CEFR learning levels

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What does the CEFR mean?

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) of the European Council organises language competences in six levels from A1 to C2. These are then grouped into three broad categories: Elementary language use, independent language use and competent language use.


Why are CEFR learning levels so important?

The CEFR defines what progress the foreign language learner has already made. The aim is to make the various European language certificates comparable with each other & to create a benchmark for the acquisition of language skills. We also orient ourselves by this standard.

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What language skills does each CEF category include?


Elementary 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 themselves and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where they live, people they know and things they have. 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 their 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 while travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics that are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and 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 their field of specialization. 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.


Competent language use


Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer clauses, and recognize implicit meaning. Can express ideas 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 organizational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.


Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can summarize information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express themselves spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations.

If you know many languages then you have many keys for a castle. 


Learn a new language and get a new soul.

(Czech proverb)

Learning another language is like becoming another person.

(Haruki Murakami)

With languages, you are at home anywhere.

(Edmund de Waal)

How many classes do you need for each CEFR level? *



















* The specified teaching units per learning level are average values that only serve as a rough orientation.  This number of hours naturally depends on many different factors.  

Learning progress

Factors that can influence learning progress:


Course type

Progress can be made faster with an intensive course or additional private lessons.

Own motivation - the most important factor

The pace of learning and progress largely depend on your motivation. The greater your motivation, the faster you will master a new foreign language.

Life in the target language country

If you live in the country where the foreign language is spoken, it is easier to learn and use the language properly.


Knowledge of other foreign languages

Similarity of the newly learned foreign language with the mother tongue

Systematic learning

Do you already know which GER level you are at?

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