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We Use the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL).

Level System CEFRL


The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL) provides a common basis for the elaboration of language syllabuses, curriculum guidelines, examinations, textbooks, etc. It describes in a comprehensive way what language students have to learn in order to use a language for communication and what knowledge and skills they have to develop to be able to speak effectively. The Framework also defines levels of proficiency which allows the student`s progress to be measured at each stage of learning and on a life-long basis.

After completing a written test and conducting an oral interview, NSI’s students are placed in one of the six levels, which are framed in three sets of descriptors of the communicative competences of the student: basic speaker, independent speaker and proficient speaker. Our levels adapt to the descriptions and parameters of the CEFRL, and are organized with an alphanumerical designation: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2.

A summary of the levels described in the CEFRL:

  1. Basic User (A) –Breakthrough or beginner (A1) and Waystage or elementary (A2): The student can understand and use limited basic vocabulary, interchange personal information (name, occupation, nationality, age), is able to carry out elemental transactions such as ordering food at a restaurant, talk about his/her belongings, greet and say good-bye, provided that the other person speaks slowly and clearly and is patient and willing to help.
  2. Independent User (B) – Threshold or intermediate (B1) and Vantage or upper intermediate (B2): The student has enough knowledge to understand the main points of simple oral and written texts, can produce coherent texts and talk about everyday situations and issues of immediate importance (family, work, habits and routines, likes and personal interests) and is able to interact with empathetic speakers in a standard language without significant meaning nuances.
  3. Proficient User (C) –Effective Operational Proficiency or advanced (C1) and Mastery or proficiency (C2): The student is able to understand a wide variety of long complex texts, as well as implied meanings. Can create articulate detailed and well structured texts. Can communicate and interact with native speakers fluently and without noticeable effort. Uses the language effectively in practical, social, academic and professional situations.

You can find a more detailed chart of all the levels and descriptors in the European Language Portfolio of the Council of Europe.


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