CEFR

Language Skills Assessment

You would like to book a course and are unsure of your language level?

Here is some information and help: The level scheme of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) has become established among language schools at home and abroad.

What is CEFR?

The CEFR is a standard for assessing language competence in a foreign language published by the Council of Europe in 2001.

The CEFR provides a common basis for interlanguage comparability. This offers great advantages for both learners and teachers in terms of describing and developing teaching workloads, textbooks, examinations and qualifications.

The main aim of the CEFR is to make the various European language certificates comparable with each other and thereby achieve mutual recognition of qualifications. The CEFR is also used outside Europe, but not (yet) everywhere.

It is based on 3 levels A-B-C, which are further divided into 2 levels each:

CEFR

The CEFR levels

A further subdivision is made according to the language competencies reading – listening – writing – speaking, as can be seen from this overview:

Levels Competences

A1

Elementary language use

Beginner

  • I can understand and use familiar, everyday expressions and very simple phrases aimed at the satisfaction of concrete needs.
  • I can introduce myself and others and ask other people questions about themselves – for example, where they live, what kind of people they know, or what kind of things they have – and I can answer questions of that kind.
  • I can communicate in a simple way if the person I am talking to speaks slowly and clearly and is willing to help.

A2

Elementary language use

Basic knowledge

  • I can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g., personal and family information, shopping, work, local area).
  • I can communicate in simple, routine situations involving a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.
  • I can describe in simple terms my own background and education, immediate surroundings, and things related to immediate needs.

B1

Advanced language use
  • I can understand the main points when clear standard language is used and when it is about familiar things from work, school, leisure, etc.
  • I can handle most situations encountered when traveling in the language area.
  • I can express myself easily and coherently on familiar topics and areas of personal interest.
  • I can talk about experiences and events, describe dreams, hopes and goals, and give brief reasons or explanations for plans and opinions.

B2

Independent language use

  • I can understand the main ideas of complex texts on concrete and abstract topics; I can understand technical discussions in my own field of specialization.
  • I can communicate so spontaneously and fluently that a normal conversation with native speakers is quite possible without much effort on either side.
  • I can express myself clearly and in detail on a wide range of topics, explain a point of view on a current issue, and give the advantages and disadvantages of different options.

C1

Proficient language use

  • I can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts and also grasp implicit meanings.
  • I can express myself spontaneously and fluently without having to search for clearly recognizable words more often.
  • I can use the language effectively and flexibly in social and professional life or in training and studies.
  • I can express myself clearly, in a structured and detailed manner on complex issues, making appropriate use of various means of linking texts.

C2

Approximate native language proficiency

  • I can effortlessly understand virtually everything I read or hear.
  • I can summarize information from a variety of written and oral sources, giving reasons and explanations in a coherent presentation.
  • I can express myself spontaneously, very fluently and accurately, making clear finer shades of meaning even in more complex situations.
How do I use the CEFR?

For you as a future or existing language learner, it is practical and useful that you can use the CEFR scale to carry out a quick and realistic self-assessment independently, anywhere and free of charge – regardless of the language. The CEFR offers more or less a placement option without a placement test.

Click here for the detailed CEFR Self-Assessment Test.

In most cases it will be the case that you have different results in the different sub-areas (reading, listening, speaking, writing). E.g. in one language your reading comprehension is better than your listening comprehension (e.g. Danish), in another your writing is better than your speaking (e.g. French).

If you are already at B-level or even C-level, it is advisable to arrange a telephone or online appointment with us so that we can discuss your knowledge and needs together.

Further information

The CEFR is now used at language schools as well as at universities, private colleges and adult education centers. Furthermore, you can indicate the achieved learning level – most convincingly with a certificate – in job applications: the CEFR is now also known by recruiters/personnel offices.

There are examinations at various levels in almost all languages.

If you have any questions about the placement, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Language Skills Assessment