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Key competences

Key Competences were introduced into education legislation 5 Artistic competence

with the Ley Orgnica de Educacin (LOE, 2006) and they The study of a foreign language requires an understanding of
now appear alongside the traditional elements as part of an the culture of the countries in which it is spoken. In addition
attempt to enable students to develop transferable skills. The to promoting an understanding of the contribution of others
Key Competences have been defined as the ability to apply to the cultural and artistic heritage of a country, learning a
knowledge, skills and attitudes to solve problems in a range foreign language gives students the means to express their own
of contexts. In other words, they encourage the activation of creativity in an appropriate way. Tasks which require students to
resources and knowledge that the learner already has. express their opinions, give an emotional response or create a
A brief explanation of the main characteristics of the eight piece of original spoken or written work, for example a narrative
Key Competences within the framework of learning a foreign or dialogue, contribute to this competence.
language is set out below. The names of the competences vary 6 Autonomy and personal initiative
in some regions. The learning of a foreign language contributes to the
1 Linguistic communication achievement of this competence because it encourages
Learning a foreign language contributes to progress in this teamwork in the classroom, the management of personal
competence by improving students communication skills resources, and social skills such as cooperation and negotiation.
(listening, speaking, reading and writing). Their written and oral Students should be encouraged to adopt procedures which
communication skills are enriched by understanding the way allow them to use their own initiative and decision-making
language is structured. Students must show that they can use skills during the planning, organization and management of
language conventions appropriate to the situation, and can their work. Tasks which require students to work in pairs or small
understand that discourse must be adapted to suit different groups, or carry out short projects, require cooperation, flexibility
contexts. They can relate this to the study of other languages and time management.
(Spanish and the co-official language if applicable). All activities in 7 Interaction with the physical world
the language class have a communicative outcome of some kind. Although this is a competence which does not initially appear
2 Learning to learn to have a specific place in foreign language learning, it is
This competence implies that students are aware of their sometimes an indirect learning objective of a particular lesson.
own ability to learn a foreign language and of the resources Texts or listening activities which increase students awareness of
that should be used for this purpose, as well as the skills and the physical and human geography of a country can contribute
motivation that must be applied in order to continue the to this competence.
learning of a foreign language throughout their lives. In the 8 Mathematical competence
foreign language class, the use of self-evaluation features and As with the previous competence, this is another area that
the development of study skills are the most obvious ways in carries less weight in the process of learning a foreign language.
which this competence can be developed. Nevertheless, it can feature in the language class in a number of
3 Social and civic competence different ways, for example, when students come into contact
As well as being a tool for communication, languages form part of with the use of numbers, their basic operations and their
the common culture of different communities and countries. They application to everyday life. Tasks which require students to
are also a means of sharing culture which enhances the respect of, interpret numerical data contribute to this competence.
interest in and contact with speakers of other languages, as well
as the appreciation and acceptance of cultural and behavioural
differences. The nature of many activities that form a core part of
foreign language teaching requires students to interact with other
students in the class in a cooperative manner.
4 Digital competence
Knowledge of a foreign language enables students to access
a broader range of information and also to communicate
with a wider range of people. For example, they are able to
communicate with young people in other countries through
email in an authentic and natural way. Language courses give
students the tools they need to communicate appropriately in
different contexts, including email and online communication.
When learning a foreign language, it is important to be exposed
to a range of resources and genres of speech and writing. The
regular use of digital learning resources, including websites
and interactive whiteboard materials, directly adds to the
development of this competence.

Introduction xiii
Key competences evaluation grid + Good progress
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Name Class Level


Key competence 1 2 3 Observations

1 Linguistic communication

2 Learning to learn

3 Social and civic competence

4 Digital competence

5 Artistic competence

6 Autonomy and personal initiative

Photocopiable Oxford University Press 2013

7 Interaction with the physical world

8 Mathematical competence