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[en] The Higher Education Language Skills Certification (French CLES) is a scenario-based language certification accredited by the French Ministry for Higher Education which is linked to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). It allows students to obtain a certification to testify their skills in 11 different languages and at three different levels: CLES 1, 2, 3 corresponding respectively to levels B1, B2, C1 of the CEFR. CLES enables five language skills to be assessed: listening, reading, writing, speaking and interacting. As such it belongs to the fourth generation in the history of testing: the action-oriented integrative sociolinguistic approach (cf Spolsky 1981, Reichert, 2011, Tardieu 2013).
This presentation will deal with a submitted Franco-Luxembourgian project aiming at framing the conditions for a valid, reliable and fair CLES. The project will notably involve improving the linking to the CEFR levels: The Dutch CEF Grid as well as the CEF-ESTIM grid and the expertise in standard setting gained through the Socrates EBAFLS project will be used. Key reference materials such as the SurveyLang (Cito, 2011) reports and The Manual (A.L.T.E/Council of Europe, 2011) will be solicited. The expertise of the CLES teams of testers shall be improved through the use of new criterial grids and specific tester trainings. A German and English C-Test (Raatz & Klein-Braley, 1982, Reichert, 2011), as well as additional comprehensive language tests will be used to verify the criterion validity of the CLES. Both reliability and validity of the CLES will be verified before and after the adaptation of the procedures linking the CLES to the CEFR. This will eventually allow the documentation of adequate approaches and methods helping to enhance the validity of language tests such as the CLES with regard to the CEFR.