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The Levels and the Common European Framework

gThe Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is a guideline used to describe achievements of learners of foreign languages across Europe. It was put together by the Council of Europe in 2001. Its main aim is to provide a method of assessing and teaching which applies to all languages in Europe.h Taken from the Wikipedia encyclopedia.

LEVELS Listening/Speaking Reading Writing
C2 CAN advise on or talk about complex or sensitive issues,understanding colloquial references and dealing confidently with hostile questions. CAN understand documents, correspondence and reports, including the finer points of complex texts. CAN write letters on any subject and full notes of meetings or seminars with good expression and accuracy.
C1 b
C1 a
CAN contribute effectively to meetings and seminars within own area of work or keep up a casual conversation with a good degree of fluency, coping with abstract expressions. CAN read quickly enough to cope with an academic course, to read the media for information or to understand non-standard correspondence. CAN prepare/draft professional correspondence, take reasonably accurate notes in meetings or write an essay which shows an ability to communicate.
B2 b
B2 a
CAN follow or give a talk on a familiar topic or keep up a conversation on a fairly wide range of topics. CAN scan texts for relevant information, and understand detailed instructions or advice. CAN make notes while someone is talking or write a letter including nonstandard requests.
B1 b
B1 a
CAN express opinions on abstract/cultural matters in a limited way or offer advice within a known area, and understand instructions or public announcements. CAN understand routine information and articles, and the general meaning of non-routine information within a familiar area. CAN write letters or make notes on familiar or predictable matters.
A2 b
A2 a
CAN express simple opinions or requirements in a familiar context. CAN understand straightforward information within a known area, such as on products and signs and simple textbooks or reports on familiar matters. CAN complete forms and write short simple letters or postcards related to personal information.
A1 b
A1 a
CAN understand basic instructions or take part in a basic factual conversation on a predictable topic. CAN understand basic notices, instructions or information. CAN complete basic forms, and write notes including times, dates and places.

The six reference levels (from A0 to C2) provide a practical tool for setting clear standards to be attained at successive stages of learning and for evaluating outcomes in an internationally comparable manner. For more details please find the document on the official website for the Council of Europe.

We have been using the Common European Framework of Reference for quite a few years now. This has aided our evaluation of student progress and has enabled our teaching to adapt to the world around us, paying attention to the changing mentality and requirements of our students. We emphasise a ‘task based’ approach rather than a solely ‘communicative’ approach. The purely linguistic elements come hand in hand with the learning, but we teach you how to use French for your personal and professional life and if you make a grammar mistake, the most important thing is that a French person can understand you !

Upon arrival, your oral and written level will be tested according to the European Framework and we will give you the results.

On departure, after the tests, your teacher or the Director will tell you your level that you reached for oral and written and you will then be able to see your progress.

The Association of Language Testers in Europe, developed a series of 'Can Do' statements for each of the levels in order to make the Common European Framework easy to understand.

Starting dates for complete beginners
Starting Dates for Complete Beginners 2010
January : 4 - 18 February : 1 - 15
March : 1- 15 - 29 April : 12 - 26
May : 10 - 25 June : 7 - 21
July : 5 - 19 August : 2 - 16 - 30
September : 13 - 27 October : 11 - 25
November : 8 - 22 December : 6

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