Exploring language educator unique competences

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For this winter seminar, we will welcome Dr Emma Riordan, who will discuss the HELECS project and language educator competences in Ireland.

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We are delighted to announce a joint webinar of AULC and OVFL on Tuesday, 7 December at 8pm.


8:00 Introduction. Tanya Flanagan, OVFL Chairperson & Aoife Ní Ghloinn, AULC Irish Members’ Representative

8:05 Presentation

What’s so special about language teaching? Exploring language educator unique competences.

As language educators, we recognise that the teaching of language is a very specific and complex type of education, requiring linguistic skills, cultural and sociolinguistic knowledge, as well as an understanding of the language learning process and a toolkit of appropriate teaching methods.

In this presentation, I will consider some of the salient features of language teaching and how these influence our roles as language educators. I will focus on our professional identities with a particular emphasis on the competences at the heart of language education in and beyond the classroom. I will introduce the HELECs framework which has been developed for the higher education sector in Ireland. Through a discussion of our particular knowledge, skills and attitudes, I hope to help colleagues to better articulate their own professional profile which may be of use in various contexts, including in interviews and recruitment, when planning professional development, in department meetings and in engagement with DES colleagues.

You can find more information on the HELECs project at on Twitter @HelecsP

8:30 Q&A

8:50 Closing Remarks (TF & ANG)


Dr Emma Riordan is a German language teacher and Teaching & Learning Officer for the School of Language, Literatures and Cultures at UCC. Her research interests include teacher professional development, classroom discourse and language policy.

Association of University Language Communities (AULC)

AULC is an association for all those working in Higher Education language departments and centres in the UK and Ireland. It aims to foster good practice and innovation in language education, and to facilitate collaboration and networking among its members. For more info, visit or Twitter @AULC_Languages

One Voice for Languages (OVFL)

The One Voice for Languages Group aims to be a unified voice for various language networks and associations in Ireland. For more info go to: or follow us on Twitter @OVFLanguages

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