Language Levels

 

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages or CEFR is a set of guidelines used to describe the aptitude, ability and achievements of learners of foreign languages across Europe and, increasingly, beyond. The CEFR is divided into three broad divisions, which further divide into six levels:

 

Basic speaker A1-A2

 

A1: Can understand and use familiar, everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at satisfying concrete needs. Can introduce themselves and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where they live, people they know and things they have. Can interact in a simple way provided others in the dialogue talk slowly and clearly and are prepared to help.

 

A2: Can understand phrases and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in straightforward and conventional tasks requiring a plain and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of their background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.

 

Independent speaker B1-B2

 

B1: Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in the environment of work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

 

B2: Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in their field of expertise. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

 

 

Proficient speaker C1-C2

 

C1: Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. Can express themselves fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.

 

C2: Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express themselves spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations.