Implemented in 2011, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is part of the Language Policy Programme of the Council of Europe . The aim was to standardise at some level the language education throughout the European Union (EU).
The baseline of the CEFR is the 6 levels of foreign language proficiency , as follows:
- C2 | Proficient User
- C1 | Proficient User
- B2 | Independent User
- B1 | Independent User
- A2 | Basic User
- A1 | Basic User
This scale shows in a clear way which is the level of proficiency for each person in each language. Examples:
. If an Italian states that s/he has a level A2 of German that means that s/he has a basic knowledge of vocabulary and grammar and is unable to follow a conversation with a native-speaker without help.
. If a German states that s/he has a level of B1 of Swedish that means that s/he can have a basic conversation with a native-speaker and can develop further studies in Swedish without much help.
. If a French person states that s/he has a level of C2 of German that means that s/he is fully proficient in that language and can follow conversations on any topic with native-speakers.
Self-assessment grids were built for each person assess their knowledge in different foreign languages. The grids are divided into “understanding” (listening and reading), “speaking” (spoken interaction, spoken production), and “writing”. Each division has a description and people can match their knowledge with the description that best reflects their knowledge. Why should people do this? For CV purposes, for example. Nowadays, all employers recognise these levels.
If one wants to take a foreign language exam, here are the exams according to these levels regarding Portuguese (PT) , English (EN) , German (DE) , French (FR) , and Spanish (ES) as foreign languages:
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