Level A1 of CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for languages)
According to CEFR, Level A1 (Breakthrough) is considered the lowest level of generative language use although, from now on, there is an even more elementary level: the level A1.1 which serves as reference for the DILF and the DELF Prim A1.1. At level A1, the learner can interact in a simple way, ask and answer simple questions about themselves, where they live, people they know, and things they have, initiate and respond to simple statements in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics, rather than relying purely on a very ﬁnite rehearsed, lexically organised repertoire of situational-speciﬁc phrases.
Global scale of the skills of level A1 of the CEFR
The global scale of the common reference of the CEFR defines level A1's user capable of the following linguistic skills:
- 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.
Self-assessment grid of level A1 of the CEFR
The CEFR describe level A1's user capable of carrying out the following linguistic skills:
I can recognise familiar words and very basic phrases concerning myself, my family and immediate concrete surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly.
I can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues.
I can interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase things at a slower rate of speech an help me formulate what I'm trying to say. I can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics.
I can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where I live and people I know.
I can write a short, simple postcard, for example sending holiday greetings. I can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering my name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form.
Qualitative aspects of spoken language use of level A1 of the CEFR
Has a very basic repertoire of words and simple phrases related to personal details and particular concrete situations.
Shows only limited control of a few simple grammatical structures and sentence patterns in a memorised repertoire.
Can manage very short, isolated, mainly pre-packaged utterances, with much pausing to search for expressions, to articulate less familiar words, and to repair communication.
Can ask and answer questions about personal details. Can interact in a simple way but communication is totally dependent on repetition, rephrasing and repair.
Can link words or groups of words with very basic linear connectors like 'and' or 'then'.