The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) was developed by the Council of Europe between the years of 1989 and 1996. While it was designed for use in Europe, it is now used all over the world.
The CEFR is a comprehensive set of guidelines for teaching as well as learning a language. It provides teachers a framework so they can develop their curriculum and learning materials for the level they are teaching. It also gives the student what they need to master for every level.
The CEFR scales the proficiency at six levels:
There are also three additional levels that can be awarded. These are ‘plus’ levels (A2+, B1+, B2+).
Let’s take a look at each level of the CEFR.
The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for Languages Levels
Starting off you are a basic user of the language. Understand basic phrases and everyday terms and expressions. Introduce yourself and answer personal questions like what is your name, are you married, do you have kids, where do you come from. Focus a lot on learning the basics of vocabulary and grammar.
This level picks up where you left off and continued to develop your vocabulary. You will be able to understand common expressions that are used on a daily basis such as family information, shopping, food, etc. You will also be able to describe in basic terms your current environment.
Here you have a strong vocabulary database to pull from as well as a basic understanding of grammar. You should be able to communicate clearly about familiar everyday topics. These topics include family life, work, school, hobbies, etc. In basic terms, you should be able to develop sentences describing your goals, dreams, and experiences you encounter. As well as briefly explain opinions on different matters.
In this level of language proficiency, you will have more than a basic understanding of both the vocabulary and the grammar. Start understanding more complex ideas on a variety of topics. Also be able to engage in conversations in your field of expertise with technical and industry-specific vocabulary. You will be able to communicate with native speakers.
At this point in language proficiency, you are becoming fluent. Have the ability to read and comprehend more extended and more complex text. You should be able to communicate fluently without having to stop and think about expressions. Effectively be able to use your language skills in a variety of situations such as academically, professionally and socially. Finally, you should be able to write detailed, organized and well thought out papers.
You have achieved fluency! You can understand virtually everything you read and hear. Debate your opinions and points on a variety of in-depth subjects with little to no trouble. You will have a wide range of vocabulary and be able to understand and use colloquialisms.
As you can see, there are specific elements that a person must learn to effectively achieve proficiency at each level. It is also incredibly important to examine these levels before you start learning a language. Having a concrete degree and plan to achieve that level of proficiency will help you achieve your goal. If you only want a basic level fo when you travel this will make a difference in what you learn and how you learn.
What are goals if you are learning a new language? If you are learning a language what level would you like to achieve? What language?