What is CEFR?

Vipa2z conforms to the CEFR scale for global standards on language learning and achievement. CEFR stands for the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. It was created by the Council of Europe in order to better describe the different levels of language learning. Their goal was to harmonize the way we teach, learn, and evaluate languages in all European countries. Now, this system is used worldwide.

How are CEFR levels defined?

CEFR is made of 6 main level descriptors from beginner to advanced, and three sub-levels or waystages. Each stage is categorized according to its own preconditions.

CEFR Language Level.jpg

Level A1 (Breakthrough) – is the Beginner level of the scale. Learners need to show a solid foundation of basic English skills. It is characterized by an English speaker being able to do the following:

 

  • Understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at doing simple tasks.

  • Introduce oneself and others and ask and answer questions about personal details such as where you live, the people you know, and the things you have.

  • Interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help you in certain areas.

Level A2 (Waystage) – is considered slightly more advanced than A1, putting it in the category of Upper-Beginner level. It is at this level the English speaker is able to communicate more using basic social language. It is characterized by the following abilities:  

  • Understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment, travel.

  • Communicate about simple, familiar, and routine matters using short, direct sentences.

  • Describe in simple terms aspects of your background, immediate environment, and matters in your daily life.

Level A2+ (Strong Waystage) – is a Pre-Intermediate level that shows further consolidation of the language. The English speaker is able to demonstrate all skills mentioned under A2 but to a higher degree of fluency. He/She is able to show more active participation in conversation and more confidence in their ability to initiate an interaction in English.  

Level B1 (Threshold) – is the Intermediate level on the CEFR scale and is defined by two main features: (1) the speaker's ability to maintain interaction and be able to get his/her point across, in spite of minor errors; (2) be flexible and cope well with problems in everyday life. 

 

  • Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.

  • Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst traveling 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, and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

 

Level B1+ (Strong Threshold) –  is an Intermediate language consolidation band focused on the improvements made on features under B1. It requires individuals to show a variety of language skills like noting messages communicating specific inquires, explaining problems, or providing concrete information when communicating in an interview/consultation (i.e. doctor), despite any grammatical hindrance.

Level B2 (Vantage) –  represents the Upper-Intermediate phase of the CEFR rubric. By this point, a learner has enough English ability to sustain a conversation with more accuracy for a longer period of time. Communication becomes more comfortable as the language becomes more natural. Although some lexical limitations still remain, there is no need to strain to think of the right word or phrase. At this level, the speaker is able to:

 

  • Understand the main ideas of complex text on both specific and abstract topics, including technical discussions in your field of specialization.

  • Interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.

  • 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.

 

Level B2+ (Strong Vantage) – is another transitional phase at the Pre-Advanced level. It is aimed at assessing further consolidation of the preceding level features. It is characterized as having a high level of effective social discourse and language awareness. Situations like giving feedback or following up on a matter, or relating your own contribution skilfully to those of other speakers, come naturally.

Level C1 (Effective Operational Proficiency) – is the Advanced stage of an English learner's journey to language proficiency.  By now, the individual has achieved a broad range of language skills that allow for more fluent, spontaneous communication. This level is described as being able to:

  • Understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognize implicit meaning.

  • Express yourself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions.

  • Use the language flexibly and effectively for social, academic, and professional purposes.

  • Produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects.

 

Level C2 (Mastery) - is the Proficient level of the rubric and by no means does it imply a native-speaker level of English. Instead, it is as near-native as a non-native speaker can expect to become without having been born and brought up in an English speaking country. It is characterized as having a high degree of precision, appropriateness, and ease with using the English language. Learners at this stage are able to:

  • Convey finer shades of meaning precisely by using, with reasonable accuracy, a wide range of modification devices.

  • Have a good command of idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms with an awareness of the connotative level of meaning.

  • Backtrack and restructure around a difficulty so smoothly that the listener is hardly aware of it.

You can learn more about CEFR here.