CEFR Equivalence

How are language levels described?

If you have ever learned a new language, or if you have watched children developing their language skills, you will understand the idea of different ‘levels’ of learning. It’s like stepping up a ladder. Young learners of English usually start with very simple things like numbers and colours. Next, they begin to learn vocabulary and grammar linked to everyday topics, such as animals, the family, food and drink, sports and games.
By learning these things, they can then read about their favourite animal, write about their brothers and sisters, listen to a song about oranges and lemons, or talk about the games they enjoy playing. Learning a new language is not just about collecting words or knowing the grammar. People need to learn to do useful things with that language, developing the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in order to understand and communicate.


In foreign language learning, many teachers and other experts use the Common European Framework of Reference, usually known as the CEFR, when discussing the level that a student has reached. Watch this short video about what the CEFR is for and why it is useful.
The CEFR has six levels from beginner (A1) to very advanced (C2). The CEFR is available online in 39 different language versions, and it describes the things that a language learner Can Do at each of these six levels. It focuses on the skills mentioned above – speaking, listening, reading and writing. It isn’t only for English – it describes ability across the languages of the European Union. Interestingly, the CEFR is also being used in foreign language learning in other parts of the world, from Japan to Chile; it is seen as a practical tool that can help to organise the content and development of classes and study. All Cambridge English exams are related to this framework.

We at GI adopted the best practice of Cambridge English Scale

The Cambridge English Scale is an exam results reporting scale in use from January 2015. This is a new way of reporting results from Cambridge English exams. The scale is designed so as to complement the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages by providing more detailed information on candidate exam performance. Candidates receive a score for overall exam performance as well as individual scale scores for each language skill (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking) plus a score for Use of English in certain exams. Results from the different exams are reported on the same scale which allows for easy and straightforward performance comparison and gives a clearer insight into candidate progression from one exam to the next.