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About the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

  • This is a common framework which outlines a series of levels against which all European languages can be referenced. Each level demonstrates a learner’s progression in being able to effectively communicate in that language.

  • At each level a series of ‘can do’ statements describe what you are able to do in terms of vocabulary, grammar and your core skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing.

  • Cambridge ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) estimates it takes the following amount of time to progress up the levels. In terms of guided learning hours: A2, 180–200; B1, 350–400; B2, 500–600; C1, 700–800, and C2, 1,000–1,200. Please note these figures are approximate.

  • This framework allows you to plan your study and set clear learning objectives.

Wooden Stool

Basic User

A1 - Breakthrough/Beginner

A2 - Waystage/Elementary

Wooden Staircase

Independent User

B1 - Threshold/Intermediate

B2 - Vantage/Upper Intermediate

Spiral Staircase

Proficient User

C1 - Effective Operational Proficiency/Advanced

C2 - Mastery/Proficiency

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