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EPOSTL: European Portfolio for Student Teachers of Languages

See more: Teacher Competences

The European Portfolio for Student Teachers of Languages is a tool for reflection and self-assessment of the didactic knowledge and skills necessary to teach languages.

It builds on insights from the Common European Framework of Reference and the European Language Portfolio as well as the European Profile for Language Teacher Education.

EPOSTL describes in a comprehensive way

  • what language teachers have to learn to do in order to teach a language for communication and
  • what knowledge and skills they have, to help learners to develop so as to be able to act effectively.  

The content part of the EPOSTL is structured into three sections. These are:

  • A personal statement section, to help students about to begin their teacher education to reflect on general questions related to teaching.
  • A self-assessment section, consisting of ‘can-do’ descriptors, to facilitate reflection and self-assessment by student teachers.
  • A dossier, for students to make the outcome of self-assessment transparent, to provide evidence of progress and to record examples of work relevant to teaching. 

At the heart of the EPOSTL are 196 ‘can-do’ descriptors of didactic competences which the self-assessment section consists of. These descriptors may be regarded as a set of core competences which language teachers will wish to attain.

However, they should be not be regarded as comprising a prescriptive list: they do not represent a fixed qualification profile, but are rather to be seen as competences that both student teachers and practising teachers will strive to develop continuously during their education and throughout their teaching career.

In order to make the descriptors both more coherent and more user-friendly they are grouped into seven general categories, which have the following headings:

  • Context  
  • Methodology
  • Resources
  • Lesson Planning
  • Conducting a Lesson
  • Independent Learning
  • Assessment of Learning

The seven categories represent areas in which teachers require a variety of competences and need to make decisions related to teaching. At the beginning of each section is a brief introductory text which discusses some of the issues relating to the respective topic area. Each general category is further divided into sub-topics. For example, ‘Conducting a Lesson’ includes the sub-headings: ‘Using Lesson Plans’, ‘Content’, ‘Interaction with Learners’, ‘Classroom Management’, ‘Classroom Language’.  

For more information, see the website and