use the ELP as a pedagogical tool that promotes the development of learner and the autonomy on a large scale.  For example when learners are moving to a higher learning level or seeking employment abroad.

Finally, I think the advantages of the ELP are far more powerful and valuable than the disadvantages. Only the teacher’s involvement, effort and desire are needed. And work and will of the learners.

Thanks for your attention!