The Higher Education Language Educator Competences (HELECs) Framework has been developed by
an inter-institutional team of language teachers and applied linguists in Ireland. The project was
funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
and supported by the four partner institutions, University College Cork (lead), Dublin City University,
Maynooth University and Waterford Institute of Technology. The aims of the HELECs framework are:
• To work toward the goals of the national languages strategy, Languages Connect: Ireland’s
Strategy for Foreign Languages in Education (2017), with particular reference to increasing
capacity and enhancing the learning environment.
• To provide a tool for language educators and their managers with which they can self-assess
and articulate their competences.
• To work toward a professionalisation of the field of language teaching and learning in higher
education in Ireland.
In the following sections we outline our target audience for this framework, describe the
development process, and provide the details of the framework including the competence
identifiers, the competence domains and the competence descriptors.
Drawing on this knowledge, and expertise in occupational science/therapy, psychology and neuroscience, the ‘DOTS – Developmental Opportunities for Transitions in Students’ seminar sought to inform stakeholders of the biobehavioural transitions that influence undergraduate wellbeing and academic achievement in the current socio-cultural climate.