What are the uses of the ELP and how can you work with it?

  The European Language Portfolio (ELP) is

  • An information tool: it provides information about language proficiency and intercultural experiences in a clear, easily comprehensible and internationally comparable way.

  • A learning companion: it stimulates and helps with language learning.


The terms portefeuille (French) and portafoglio (Italian) designate a wallet or a folder. We know the term portfolio from working life and the business world. People learning a profession keep a portfolio of diplomas and documents attesting to their skills and competences. Graphic designers and journalists compile their drawings, texts and drafts in a portfolio which they can present to potential employers or clients. In marketing, a portfolio is the range of products and services offered by a company. Educational portfolios such as the European Language Portfolio allow learners to collect together certificates, attestations and good pieces of work to document and inform others about their learning achievements. Learners can also use a portfolio to describe, reflect on and plan their learning process, and to improve their learning strategies.

The European Language Portfolio is based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, which was established by the Council of Europe. There are Language Portfolios in many European countries, in many languages and for different age groups, from small children to adults. They were developed in the 1990s by leading experts with the help of future users. The Swiss Language Portfolio 16+ for young people and adults was validated in 2000 and thus became the first Language Portfolio to be accredited by the Council of Europe

Further background information