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These submissions have fed the evaluation findings not just the main conclusions but also the provision by provision screening of the directives presented in Annex V and are briefly presented in Annex II. The questionnaire was only available in English but replies in all EU languages were accepted.
It gathered a total of replies from stakeholders in all M ember States as well as from outside the Union. An initial summary report of the findings 30 was published in 3 March and the full report 31 of the public consultation was published on 20 April Annex II. The consultation elicited both consolidated contributions from umbrella organisations and individual contributions from various stakeholders.
The analysis of the responses was done using stakeholder mapping rather than statistics-only, in order to avoid bias and given that operators formed the majority of respondents. Its results were fed throughout the document. The summary can be found in Annex II. The variety of views collected thanks to those consultations contributed to the independence of the evaluation. Further data collection drew on exercises ran by other EC Directorate Generals, e. As explained above, the evaluation was done per regulation area rather than per Directive, while a separate exercise covered the Directives provision per provision.
A summary of the findings of the screening of the Directives is presented in Annex V. In the absence of an extensive macro-economic model, the overall contribution of the regulatory framework was estimated mainly via international benchmarking. A full quantification in order to produce a meaningful model would have implied an extensive ex post data collection exercise — including detailed information on topology, demographics, legacy infrastructure, etc.
Moreover, a credible counter-factual situation would have been hard to establish, with the exception of few regulation areas, which on the other hand are linked to impacts which are difficult to quantify. The evaluation of the specific regulation areas, including their contribution to high level outputs was supported by the dedicated studies and done mostly based on qualitative analysis case studies, panels, interviews , with quantitative analysis for key policy areas such as access and spectrum regulation. The robustness of the findings depends on the sources available per regulatory area.
Whereas all regulation areas were covered by the dedicated studies, the depth of the analysis per area is variable. In any case evidence could be triangulated, thanks to the various implementation reports and pre-existing specific studies per area. Attention was paid also to what extent the evidence corresponds to the response obtained in the public consultation, as mapped per category of stakeholder. Moreover, the findings of the evaluation are building on the experience and data sets formed throughout the Commission internal monitoring and enforcement exercises.
This triangulation is contributing to the robustness and the independence of the findings provided in this evaluation. The evaluation faced some limitations in the collection of data, whose impact was mitigated to a maximum possible extent:. For instance, given the multiplicity of factors influencing NGA rollout e. Moreover, in spite of the abundance of outcome indicators monitored throughout the years, due to factors such as changing technologies, changing market structures, it has been difficult to obtain comparable data sets covering the entire period evaluated.
Firstly, as in all surveys, the answers received reflect the views of a self-selecting sample of relevant stakeholders and not those of the entire population who has a stake in this domain. Secondly, stakeholders' views convey an individual rather than a holistic perspective.
This limitation was partly mitigated by stakeholder mapping. An overall model aggregating the impacts into an overall contribution of the framework could not be delivered given resource constraints as well as lack of appropriate datasets. Based on the elements above, the evaluation has been carried out on the basis of the best available data. Whenever reliable quantitative data is lacking, this is indicated as appropriate and possibly counter-balanced with qualitative data and considerations.
This section summarises the current situation on the state of implementation of the regulatory framework for electronic communications as well as the monitoring arrangements that are in place. The successful implementation of the revised regulatory framework in force as of May has suffered to a certain extent from delays in its transposition across Member States. Non-communication infringement cases had to be opened against 20 Member States despite bilateral exchanges and sharing of best practice in the Communications Committee COCOM , which gathers the representatives of authorities responsible for electronic communication.
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While no case led to a judgment of the Court, this has undoubtedly delayed the materialisation of benefits stemming from those reforms. Generally speaking, once transposition measures had been put in place, implementation has been relatively less problematic. Priorities defined by the Commission for enforcement have included in particular structural issues. The functioning and the independence of the national regulatory authorities, as well as the EU consultation procedure involving national regulatory authorities and the Commission, which aims to consolidate the internal market for electronic communications the Article 7 procedure as well as the revised consumer protection rules have received particular attention.
The defined priority areas often correspond to the requirements strengthened in the framework, such as independence and timeliness of market reviews. Spectrum enforcement has also gained in importance over the years, not least in view of delays in the implementation of Commission spectrum harmonisation or, more recently, of the Radio Spectrum Policy Programme.
I ssues around the authorisation and establishment requirements imposed more or less explicitly by national authorities continue to raise issues of conformity with the regulatory framework or, indeed, the TFEU. An area of concern for some years had been the imposition of specific ' telecom taxes ' on providers of electronic communications, deemed by the Commission in contradiction with the EU rules on administrative charges.
The Court of Justice 32 has however not accepted the interpretation of the Commission in this area. Exchanges via the 'EU Pilot' system 33 have often been successful in preventing infringements in a number of cases, for instance. Roughly three quarters of the cases on which investigations are launched are successfully resolved at that stage. However, implementation issue s have not decreased over the years. The Commission monitors the correct application of the provisions contained in the EU regulatory framework, also via contacts with stakeholders and complaints received from EU citizens.
The most important evolutions in the sector — both in terms of market and regulatory developments — are presented in annual implementation reports Evolution of the Sector It is important to read them against the main technological changes and trends which took place. The expectations formulated at the last review have been largely met by the evolutions during the past ten years: the migration to "all IP" has progressed throughout although it is completed in only one Member State , the wireless developments have exceeded expectations with 4G as the main current technology, transition to digital TV completed in all Member States but one, fiber to the local loop has been deployed across the EU, triple-play fixed-line telephony, internet, TV and even quadruple-play triple-play plus mobile services are across several Member States, the norm.
The successive reports also note that bundled offers have become increasingly popular throughout the EU, though at very different paces. In the fixed voice telephony market the market share of incumbents dropped from The above results are in line with main goals of the regulatory framework, namely the safeguarding of competition and promotion of efficient investments in new and enhanced infrastructures Article 8 of Framework Directive.
Reasons for this decline of the market share of incumbents vary. In some Member States, such as Romania, there has been substantial infrastructure new-build; in several others, this decline is attributable to a large extent to the rise of cable; in yet others, it reflects the strong influence of regulated wholesale access.
In a context of declining revenues in the sector, there has been an increase in this ratio, from In other words, telecom operators increased the proportion of their investment through the period. At the same time the US progressed from billion euro to billion euro - surpassing Europe despite the lower population in the USA.
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There have been large increases in emerging markets such as China and India, which are in a significant growth phase due to the still relatively low take up of telecom services. A study on future trends and business models in communications services 39 shows that there is a significant difference between the ir impact on decreasing revenues on fixed revenues as opposed to the ir impact on mobile revenues. The rising popularity of online providers has had no statistically significant impact on fixed revenues.
However mobile revenues, which are currently the largest share in the telecom revenue mix, are largely influenced by the popularity of OTT communication platforms, as well as by the level of mobile termination rates, and the average GDP per capita. Other sources provide even higher figures , estimating that in alone instant messaging services on mobile phones would have carried more than twice the volume 50 billion versus 21 billion per day of messages sent via a short messaging service SMS A verage revenue per user of the top seven mobile operators in the EU would have gone down However, NGA deployments still focus mainly on urban areas, with only In terms of uptake, the spread is even broader with penetration rates of 2.
Substantial gaps can be noticed within most Member States also between rural and urban NGA penetration rates. Regarding ultrafast broadband, i. After a late start, LTE 46 is running now at full scale and its coverage is increasing — from 8. LTE deployments too have focused so far on urban areas, as only The prices of electronic communications services, including broadband prices, dropped significantly in the EU.
Despite a stabilisation in prices between and , broadband prices in the EU28 have fallen significantly between and , especially in the Mbps speed category. The prices of offers with speeds over Mbps declined in recent years, closing the price-gap to the Mbps offers. This trend can also be seem when assessing the price data for bundled offers, typically comprising broadband, fixed telephony and TV services. High-speed triple play offers have very low price premium over Mbps services. These differences create inequalities across the EU: the correlation between fixed broadband take-up and the relative price of broadband access is negative, so broadband take-up tends to be lower in countries where the cost of broadband access represents a higher share of the income.
Overall, c ommunications represented 2. Prices for communications services decreased every year between and at an average rate of 1. The above figures on prices have to be seen along with the growth in consumption of telecoms services and digital services, which has significantly increased over the last few years. For instance, the percentage of individuals using the internet frequently, i.
