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Table 10 CEFR descriptor scales for linguistic competence (Council of Europe 2001, pp. 28, 29, 117)

From: Evaluating CEFR rater performance through the analysis of spoken learner corpora

Linguistic competence A2 (KET) B1 (PET) B2 (FCE) C1 (CAE) C2 (CPE)
Range Uses basic sentence patterns with memorised phrases, groups of a few words and formulae in order to communicate limited information in simple everyday situations. Has enough language to get by, with sufficient vocabulary to express him/herself with some hesitation and circumlocutions on topics such as family, hobbies and interests, work, travel, and current events. Has a sufficient range of language to be able to give clear descriptions, express viewpoints on most general topics, without much conspicuous searching for words, using some complex sentence forms to do so. Has a good command of a broad range of language allowing him/her to select a formulation to express him/herself clearly in an appropriate style on a wide range of general, academic, professional or leisure topics without having to restrict what he/she wants to say. Shows great flexibility reformulating ideas in differing linguistic forms to convey finer shades of meaning precisely, to give emphasis, to differentiate and to eliminate ambiguity. Also has a good command of idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms.
Accuracy Uses some simple structures correctly, but still systematically makes basic mistakes. Uses reasonably accurately a repertoire of frequently used “routines” and patterns associated with more predictable situations. Shows a relatively high degree of grammatical control. Does not make errors which cause misunderstanding, and can correct most of his/her mistakes. Consistently maintains a high degree of grammatical accuracy; errors are rare, difficult to spot and generally corrected when they do occur. Maintains consistent grammatical control of complex language, even while attention is otherwise engaged (e.g. in forward planning, in monitoring others’ reactions).
Fluency Can make him/herself understood in very short utterances, even though pauses, false starts and reformulation are very evident. Can keep going comprehensibly, even though pausing for grammatical and lexical planning and repair is very evident, especially in longer stretches of free production. Can produce stretches of language with a fairly even tempo; although he/she can be hesitant as he or she searches for patterns and expressions, there are few noticeably long pauses. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously, almost effortlessly. Only a conceptually difficult subject can hinder a natural, smooth flow of language. Can express him/herself spontaneously at length with a natural colloquial flow, avoiding or backtracking around any difficulty so smoothly that the interlocutor is hardly aware of it.
Phonological controla Pronunciation is generally clear enough to be understood despite a noticeable foreign accent, but conversational partners will need to ask for repetition from time to time. Pronunciation is clearly intelligible even if a foreign accent is sometimes evident and occasional mispronunciations occur. Has a clear, natural, pronunciation and intonation. Can vary intonation and place sentence stress correctly in order to express finer shades of meaning. Can vary intonation and place sentence stress correctly in order to express finer shades of meaning.
Coherence Can link groups of words with simple connectors like “and”, “but” and “because”. Can link a series of shorter, discrete simple elements into a connected, linear sequence of points. Can use a limited number of cohesive devices to link his/her utterances into clear, coherent discourse, though there may be some “jumpiness” in a long contribution. Can produce clear, smoothly flowing, well-structured speech, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices. Can create coherent and cohesive discourse making full and appropriate use of a variety of organisational patterns and a wide range of connectors and other cohesive devices.
Global assessment Relates basic information on, e.g. work, family, free time etc. Can communicate in a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar matters. Can make him/herself understood in very short utterances, even though pauses, false starts and reformulation are very evident. Can describe in simple terms family, living conditions, educational background, present or most recent job. Uses some simple structures correctly, but may systematically make basic mistakes. Relates comprehensibly the main points he/she wants to make. Can keep going comprehensibly, even though pausing for grammatical and lexical planning and repair may be very evident. Can link discrete, simple elements into a connected, sequence to give straightforward descriptions on a variety of familiar subjects within his/her field of interest. Reasonably accurate use of main repertoire associated with more predictable situations. Expresses points of view without noticeable strain. Can interact on a wide range of topics and produce stretches of language with a fairly even tempo. Can give clear, detailed descriptions on a wide range of subjects related to his/her field of interest. Does not make errors which cause misunderstanding. Shows fluent, spontaneous expression in clear, well-structured speech. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously, almost effortlessly, with a smooth flow of language. Can give clear, detailed descriptions of complex subjects. High degree of accuracy; errors are rare. Conveys finer shades of meaning precisely and naturally. Can express him/herself spontaneously and very fluently, interacting with ease and skill, and differentiating finer shades of meaning precisely. Can produce clear, smoothly-flowing, well-structured descriptions.
  1. aPhonological control is adopted to replace interaction because interaction with the interviewer is not required in the recordings for rating.