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What is CEFR? What role does it play in English proficiency tests?

Do you know that all English proficiency tests are based on a standardised system of language ability and scoring called the CEFR, or the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages? Here are a few FAQs we have put together for you
Q

What is the CEFR?

A

The CEFR, or Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, is just one among various frameworks delineating your language proficiency on a six-point scale, from A1 for beginners, up to C2 for those who have mastered a language.

Q

Are there any other scales apart from CEFR?

A

The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Proficiency Guidelines (ACTFL), the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB), and the Interagency Language Roundtable scale (ILR), to name a few.

Q

When was the CEFR developed?

A

The CEFR was developed as a continuation of the Council of Europe’s work in language education during the 1970s and 1980s.

Q

How does the CEFR help in evaluation?

A

Instead of being linked to a specific test, the CEFR comprises a set of "can-do" statements that outline the tasks you can accomplish in a foreign language at various levels of proficiency.

Q

Is the concept of CEFR biased?

A

As per the Council of Europe, CEFR,

  1. Recognises the importance of school languages for educational success and views language support for migrants as crucial for their integration and participation in democratic societies

  2. Emphasises the need for additional support for plurilingual and intercultural education to uphold the Council's pillars of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.

Q

What are the levels in CEFR?

Here it is!
Here it is!(Pic: EdexLive Desk)
A

There are six levels of language proficiency (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2) according to the CEFR scale. They are grouped into three broader levels: A1-A2 (Basic User), B1-B2 (Independent User), and C1-C2 (Proficient User).

Q

What is the most popular CEFR level?

A

The B2 level is the most demanded level when employers require “active command of the English language”. It is also a usual requirement for admission to schools, such as to the international IB high school programmes, and for entering universities.

Q

What is the highest level of CEFR and what does it mean?

A

The highest level of CEFR is C2. Level C2, labelled 'Mastery,' does not imply native-speaker or near-native-speaker competence. Instead, it aims to characterise the level of precision, appropriateness, and ease in language use typical of highly successful learners.

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