The various regulatory developments captured by the implementation reports will be discussed below, under the assessment of each regulation area. This section summarises the main findings in relation to the analysis of each of the questions set out in section 4. Most questions are dealt with individually, although a few have been combined, where there are significant overlaps in information justifying a unified approach. Where appropriate, the views of stakeholder groups collected during the stakeholder consultation are presented below. Annex II presents a more systematic overview of the responses, per stakeholder group, to the evaluation questions raised in the public consultation.
In a post-liberalisation era, the general objective of the regulatory framework for electronic communications was to promote a competitive internal market, aiming at delivering diverse, innovative, and affordable electronic communications to consumers and businesses. The review provided additional tools to respond to the need to ensure more effective competition, consolidate the internal market and strengthen consumer rights and therefore did not change the three main specific objectives of the framework.
To what extent are the original specific objectives of the framework - to promote competition, to develop the internal market, and to protect the interests of EU citizens - still relevant? To what extent do they still correspond to the needs and problems within the EU and in relation to the emerging needs of the sector? Where conditions 49 exist for the creation of a competitive market, thi s is the best option to deliver end-user benefits, including connectivity.
E ffective and sustainable competition drives efficient investment and fuels the development of the internal market. It ultimately serves the interests of end-users, by inducing innovation and providing maximum benefit in terms of choice, price and quality. As shown in the stakeholder consultation, t he regulatory community shares that view, b ased on their experience with im plementing the regulatory framework so far While the achievements of the framework in terms of service - but also to some extent infrastructure competition are undeniable, as discussed below in section 7.
The figures presented in section 6. At the same time, it is essential that consumers have attractive service offers, and wherever possible, choice so that take-up follows investments and that the digital society is actually realised. The public consultation showed that some Member States, the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association ETNO and the large majority of the incumbents go as far as suggesting, via the public consultation conducted in light of the review, that investment should be made an explicit objective, next to competition, given the significant network rollout and upgrade needs in the coming years.
This would imply amending the regulatory framework, among others access regulation, to favour dynamic efficiency gains over static ones. In areas where infrastructure competition is not viable, competition would be "for the market" rather than "in the market". Many other stakeholders including alternative operators and consumer associations stress , on the other hand that competition would not survive outside the regulatory framework and that the latter should not favour investment at the expense of competition and thereby also at the expense of the consumer outcomes that go along with competition.
Furthermore, pursuing the competition objective should take into account the new internet based services or Over-The-Top OTT players which are currently outside the scope of intervention of the regulatory framework though there are divergences of approach as to the dividing line and which would have partly disrupted the business models of "traditional" electronic communication providers. For many stakeholders who participated in the public consultation virtually all traditional operators and some authorities all competition should occur within a level playing field between "traditional" and "new" service providers.
Regardless of these nuances and with the necessary modulations to achieve fit-for-purpose and sustainable outcomes, pursuing the competition objective remains as relevant as ever. T he regulatory framework is expected to help deliver connectivity in support of the Digital Single Market. Indeed, a s modern economies increasingly depend on electronic communications for their daily operations in a digital single market, seamless provision of connectivity across borders is becoming a prerequisite.
In other words, the further pursuit of the Single Market is necessary to ensure that the entire EU is "levelled up" in terms of connectivity. T he extraordinary growth potential of the so-called Internet of Things services on a potential market of million consumers depends on a rapid and coordinated rollout of 5G networks, which in turn depends on coordinated spectrum release and on consistent policy on license free spectrum Similarly, providing online services of public value e-government, e-health, e-learning etc.
However, s ignificant bottlenecks remain in the provision of electronic communications services across the EU , as discussed below in section 7. As expressed in the public consultation, a lack of an effective internal market also affects equipment manufacturers and multi-national telecom providers, which seek to replicate business models in multiple markets. Most importantly, a lack of effective internal market eventually affects businesses at large irrespective of their size and citizens too.
T he consistency exercises and exchange of best practice enabled by the various institutional provisions introduced by the review 57 have , to a certain extent, resulted in the promotion and proliferation of "best in class" regulatory models and examples concerning the access regime that would yield the best possible outcomes in terms of competition and NGA. The case of the termination rates is an illustrative example of the strengths and limits of the procedure aimed at ensuring consistency. T he implementation of the Commission's Termination Rates Recommendation has led to significantly lower termination rates across the EU followed in most cases by lower prices for end - users , as confirmed by internal monitoring exercises.
However, a small number of deviations from the recommended approach remain for mobile termination: Germany , the Netherlands , Finland ; for fixed: Belgium , Cyprus , Germany , Finland , the N etherlands , Poland. Other examples of areas where the need for greater consistency was recognised relates to the imposition of non-discrimination remedies and price controls costing methodologies , where the Commission issued a recommendation It follows that further simplification and effective harmonisation, with the necessary built-in flexibility, appears necessary to ensure that the most appropriate remedies are applied leading to a quicker realisation of the overall objective of seamless, affordable connectivity across the EU.
As electronic communications services and connectivity as the basis for all e-services are becoming so important in modern societies, ensuring access for all, as well as allowing end-users to benefit from the intensified competition in the sector, is increasingly essential. For this reason, the objective of promoting the interests of end-users, including by ensuring universal access to connectivity or by other forms of safety nets, remains highly relevant, with certain components becoming even more central.
However, while the objective of protecting end-users remains relevant, the relevance of the specific provisions which are aimed at achieving it should be examined in view of market, technological and regulatory developments. For instance, certain elements which form part of the current universal service arrangements might have become redundant e. The relevance of each regulation area is discussed below.
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Finally, it cannot be ignored that despite improvements in market performance registered through the Consumer Market Scoreboards from to , consumers evaluate the sector still below the average of the services markets covered by the Scoreboard, as discussed below. It should however be noted that the market performance indicators are relative to the many 29 services covered in the Scoreboard, including, not only utility and network industries but also recreational services. At the same time, successive Special Eurobarometer surveys more specifically dedicated to electronic communications services evaluate the sector as average.
In any event, it remains relevant to pursue consumer interests explicitly, not only as a matter of outcome of competition on the Single Market. Are all the regulation areas still relevant in reaching the objectives identified as being still relevant? How do the main stakeholders perceive this relevance? The section below discusses the relevance of the regulation areas evaluated, linking them to the objectives of the framework competition, single market, end-user protection. The relevance of access regulation is to be seen in relation to its importance to ensure competition on the market.
The rationale behind the imposition of access regulation relies on the presence of bottlenecks in the networks that cannot be easily replicated by access seekers to an incumbent's network. This is even more important in areas where no second infrastructure is present no infrastructure competition , such as rural areas where due to lower density, the business case is not strong enough to support more than one network and where telecom networks are effectively natural monopolies. Access regulation is imposed by national regulators in each of the 28 EU Member States and key fixed access markets are regulated in accordance with EU principles, to different degrees, in each of the 28 EU Member States.
In many EU markets, access seekers relying on access regulation make electronic communication markets more competitive. The importance of access regulation for entry and competitiveness of access seekers can be demonstrated by excluding the share of cable providers which typically have their own exclusive infrastructures and do not rely on access to the incumbents networks from the market share of new entrants.
Similarly, the importance of access regulation is even augmented, if the above market share calculation would not take into account Member States such as Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic, and the Baltic states, where the competition comes from newly built "leapfrog" infrastructures, and is not based on Local Loop Unbundling. It follows that access regulation remains one very relevant regulation area of the regulatory framework - of high relevance to both the competition and the Single Market objectives.
Spectrum management is as relevant as network access regulation to the extent that spectrum is an essential input for electronic communications services. Spectrum is a core enabler for the deployment and development of current and next generation mobile and fixed wireless networks e. The demand for powerful mobile technology has grown over time in the EU. In addition to affecting deployment, the manner in which spectrum is allocated and the conditions attached to spectrum assignment and usage, are also major determinants of mobile competition, which in turn influence quality of service, prices, speed of roll-out and take-up of mobile broadband.
With the deployment of 3G and 4G, spectrum has been exploited much more intensely, as illustrated by the increase in the use of mobile broadband services in the EU. Responses to the public consultation acknowledge the importance of wireless connectivity and wireless broadband, and its link and complementarity to a very high capacity fixed connectivity. Industry is supportive of a more co-ordinated approach and looks for additional certainty in investment and possibilities to develop throughout the EU new wireless and mobile communications including 5G. Member States generally underline the achievements in the field of technical harmonisation, and the need for additional coordination to be bottom-up and voluntary; some of them call for a better balance between harmonisation and flexibility.
