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Language levels according to CEFR

What is a language level according to CEFR?

The language levels are based on the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR), which are recommended by the Council of the European Union as a standard for assessing or rather measuring language skills.

This frame of reference is used for all European languages, but also for some non-European languages, such as Russian, Turkish, Hebrew and Arabic.

The language level scale is divided into three levels A, B and C. Each level is divided into two competency levels, for example A1 to A2, and each competency level is divided into three sub-levels, such as A1.1, A1.2, A1.3, etc. All four language skills, which are reading, listening, writing and speaking are taken into account.


Description of the different language levels

The total of six language levels A1 to C2 are accepted as the international standard for the evaluation of language skills. They are used in didactic language books, in schools and language schools as well as in the professional and academic sectors.

Language level A1 - Beginners
  • Understanding and using everyday expressions to meet basic needs.
  • Introduce yourself and ask other people conversational questions about personal topics.
  • Interact in a simple way, as long as the other person speaks slowly and clearly.

As mentioned at the beginning, each competence level is divided into three sub-levels, such as B1.1, B1.2 and B1.3, whereby the third sub-level corresponds to a repetition of the previous sub-levels and prepares for the next competence level. With Eszett's virtual group lessons, the language teacher determines which sub-level the group has and adjusts the content of the lesson accordingly.


Determination of the language level

There are different ways in which you can determine the language level according to CEFR. For example, through a self-assessment, using the description of the language level or by means of a placement test and / or directly by the language teacher.

The placement tests generally are distinguished between a quick or a detailed test. A quick placement can be done, for example, by measuring your grammar skills, as in our online placement tests. The Eszett placement tests consist of 80 questions on grammar topics that are assigned to the individual CEFR language levels.

Another option is to evaluate the four language skills in different ways. For example, reading and listening comprehension is evaluated using a placement test that is carried out online or in writing on site without a teacher’s support. The language skills of writing and speaking are assessed by the language teacher on site or online.

CEFR certification exams

The official language and certification exams are also based on the CEFR levels. You need a CEFR language certificate for education, work or for a visa. This you need from a recognized language institute, such as the Goethe-Institut for German, IELTS and TOEFL for English, Alliance Française for French, Instituto de Cervantes for Spanish, CELI for Italian and TELC for several languages.

Eszett also offers 19-hour preparation courses for certificate exams in all languages. In one-to-one tuition you will get to know the exam by performing several simulations with your personal language teacher.

If you have any other questions, please contact us. We would be happy to advise you.


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