CEFR Guidelines

International language standards
About the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

 

 

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is an international standard for describing language ability.

It is used around the world to describe learners’ language skills.

 

A0 – You are at ‘Absolute beginner’ level if you have…

– No knowledge of the language to be studied at all

 

A1 – You are at ‘Breakthrough’ Beginner level if you can…

– Understand and use familiar expressions and very basic phrases aimed at meeting your everyday needs
– Introduce yourself to others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where you live, people you know and things you have
– Interact in a simple way if the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help

 

A2 – You are at ‘Waystage’ Elementary level if you can…

– Understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (for example, very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment)
– Communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters
– Describe in simple terms aspects of your background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need

 

B1 – You are at ‘Threshold’ Intermediate level if you have…

– Understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc
– Deal with most situations likely to arise while travelling in an area where the language is spoken
– Produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest
– Describe experiences, events, dreams, hopes and ambitions, and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans

 

B2 – You are at ‘Vantage’ Upper intermediate level if you can…

– Understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in your field of specialisation
– 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

 

C1 – You are at ‘Effective operational proficiency’ Advanced level if you have…

– Understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning
– Express yourself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions
– Use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes
– Produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices

 

C2 – You are at ‘Mastery’ Proficiency level if you can…

– Understand with ease virtually everything heard or read
– Summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation
– Express yourself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning, even in the most complex situations