Exams Page 11


No one expects a baby who has just started talking to be able to read poetry or make complicated sentences. A Similar thing happens in a learner’s journey; you don’t expect a beginner level student to be able to talk about their future plans or what they regret about their past. On the other hand, you expect someone who is taking an advanced course in a language to be able to communicate fluently with few errors in both written and spoken language. Having a proper knowledge of what a learner is capable of at each of the stages of his / her learning journey will give them a better insight into where they are, what they should be aiming at and even what language exams they can take part in. Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) gives us a detailed and in depth description of what each learner is capable of at each and every stage. This chart is available for 39 languages; from English, French, Spanish and German to Arabic and Turkish. It puts learners into 6 different levels; from Beginner to Mastery. Let’s get a review of what these levels are and what a language learner at each of these levels of proficiency is able to do in the foreign language they are learning.

Basic User
A1: Beginner
This is the first stage in a learner’s journey. Learners at this stage are able to communicate in a very basic manner and only about very familiar and everyday topics. They can also give personal information about themselves and should be able to interact with other people if the topics are familiar and if the other speaker talks slowly and clearly and without any complicated structures or words. Pauses are completely natural at this stage, because the learner wants to search for the words to express themselves.