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The Common European Frame of Reference for Languages

This is a European standard for evaluating the different levels of language proficiency. The framework recognizes 6 different levels in the 4 skill areas: speaking, reading, writing and listening.

A1 Breakthrough A2 Waystage B1 Threshold B2 Vantage C1 Proficiency C2 Mastery
Beginner pijltje pijltje pijltje pijltje Advanced

Below is a simplified overview illustrating how the levels relate to speaking skills.


General Description of Skills

Breakthrough (A1)
Very basic concrete communication. Survival vocabulary & very limited knowledge of grammar.
Capable of very short 1 or 2 word answers about personal & familiar topics.
Waystage (A2)
Simple & direct exchange of information possible about familiar & routine tasks.
Can ask for & provide everyday goods & services.
Can deal with simple transactions in shops, post offices & banks.
Threshold (B1)
Understands the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters.
Can enter unprepared into conversation about familiar topics & connect ideas in a simple way.
Can provide information, take messages, give simple instructions & deal with less routine problems, e.g. complaints.
Can describe events, experiences, hopes & ambitions, give reasons, explanations of plans & opinions.
Vantage (B2)
Understands the main points of both concrete & abstract input.
Can take active part in discussions on familiar topics, support ideas, discuss advantages & disadvantages, speculate about causes & hypothetical situations.
Can interact spontaneously & fluently enough with a native speaker to avoid strain for either party.
Proficiency (C1)
Capable of fluent, spontaneous almost effortless communication.
Can understand extended speech & present clear detailed descriptions of complex subjects.
Can use the language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.
Mastery (C2)
Almost native speaker level.
Can interact spontaneously & with ease. Consistent grammatical accuracy even when otherwise engaged or distracted.
Extensive knowledge of idioms & colloquial expressions.
Able to use different degrees of formality & differentiate finer shades of meaning.
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