Cambridge English exams are designed to cater to English learners of all ages and abilities. It is worth highlighting the fact that the Cambridge exams results are compatible with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching and Assessment, which is abbreviated as CEFR, CEF or CEFRL.
What is CEFR? It is the European guideline to show and map learners’ achievements in foreign languages. There are six reference levels. They provide a roadmap that allows learners to join in the level they are almost mastering and keep improving their fluency as from this stage. These levels are A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2. All Cambridge English qualifications clearly match up with the above CEFR levels. Let’s take a close look:
The above image is taken from:
More details about the CEFR Common Reference Levels can be found in the following PDF (as from page 36):
As we see, each of the Cambridge Qualifications is aligned with the international standards. Once we join in this beautiful English learning journey, we set ourselves definite targets that we aim for until we reach the highest C2 Proficiency level.
I will share with you my preparation experience as an English learner in C2 Proficiency as well as its outcome in a forthcoming article.
Would you like to know which might be your profile as an English learner? CEFR provides us with a self-assessment grid. This table is a perfect orientation tool, and it offers a detailed description of the four main language skills: listening, reading, spoken interaction and production, and writing. Check it out by opening the link below and choosing the language you need: https://www.coe.int/en/web/common-european-framework-reference-languages/table-2-cefr-3.3-common-reference-levels-self-assessment-grid
Besides, find below a Can Do Statement of Results for the Young Learners of English, YLE Starters, Movers and Flyers: https://www.cambridgeenglish.org/Images/461492-young-learners-can-do-statements-.pdf
Let’s look at a simple version of it, taking into consideration the Cambridge English levels and qualifications. Read through and decide which level of English proficiency you could have:
|Pre A1 Starters
|I can understand basic and everyday written and spoken English related to familiar to me topics.
I can take part in simple converstions.
|I understand basic instructions or information.
I can write notes, including times, dates and places.
|I can understand simple written texts in English.
I can communicate in familiar to me situations.
I can understand and use simple phrases and expressions.
I can interact with English-speaking people who talk slowly and clearly.
|A2 Key for Schools
|I can introduce myself and answer basic questions about me.
I can talk with English speakers at a basic level.
|B1 Preliminary for Schools
|I have mastered the basics of English.
I can use English in everyday situations.
I can read and understand simple texts in English and factual information.
I can write letters and email about everyday topics.
I can understand opinions and mood in spoken and written English.
|B2 First for Schools
|I can use my language skills with confidence in an English-speaking situation.
I can speak in English expressing opinions and presenting arguments for my point of view.
I am able to write clearly in English, express my opinion and present the pros and cons of different points of view.
I am able to write letters to friends, articles, reviews and stories.
I can understand the news.
|GENERAL AND HIGHER EDUCATION
|I have just started to learn English.
I can understand and use basic phrases and expressions.
I can understand simple written English.
I am able to use English to introduce myself, answer basic questions about myself and communicate in simple situations.
|I have practical language skills for everyday situations.
I can read simple texts in English.
I am able to write letters and emails on everyday topics.
I can take meeting notes.
I can understand opinions and modo in both written and spoken English.
|I am able to speak effectively in English, express my opinions and give a reason for.
I can write letters, in both informal and formal registers, articles, reviews, stories, and reports.
I can write argumentative essays explaining the advantages and the disadvantages of different viewpoints, and give my opinion.
I can follow the news.
|I can show a high fluency level in spoken English.
I can confidently take part in meetings at work, debates and/or academic seminars and tutorials.
I can easily follow academic courses.
|I have an exceptional English language control.
I can study challenging and difficult high level academic subjects, as well as postgraduates and PhD programmes.
I can talk about both sensitive and complex topics and easily deal with difficult matters.
I can understand the main ideas in complex written pieces.
I can easily negotiate and effectively convince at a high management level in international meetings.
I hope the above simplified explanation of skills for each of the Cambridge English levels has helped you determine, though partially, what level you are at. An old hand, experienced teacher, who has been preparing learners for the Cambridge qualifications, can easily identify which of the above levels you must continue with in just a few steps.
Stay tuned for more words of advice and handy material!