What is the CEFRL?
The CEFRL or Common European Frame of Reference for Languages is basically a guideline that allows you to know how efficiently you can communicate in a language. The council of Europe was the entity who put it together and initially it was intended to be part of a project called “Language Learning for European Citizenship”.
It extended to other countries and now it provides a way to assess the level of language a person has. The four skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) are the foundation of these guidelines.
There are six reference levels on the CEFRL and a plethora of international language tests including the SIELE recognize them. The SIELE is the only international Spanish test so far.
Reference Levels for the CEFRL
Begginer or Basic User
A1: Can you understand very short, simple texts, read sentence by sentence and understand common words and sentences? Do you understand when someone speaks slowly and pronounce clearly? Are you able to you provide and ask for personal information in writing, with simple sentences? Can you ask and answer common questions related to immediate needs or every day topics?
A2: Can you understand short and simple sentences about daily life whenever they are written in common and routine vocabulary? Do you understand phrases and expressions about personal and family information, shopping or the place where you live? Are you able to write notes, short messages and simple sentences using common connectors? Can you express your personal opinion and make simple descriptions and presentations about people and daily activities?
Intermediate or Independent User
B1: Can you read simple texts about specific facts and topics related to your specialty? Are you able to understand main ideas of speech with standard language about topics like work, academic life or free time? Do you write letters and personal notes to ask for or give information about specific topics? Also, can you deal with most travel situations, explain a problem, or speak about topics of your interest?
B2: Do you have a broad and active reading vocabulary but experience some difficulty when you read uncommon expressions? Can you understand any kind of spoken language like face to face conversations or broadcast speeches about topics like work, personal, academic or professional life? Are you able to effectively transmit information and your point of view in clear writing? Also, do you make clear and detailed descriptions about topics like work, academic or personal life?
Advanced or Proficient User
C1: Are you able to you understand long and complex texts weather they are related to your specialty or not? Do you understand and follow a long speech and recognize a wide range of idiomatic and informal expressions? Can you write about complex topics, defending your point of view with reasoning and examples as well? Are you able to talk about complex topics, develop ideas and finish with appropriate conclusions? Also, can you express yourself fluently and spontaneously with almost no effort?
C2: Can you understand everything you hear (radio, tv, people on the phone…) or read? Are you able to summarize information and present it coherently? Also, Do you express yourself spontaneously, fluently and precisely?