Have you heard of A1, A2, B1, B2, C1..?
How good are you at writing English?
How wide is your vocabulary range?
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is a European system used to describe language ability on a scale from Beginners up to those who have mastered the language. It makes it easy for anyone to define and measure language ability. It also enables employers and educational institutions to easily compare qualifications and see how they relate to exams that they already know in their own country.
For you, the learner of English, it is a really valuable tool to help you self-assess your own language ability and to notice your own progress. Among other things, the framework describes grammatical accuracy, vocabulary range, reading, writing and listening skills and ability to express meaning.
The great thing is that the framework is translated into most European Languages, so you can study it in your own language in order to help you think about where you should be placed in terms of your English language skills.
You can go the the Council of Europe English Language Portfolio to see official translations of the CEFR Global Scale
The History of the CEFR
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment, abbreviated as CEFR or CEF, was put together by the Council of Europe as the main part of the project “Language Learning for European Citizenship” between 1989 and 1996. Its main aim is to provide a method of learning, teaching and assessing which applies to all languages in Europe. In November 2001, a European Union Council Resolution recommended using the CEFR to set up systems of validation of language ability. The six reference levels (see below) are becoming widely accepted as the European standard for grading an individual’s language proficiency.
|CEFR: Common European Reference Framework for Languages
Basic language use
|Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. 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.||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.|
|Independent language use|
|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.||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.|
|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.||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 more complex situations.|
In Citas College the classes are structured on the CEFR:
Elementary (CEFR level A1-A2)
Pre-Intermediate (CEFR level A2-B1)
Intermediate (CEFR level B1-B2)
Upper Intermediate (CEFR level B2-C1)
Advanced (CEFR Level C1)
Citas College, in partnership with PaytoStudy and the Private Colleges Network, provide a comprehensive range of Learner Protection options to give students peace of mind in terms of course guarantees. This is a further assurance of the excellent quality and high standards of our course provision.
Partnership between Citas College and PaytoStudy
“Escrow Account facilities” describes the mechanism that enable student funds to be held by an independent third party and released only to the payee account on the fulfilment of stated conditions. Students coming to study at Citas College on an International Student visa can pay their fees into the Citas College PaytoStudy Escrow account. All funds will be held by PaytoStudy on behalf of the student and Citas College pending the visa decision. Where the visa decision is positive, the funds are transferred to Citas College. If the visa application is refused, the funds (less any pre-agreed charges) are refunded to the student.
Payments can be made using all standard banking methods as well as credit & debit cards.
PaytoStudy are the leaders in money management and have a reputation for excellence in service. Interpay Ltd, trading as PaytoStudy, is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
Enrolled Learner Protection through the Private Colleges Network
As a member of the Private Colleges Network, Citas College is able to provide students with access to learner protection which is guaranteed by all members of this association. This ensures that students and their fees are protected by a comprehensive insurance policy covering every programme delivered by every member colleges for the benefit of the students. In the unlikely event that any member college within the Private Colleges Network would close, other colleges within the network will automatically provide the affected students with alternative classes to enable those students to complete their studies at no additional charge. This includes at a minimum:
- Completion of delivery of the programme
- Assessment of learners, including internal verification and external authentication arrangements
- The processing of results for certification.
This learner protection guarantee complies with the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 part 6 requirements (that all programmes of 3 months or more duration have in place arrangements for the Protection of Enrolled Learners to ensure learners have the opportunity to complete their programme of study.)
If you would like any further information on learner protection at Citas College please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
It is compulsory for all students studying English on an International student visa to sit an externally assessed end-of-course examination at the end of their 25 weeks of English language classes. One of the recognised examinations is the Test of Interactive English (TIE). This is an ACELS examination which is provided by an Irish examinations body called Interactive English Language Testing (IELT).
The Test of Interactive English (TIE) is designed specifically to meet the needs of students coming to Ireland to learn and improve their English. It is intended for learners on either long or short courses, with the certificate issued within 10 working days of the test being taken.
TIE is designed to assess learners’ communicative and interactive skills in both predictable and spontaneous situations. It assesses the students’ level of language ability in speaking and writing, with the receptive skills (reading and listening) being tested indirectly through preparation for the test and through the skills required to interact effectively during the test.
TIE has been designed for all students over the age of 18 of all abilities and motivations following either long or short courses in language schools or other educational institutions. TIE is a learner-centred exam which is flexible, i.e. designed to recognise and accommodate the needs and interests of each learner whatever their level of English, age, cultural or educational background.
TIE is in two parts – the Oral Test (30 minutes per 2 candidates) and the Written Test (60 minutes). All the elements of both parts are compulsory and are designed to build upon learners’ background knowledge, provide relevant language development opportunities to suit the needs of each student, and reflect tasks with which they will be familiar from the English language classroom and their daily lives. Both parts of the test must be taken on the same day.
Preparing for the Test
In preparing for the test, the learners are required to carry out three standard, pre-specified tasks. These form the framework within which the learners select their own topics and materials, and decide how to develop each task. In addition, there are two spontaneous tasks in the test, which require the learners to respond in speaking and writing to unpredictable situations. Assessment is made according to how well each candidate performs in carrying these out.
TIE candidates are required to do the following preparation for the test:
- The candidate needs to carry out an investigation
- The candidate needs to read a book in English.
- The candidate needs to follow a news story
Each candidate is required to keep a logbook which they must bring with them to the test. This is a notebook in which candidates record the information about the three tasks (described above) they are required to prepare. Candidates are required to produce their logbook in the oral test and may refer to their book and newspaper article(s) in the written test. The logbook represents a record of each candidate’s learning during the process of preparation for the test. Although the logbook is not awarded a grade, the TIE certificate contains the following statement: ‘This award is supported by a logbook produced by the candidate in fulfilment of test requirements’.
BREAKDOWN OF SPEAKING AND WRITING
SPEAKING (30 minutes)
The test takes the form of a face-to-face interview between an examiner and two candidates. Candidates are assessed on their use of spoken English to answer short questions and present the material prepared for the exam. Each candidate has a long turn to present their investigation and either their book or news story. Candidates are also assessed on their ability to interact with their partner and the examiner
WRITING (60 minutes)
The first task requires candidates to write approximately 150 words on a familiar topic in the form of a narrative, description, or simple argumentation.
The second task requires candidates to write about their News Story or Book. They will be expected to write about 150 words giving a personal response or attitude to the story or book.
ASSESSMENT OF TIE
The TIE Scale of Assessment has been drawn up using the Council of Europe’s Common Framework Scale of Language Proficiency. The TIE Scale is made up of 6 basic levels and the addition of a + at B1, B2, and C1 allows for ten bands:
- Proficient User: C1, C1+, C2
- Independent User: B1, B1+, B2, B2+
- Basic User: A1, A2 and A2+
For more information on TIE please see the website www.ielt.ie
Have you heard of A1, A2, B1, B2, C1..? How good are you at writing English? How wide is your vocabulary range? The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is a European system used to describe language ability on a scale from Beginners up to those who have…
Citas College, in partnership with PaytoStudy and the Private Colleges Network, provide a comprehensive range of Learner Protection options to give students peace of mind in terms of course guarantees. This is a further assurance of the excellent quality and high standards of our course provision. Partnership between Citas College…
It is compulsory for all students studying English on an International student visa to sit an externally assessed end-of-course examination at the end of their 25 weeks of English language classes. One of the recognised examinations is the Test of Interactive English (TIE). This is an ACELS examination which is…