Spanish levels and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages curriculum at the Spanish Institute.
The immersion Spanish courses at the official Spanish Institute Spanish school in Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North and Wellington follow the directives and the Spanish curriculum of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) introduced in Europe in Novemmber 2001. The CEFR describes methods of learning, teaching and assessing languages and provide a foreign language proficiency scale that has been adopted internationally for learners and students of Spanish. Spanish foreign language proficiency is measured on a six level scale from A1 - beginners, up to C2 - master, for those who are proficient in the Spanish language. The CEFR framework and its six level scale of progression is a widely accepted language standard not only in Europe but also increasingly worldwide. Below is the CEFR description of what a learner is supposed to be capable of at each level of progression and the courses on offer from the Spanish Institute.
A1 - Beginners
- Can understand and use very basic expressions to satisfy concrete needs.
- Can introduce themselves and others, ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people they know and things they have.
- Can interact simply as long as the other person speaks slowly and clearly.
A2 - Improvers
- Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most intermediate areas, such as shopping, family, employment, etc.
- Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.
- Can describe in simple terms aspects of their background, immediate environment, and matters in areas of immediate need.
B1 - Intermediate
- Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school or leisure-related topics.
- Can deal with most situations likely to arise while traveling in an area where the language is spoken.
- Can produce simple connected texts on topics that are familiar or of personal interest.
- Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes, and ambitions, as well as opinions or plans in brief.
B2 - Upper Intermediate
- Can understand the main ideas of a complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in their field of specialization.
- Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.
- Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
C1 - Advanced
- Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer clauses, and recognize implicit meaning.
- Can express ideas fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions.
- Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.
- Can produce clear, well- structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organizational patterns, connectors, and cohesive devices.
C2 - Master
- Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read.
- Can summarize information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation.
- Can express themselves spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations.
The CEFR is often used by employers and in academic settings.
You may need a CEFR certificate for:
- School admissions. Before you start a school course, you should test your level.
- University course requirements. To enroll in a University course in Italy you need at least a B1 level certificate.
- Employment. To work in Italy or abroad you may need from A2 to B2 level certificate, it depends on the job you are applying for.
A CEFR certificate such as SIELE is very useful for your CV.. Some of your options for official examinations (or for courses with certification). Language learners use CEFR levels for self-assessment so that they can more clearly define what they need to work on and work out, what they would like to achieve in their target language.
IS IT NECESSARY ONLY FOR THE PROFESSIONAL AND ACADEMIC FIELDS?
A CEFR level certificate is necessary for the professional or academic fields. Anyway, they are also very important if you want to define where you are at with your target language. If you are planning a vacation throughout Italy, for example, you may need to be at least an A2 level. This will help you to ask for a coffee, to do some shopping, to have a simple conversation with local people. CEFR levels are an important tool in a more casual language-learning environment, or if you are learning languages because you enjoy them.