Linguistic Mediation: What is it and how can we introduce it in ELT?

2019-06-28 06:51:15

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)

Introducing a new skill in English Language Learning


Linguistic Mediation is not a new concept; however recent changes to the CEFR have focused on developing it as an integral part of language learning. Mediation is a broad idea covering social, cultural and linguistic aspects, but in simple terms, it refers to facilitating communication between two or more speakers or groups who, for whatever reason, cannot communicate directly. 

The basic requirement of linguistic mediation is to help people communicate to solve a problem. There are two types of mediation that can be used to do this: intralinguistic mediation which is carried out within the same language, for example English to English, and interlinguistic mediation which is carried out between two different languages, for example Spanish to English. Macmillan English Hub will offer both types of mediation through activities that require reformulating a spoken or written text.


In a world that is increasingly global, multicultural and multilingual, mediation is a fundamental part of everyday life. Within the language learning context, mediation develops a combination of receptive, productive and interactive skills, as well as sub-skills involving the ability to reach agreement and identify cultural differences, all of which are essential life skills. 


At Macmillan Education we recognise that to teach mediation, teachers need a wide range of resources, tools and training to fully understand the concept and be able to introduce this skill into the classroom. That’s why we will be working continuously to create materials that meet your centre’s needs and that link to our current Macmillan Education Hub course. 


Linguistic mediation is more than a skill to be assessed; it helps students create relationships, resolve conflict and enhance communication, which is why it is so important to both the CEFR and us at Macmillan Education. 

Find out more about Macmillan English Hub here

Watch our webinar with Esther Belda “Linguistic mediation: what does this mean for our classes?“:


For more information, watch our webinar with Enrica Piccardo on the Interaction & Mediation changes to the CEFR: