Our Progression

Our Progression

Our Progression

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The progression followed by the Alliance Francaise for its French courses is based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

It is a guideline used to describe achievements of learners of foreign languages across Europe and other countries. Its aim is to provide a method of learning, teaching and assessing. The six reference levels (see below) are widely accepted as the European standard for grading an individual’s language proficiency. The CEFR describes what a learner is supposed to be able to do in reading, listening, speaking and writing at each level.

The Common European Framework divides learners into three broad divisions which can be divided into six levels:

The level… Can be achieved in…
A1 80 to 100 hours of learning
A2 +100 to 120 hours of learning
B1 +150 to 180 hours of learning
B2 +200 to 250 hours of learning
C1 +250 to 300 hours of learning
C2 Requires linguistic improvement involving variable number of studying hours

A: Basic User

A1 Breakthrough or beginner
  • Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases for a static set of needs.
  • Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has.
  • Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
Contents for Level A1
A2 Waystage or elementary
  • Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment).
  • 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 his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
Contents for Level A2

B: Independent User

B1 Threshold or intermediate
  • Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
  • Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken.
  • Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest.
  • Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
Contents for Level B1
B2 Vantage or upper intermediate
  • Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation.
  • 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.

C: Proficient User

C1 Effective Operational Proficiency or advanced
  • Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning.
  • Can express him/herself 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 organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.
C2 Mastery or proficiency
  • Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read.
  • Can summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation.
  • Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations.