The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment, developed by the Council of Europe, is a common reference document for the organization of foreign language learning across Europe. It describes briefly what language learners need to learn in order to use the language in communication and what knowledge and skills need to be developed. The framework document defines, inter alia, the levels of language proficiency, which are summarized as follows:
BEGINNER LEVEL LANGUAGE USER
Understands and uses everyday phrases and simpler phrases to meet their needs. Can introduce themselves and others, and inquire about the place of residence, people and things they know and answer the same circle of questions. Can communicate in a simple language when the conversation partner speaks slowly and clearly and is ready to help.
Understands sentences and frequently used phrases that relate to key areas of interest (e.g., information about themselves and their family, shopping, home, work). Can cope in day-to-day communication situations, which require a direct and easy exchange of information on familiar topics. Can use simple phrases and sentences to describe his/her family, other people and living conditions and express their needs.
INDEPENDENT LANGUAGE USER
Understands everything important on a familiar topic, such as work, school, leisure, etc. Can usually cope in a foreign country where the language is spoken. Can write simple texts on the familiar or interesting topics. Can describe experiences, events, dreams, and goals, and give a brief explanation and description of their views and plans.
Understands the core of abstract of a specific subject and of professional discussions. Is able to spontaneously and fluently talk with the native speaker of the same language. Is able to create clear, detailed text on many issues, to explain their point of view, to consider the strengths and weaknesses of these points of view.
EXPERIENCED LANGUAGE USER
Understands long and complex texts also catches the hidden meaning. Can make themselves understood spontaneously and fluently, not looking specifically for expressions. Is able to use the language flexibly and effectively in both public, learning and working situations. Can create clear, logical, detailed text on complex topics, using coherence tools and coherence techniques.
Understands everything they hear and read with no problems. Is able to summaries the information of various types of verbal and written sources and formulate the reasons and discussions presented therein. Can spontaneously, fluently and accurately express themselves, also distinguishing the finer meanings of complex situations.