There is widespread recognition of the importance of more flexible access and use of spectrum in the future from both operators and public authorities, although disagreeing about how to realise this. The importance of spectrum management is therefore increasing together with the rise of the mobile connectivity demands — for both "core" electronic communications services and services belonging to the so-called "internet of things" machine-to-machine communications, M2M.
The need to tackle spectrum management at EU level is thus directly linked to the need to support the Digital Single Market. There is also a need to support a European lead in 5G roll-out, by spectrum rules which are fit for purpose. Spectrum regulation continues to have a significant impact on competition and the Single Market.
The need for provisions concerning the management of numbers is increasing with the rise of M2M services which are expected to drastically increase the demand for numbers, often for cross-border use. Number management impacts competition as well as, increasingly, the Single Market. The public consultation showed a high level of consensus that to cope with the numbering needs of M2M in the future, a clear framework for extra-territorial use of numbers is necessary to ensure sufficient numbering resources. As far as the relevance of market entry provisions is concerned, the situation is uneven.
The provisions on rights of way have been quite relevant in the period of transition from state monopoly to competition in the electronic communications markets, i. It ensured that alternative operators may deploy their networks under the same transparent conditions as former monopolists and in a timely manner, and put an end to discrimination in favour of state owned incumbents. In view of the transition to high-speed networks, and notably mobile services provisioning via the latest technologies requiring more granular network topologies, these provisions today fully retain their relevance.
Market entry provisions are key elements to support competition and the Single Market. As far as the functioning of the national regulatory authorities NRAs is concerned, the need for impartial, transparent and timely regulation was essential in the context of liberalisation. The need for an impartial and independent referee remains as relevant on liberalised markets as it has been in the past. This role is not questioned in the public consultation; on the contrary, the public consultation showed overall support for strengthening NRAs' independence. The relatively high number of issues which arose in the implementation of the provisions — matched by an intensive monitoring and enforcement activity by the Commission — shows their persisting relevance and importance, both preserving and advancing competition on the Single Market and for ensuring that consumers fully reap the benefits of market developments.
Against this objective and its increasing number of tasks 62 , BEREC' s relevance is increasing , even though there was no consensus in the public consultation on the way to reflect this increase in regulatory terms. Similarly, the capability of the Radio Spectrum Policy Group RSPG to deliver high-level strategic advice at the right point in the process to support forward-looking decision making of the Commission and of the other EU institutions will be increasingly important, against a background where spectrum policy's relevance is increasing.
The public consultation showed that a common EU approach to governing spectrum access is welcomed by respondents in order to enable technologies to be used seamlessly, but that respect for spectrum as a national asset is required. Some respondents promoted a stronger role of the Commission. Some respondents disagreed and stressed the national character of spectrum policy. Standardisation is aimed at ensuring interoperability of services including emerging services and to improve freedom of choice for users. The voluntary and market-driven approach to standardisation has been supported by most stakeholders in the public consultation.
It remains therefore of crucial importance for both effective competition and the functioning of the Single Market as well as to promote the interest of end-users. It can be argued that the relevance of standardisation efforts is increasing with the diversification of new services. The concept of universal service as a safety net is a tool to ensure that all citizens including low - income and disabled or elderly users, for instance are included in the digital society.
M oreover, the need to impose certain services has disappeared as they are provided by the market e. This is clearly reflected in the public consultation. For example, some contract provisions Art. However, other sector-specific rules remain relevant as they are specific to how traditional communication services are provided e. Therefore, certain rules, such as those on switching or portability of numbers are still warranted.
The Commission yearly monitoring of the implementation of reveals the implementation of a reliable access to emergency services by the electronic communications providers. A large majority of respondents to the public consultation agree with the significant relevance of the scope and requirements of the current regulation of access to emergency services. It remains therefore necessary to further pursue the provisions regarding As regards the relevance of services , i.
The relatively modest take-up of the scheme suggests that the scope of the scheme should be limited to already assigned numbers. The digitalisation of services, including commercial and public services is leading to a situation where breaches have more impact on both companies and individuals.
For instance in the last year for which statistics are available , Member States reported to ENISA under Article 13a 3 , last subparagraph, a total of "major incidents" 73 , i. Such incidents significantly affected in comparable percentages fixed telephony, mobile telephony, fixed Internet and mobile Internet.
Mobile Internet outages affected most user connections compared to the other services, with an average of 1. The current provisions regarding must-carry and access to electronic programme guides form part of a set of measures intended to protect general interest objectives such as media pluralism, freedom of speech and cultural diversity in the process of liberalisation of electronic communications markets.
These general interest or end-user protection objectives remain relevant in an increasingly digital society in which linear digital television is still the predominant means for citizens to receive and enjoy audio-visual content and space for policy intervention might be further justified to foster the findability of content of general interest. This is shared by most respondents to the public consultation, even though there is no consensus as to how rules should be adapted to new market and technological realities.
Looking at the global objectives and the structural changes in the sector, are there new objectives that the framework should pursue? It follows from the above analysis that, in general, the specific objectives of the regulatory framework still correspond to the needs and problems within the EU as well as to the needs of the sector. The question arises however whether the current objectives provide regulators with sufficient guidance in the environment where the role of the sector as provider of connectivity services and enabler of wider digital economy is continuously increasing.
The electronic communications sector has evolved and its role as an enabler of the online economy has grown so that the telecoms sector is now affecting most sectors of the general economy. ICT is no longer seen as a specific sector but rather as the foundation of modern, innovative economic systems and as well as of certain societal services, such as e-transport, e-government, e-health care, e-learning, etc.
This can only be possible if appropriate ICT networks are rolled out at a sufficient scale, if the services are accessible and affordable to all citizens. This view is shared by stakeholders. In the public consultation organised on the review of the regulatory framework, as well as in other targeted stakeholder consultations, connectivity was broadly recognised as the underlying driving force for the digital society and economy, underpinned by technological changes and evolving consumer and market demands.
Many contributions to the public consultation, across different stakeholder groups, suggested that it should be a more prominent focal point in the revised framework. Next, in order to answer the second guiding question of this paper we must examine important points regarding what the academic community is likely to do as a way of building up new EFL agendas in Colombia.
Some common questions that might raise when one thinks about education in Colombia are, what factors should be considered to set standards and who will be in charge of such responsibility? Given the nature and the complexity of what the educational affair involves; it is comprehensible that there is not a specific formula to answer the queries posed.
Despite this fact, we would like to mention some general aspects which aim at shedding light on them. Among the factors that are at the core of attention for developing a proposal for standards in this country, there is the fact of copying or adopting foreign models. The practice of copying or adopting foreign models as standards needs to be revised. People involved in education, the government, administrators and in general all the members of the academic community should be aware of the complexities of educational standardization.
They should not forget that both research and policies in bilingual education are motivated by particular political and economical agendas Romaine, As stated before in this document, the adoption or perhaps adaptation of foreign standards is an intricate process that has to consider the features of the context of implementation.
Consequently, proposals regarding education should be designed to set curricula that reflect, satisfy, and fulfill Colombian learners' needs. One of the conclusions arising from the five research experiences mentioned by the author is the importance of avoiding the adaptation of imported bilingual models where the institutions are embedded.
It is important to highlight that the support of the government plays an important role if significant changes are to be made to overcome the limitations of the Colombian educational system. As an action to bridge the gap between public and private education, the government ought to improve, among others, aspects regarding budget -which serve to invest in research, logistics for schools, universities or other public educational institutions; more chances for students to study, and teachers' professional development.
Additionally, policies about first language education and foreign language education, for the dominant language and the indigenous languages, have to be revised. The position of the Colombian indigenous cultures and their languages should not be put aside in the development of standards for language teaching learning, since they are part of our educational, cultural and linguistic context. The role of English and Spanish as prestigious languages in several Colombian domains especially within indigenous languages needs to be addressed.
It is necessary to study in which ways English language is building language attitudes toward Spanish and indigenous languages, and in this order to analyze the consequences of the role of Spanish as a language of prestige with respect to the indigenous dialects. These facts must be kept in mind when dealing with bilingual, multilingual and plurilingual education.
Therefore, educational policies need to nurture the development of the L1 of all linguistic communities in our country, as a manner of bolstering identity. It is worth noting according to Rico, , that: " Research suggests that it is advisable to first strengthen educational policies regarding the mother tongue so as to be able to undertake the learning of a foreign language. Ramirez, et al. Furthermore Clavijo conference on bilingualism in Argentina, states that it is essential to work on an educational model that enhances literacy processes in the mother tongue as well as the target language, and towards models that promote bilingualism and multilingualism in accordance with our context.
Now, if we ask who has to lead and support the process of standards construction for FL in our country, there is only one answer: the academic community. We advocate a broader participation of all the academic community , which has the responsibility to develop and validate language teaching-learning standards to cope with the dynamics of the current educational system in Colombia.
Thus, policy makers, teachers, students, parents and school administrators should be leaders and active participants as observers and members of such academic community. In this sense, the academic community ought to establish what the national standards should include for their further development. It is necessary to depart from principles of pertinence and coherence The development of standards implies the making of pertinent decisions in order to construct standards that coherently account for the features of the context we are embedded in.
These decisions have to do with the design of a curriculum. On the whole, a curriculum deals with policy decisions and it combines educational-cultural goals with language goals. A proposal on FL standards should evidence the pertinence and coherence in the articulation of these three dimensions of a curriculum. That is to say, to establish how these orientations fit and match, in this case, the Colombian ethnic, political, economical, cultural and social reality.
Then, it is essential to pay attention to the correspondence among what we believe the nature of language is -a way to communicate, a set of grammar rules; the way the language is learned -a stimulus-response activity, a cognitive activity; and the educational viewpoint we hold -a behaviorist orientation, a humanistic orientation. The process of designing a proposal for standards starts with the consideration of the pertinence and coherence among the components of the curriculum.
The next step is the arrangement of more specific standards throughout a syllabus proposal. Under these principles, a syllabus has to pose standards that correspond to attainable goals based on a student population analysis. Likewise, it must depict the criteria to decide on what is to be taught -elements or themes- and the order or sequence of their presentation. It also describes methods, techniques, materials, evaluation systems, and roles of teachers and learners in the learning process. Standards, as it has been shown, engage a coherent articulation of various dimensions namely, the components of a curriculum and the aspects that characterize a syllabus.
It means that standards do not only cope with subject matter content, its goals and outcomes; standards embrace broader dimensions which integrate cultural L1 vs. FL, indigenous languages , societal language prestige, status , and individual interests, motivations, personal goals domains. It is still a challenge, for all who are involved in education, to put together all the components that standards should include. Most of this responsibility lies on teachers and their expertise.
Thus, in order to reverse the perpetuation of the status quo of our educational reality, the academic community, but in particular teachers play a relevant role. Educational proposals should depart from the experiences of teaching practice. Teachers need to assume a teacher-researcher role and systematize their teaching experiences. This will allow them to use and build up theory and, as a result, to develop educative proposals such as standards.
Theory has to interact in a dialectical way with practice. De Beaugrande proposes a dialectical cycle in which practice is conducted by theory and theory has to be conducted by practice; theory leads and explains practice, and practice specifies and implements theory To put it in another way, teachers have to remain true to their praxis Freire, , that is to say, they need to make use and develop theory, reflect and take action as a manner to shape new curricula based upon their daily experience and the comprehension of their local realities. In short, standards should be born from the practice of teachers and the involvement of the other participants of the academic community.
This article is a discussion that attempts to reflect on some implications of the implementation of the CEF in Colombia given the socio-cultural, political and economical traits of our country as well as education system. The writers acknowledge the value and contribution of the CEF in foreign language teaching-learning. Nevertheless, we point out the several issues to bear in mind along with the possible repercussions of adoption and the way a model such as this one is interpreted and implemented in a different context.
Overall, we assert that standardization is not negative in the sense that it implies taking action in order to improve or gain better quality. It aims at improving competitiveness at an international level and has an impact on any system as it attempts to compare and reevaluate current practices. All actors involved in foreign language teaching-learning processes need to assume a critical stance toward the concept of standards, which must not be seen as stylish products coming from abroad.
On the contrary, international standards in education should inform us what our position in the world is. Therefore, we can change our perspective while considering our background in order to meet local but at the same time wider requirements of a globalized world. The can-do statements. Quality assurance. McNulty M. Profile, 5, Buenos Aires. Cambridge University Press. La agenda del ecologismo para el estudio del texto y el discurso. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press. Understanding Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Bilingual education and social change. Great Britain: Multilingual Matters, Ltda.
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