About your ELP and the Council of Europe

The Council of Europe is a political intergovernmental organisation founded in 1949 with its permanent headquarters in Strasbourg, France. Its mission is to guarantee democracy, human rights and justice in Europe. Today it serves 800 million people in 47 states.

The Council of Europe aims to build a greater Europe based on shared values, including tolerance and respect for cultural and linguistic diversity. It promotes the use of the European Language Portfolio (ELP) as a practical means of helping people of all ages and backgrounds to learn more languages and engage with other cultures. The ELP is also a means of presenting language skills, at any level and however acquired, in a clearly understandable way, using a common European system of six proficiency levels.

The European Language Portfolio is a document in which you can record and reflect on your language learning and intercultural experiences, whether gained at school or outside school. It contains three parts:

  • a Language Passport, which provides an overview of your proficiency in different languages at a given point in time;
  • a Language Biography, which helps you plan, reflect upon and assess your learning process and progress;
  • a Dossier, which offers you an opportunity to select materials to document and illustrate the achievements or experiences you have recorded in your Language Biography or Passport.

The ELP is your property as a learner. Its main aims are:

  • to help you give shape and coherence to your experience of learning and using languages other than your first language;
  • to motivate you by acknowledging your efforts to extend and diversify your language skills at all levels;
  • to provide a record of the linguistic and cultural skills you have acquired (to be consulted, for example, when you are moving to a higher learning level or seeking employment at home or abroad).

The ELP is linked to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and conforms to a common set of Principles and Guidelines that have been approved by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers to Member States concerning Modern Languages (Recommendation N° R (98) 6 ).

The copyright of the description of levels, of the descriptors, the title European Language Portfolio and the CE logo belongs to the Council of Europe which freely authorises their use. The descriptions in the checklists in the section What I Already Know were developed for the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (A Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment. Strasbourg: Council for Cultural Co-operation, Education Committee, Council of Europe, 2000) and for the European Language Portfolio, Swiss version, in a Swiss National Science Foundation project (Schneider, G., North, B. Fremdsprachen können – was heißt das? Chur/Zürich: Rüegger, 2000). In accordance with the needs of students aged 15+, some descriptors and their phrasing were adapted with the permission of the authors.

The parts “How I Study Foreign Languages” and “Learning Strategy” within the Language Biography section has been treated with the permission of the authors Vlčková, K., Přikrylová, J. Strategie učení se cizímu jazyku. Dotazník pro žáky. Prague: NUOV, 2011. [online] Available on the WWW: http://www.nuov.cz/uploads/AE/evaluacni_nastroje/23_Strategie_uceni_se_cizimu_jazyku.pdf