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Catherine Chabert

Dr Catherine Chabert

Reader in French, Executive Director of Confucius Institute

School of Modern Languages

+44 29208 75836
66a Park Place, Room 2.16, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3AS
Available for postgraduate supervision


Catherine Chabert, BA, MA, PhD, PGCE-HE, SFHEA

My scholarship and leadership roles are strongly associated with internationalisation. In recent years, I have worked with Xiamen University (as Director of the Cardiff Confucius Institute), with European language centres on CercleS Executive Committee, and with French speaking university partners, negotiating and curating links for our Year Abroad students.

From 2015 to 2019, I led on the design and implementation of Languages for All, Cardiff's first university-wide language programme. Between 2016 and 2022, I was chair of the UK-wide certification scheme, UNILANG.

My teaching, which includes design, delivery and assessment, as well programme design and validation, is deeply influenced by shared European standards shaped by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. 




  • Chabert, C. 2020. UNILANG workshop. Presented at: 21st AULC Annual Conference January 2020, Maynooth, Ireland, 9-10 January 2020.



  • Chabert, C. 2017. The political dimension of the CEFR. Presented at: 6th Bremen Symposium On Language Learning And Teaching At Universities, Bremen, Germany, 24-25 February 2017.










My scholarship interests include higher education policy making, virtual universities and language benchmarking. I am currently looking at the impact lockdown measures have had on university digital education.


Some of the modules I have taught

  • High-level Proficiency in French Language (Final year UG)
  • French for Professional Purposes (Final year UG)
  • French for Professionals in the EU Context (Final year UG Business School)
  • Developing Oral and Aural Skills (Year 2 UG Business School)
  • Higher Intermediate B1 (Languages for All)
  • Advanced B2 (Languages for All)

Programmes I have developed and taken through Quality Assurance validation

  • Languages for All (in the first six languages, from A1 to B1)
  • Business School UG degrees with a minor in a Modern Language)
  • BA Chinese Studies (the language side from HSK1 to HSK5)

Other Quality Assurance roles

  • 2020: University of Sussex (External Academic on the Validation pannel for BA Languages and Intercultural Studies)
  • 2017: University of Liverpool (External Reviewer on the 3-Year Minor Subject Components in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish)
  • 2016: University of Manchester (Periodic Review of the Faculty of Humanities, LEAP - Language Experience for All Programme)
  • 2014 and 2015: Aberystwyth University (Lead External Examiner at the School of Education and Lifelong Learning for Modern Languages, Humanities, Sciences and Arts)

Recent external examining roles

  • University of Surrey (2018-2022) - UWLP across all languages
  • Technological University Dublin (2018-2021) - BA (Hons) in International Business & Languages
  • University of Sheffield (2017-2018 ) – UWLP French
  • University of Manchester (2013-2017) - UWLP French
  • Aberystwyth University (2012-2017) - School of Education and Lifelong Learning, Modern Foreign Languages


A graduate of Lyon (Licence and Maitrise) and Cardiff (PGCE-HE and PhD), I was initially recruited to the Cardiff University’s Language Centre. In 2012, I was appointed Co-Dean of Lifelong Learning before moving two years later to the newly created School of Modern Languages to become the Director of the Languages for All programme. In 2016, I was invited to become the Executive Director of the Cardiff University’s Confucius Institute. I was promoted to Reader in 2016.

Honours and awards

  • 2019 Xiamen University's Best Confucius Institute
  • 2016: I was awarded Xiamen University’s 2016 Confucius Institute Individual Performance Excellence Award from Hanban-Southern Base
  • 2016: Languages for All was shortlisted in the Outstanding Support for Students category for the Times Higher Education Awards
  • 2015: Languages for All was awarded the Cardiff University Celebrating Excellence Award for Outstanding Contribution to the University’s International Activities

Professional memberships

  • Chair of UNILANG (this is a recognition scheme which serves to help UK university students articulate and translate their language learning outcomes in terms of the CEFR) until 2022.
  • Member of AULC's executive committee (Wales Representative)
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of CercleS's executive committee (Deputy Secretary General) until 2019
  • Member of the UCML's executive committee (Wales Representative) until 2018
  • Accredited Assessor and Trainer for the French diplomas of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (DELF-DALF), A1 to C2 (Centre International d’Etudes Pédagogiques), three successive accreditations since 1999 (Current accreditation: 2022-2027)
  • Accredited Assessor for the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de Paris CCIP – DFP B2 (Diplôme de Français Professionnel B2)
  • Practical Leadership for University Management – ILM (2009)


  • International education policy-making
  • Comparative education
  • Language standards (CEFR, etc.)
  • Virtual education, virtual university