CEFR language levels

Language levels according to the Common European Framework of Reference.
Image: Francesco Gallarotti – unsplash

What is the CEFR?

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is divided in the following skills: listening, reading, speaking, and writing. The CEFR enables you to estimate your present language level.

  • A1

    Listening: I can understand familiar words and phrases provided it is spoken slowly and clearly.

    Reading: I can understand familiar names, words, and simple phrases on notices, posters etc. 

    Speaking: I can interact in a simple way. I can introduce myself and others and answer questions about personal details.

    Writing: I can write a short postcard. I can fill in forms with personal details like name, address, and nationality.

  • A2

    Listening: I can understand simple information about areas of most immediate relevance (family, employment, shopping). I can understand the main points of simple notifications and announcements.

    Reading: I can find specific information in simple everyday material (time table, menu etc.). I can understand short simple personal letters.

    Speaking: I can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.

    Writing: I can write short simple notes and messages. I can write a very simple personal letter.

  • B1

    Listening: I can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure etc. I can understand clearly spoken broadcasts.

    Reading: I can understand texts about areas of everyday and job-related language. I can understand private letters about experiences, dreams, and hopes.

    Speaking: I can deal with most situations in family, leisure, work, travelling, and experiences.

    Writing: I can produce simple connected texts on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. I can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes, and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plan.

  • B2

    Listening: I can understand the main ideas of complex texts on both concrete and abstract topics. I can understand most TV news, features, and the majority of film in standard dialect.

    Reading: I can understand the viewpoint on a topical issue in articles and reports. I can understand contemporary literary prose.

    Speaking: I can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.

    Writing: I can produce clear, detailed texts on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages.

  • C1

    Listening: I can understand extended speech. I can easily understand television programmes and films.

    Reading: I can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts and recognise implicit meaning. I can understand papers and longer technical articles.

    Speaking: I can express myself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. I can use language, flexibly and effectively for social, academic, and professional purposes.

    Writing: I can produce clear, well-structured, detailed texts on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors, and cohesive devices.

  • C2

    Listening: I can understand with ease virtually everything I hear, such as colloquial language, local language, and unfamiliar terminology.

    Reading: I can understand with ease virtually everything I read (manuals, technical articles, literature etc.).

    Speaking: I can express myself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in more complex situations.

    Writing: I can summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation.