Higher Education Language Educators’ Competences

The Project Team

Project Lead
University College Cork

Project Partners

Waterford Institute of Technology
Dublin City University
Maynooth University


Primary Contact
Dr Emma Riordan
University College Cork


This project addresses the goals of the national languages’ strategy, Languages Connect, published in December 2017 by the Department of Education and Skills, which aims to improve the quality of language education provision and dramatically increase the number of students learning a foreign language in Higher Education Institutions by 2026. This will require the recruitment of many new language teaching staff and the upskilling of existing ones in a context of no universally recognised qualification for Higher Education language teachers.

Through consultation with stakeholders, this inter-institutional (University College Cork, Dublin City University, Maynooth University, Waterford Institute of Technology) team of Applied Linguists and language teaching experts are investigating the range of language teacher competences needed in Higher Education. The purpose of the project is to develop an empirically informed spiky profile tool which:

  • allows HE language teachers to self-asses their competences;
  • directs teachers toward resources and initiatives which can support the development of specific competences;
  • develops a digital badge system to allow teachers’ professional training to be recognised;
  • provides a framework for the professionalisation of the field of language teaching in Higher Education.

This profile will be integrated with the National Forum’s framework for staff who teach in Higher Education and the criteria for the Disciplinary Excellence in Learning, Teaching and Assessment (DELTA) awards.


Project Review (October 2019)

Project Work Plan

Project Work Plan Template