Level B1 of CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages)
Level B1 reﬂects the Threshold Level speciﬁcation for a visitor to a foreign country and is perhaps most categorised by two features. The ﬁrst feature is the ability to maintain interaction and get across what you want to, in a range of contexts, for example: generally follow the main points of extended discussion around him/her, provided speech is clearly articulated in standard dialect; give or seek personal views and opinions in an informal discussion with friends; express the main point he/she wants to make comprehensively; exploit a wide range of simple language ﬂexibly to express much of what he or she wants to; maintain a conversation or discussion but may sometimes be difﬁcult to follow when trying to say exactly what he/she would like to; keep going comprehensively, even though pausing for grammatical and lexical planning and repair is very evident, especially in longer stretches of free production.
The second feature is the ability to cope ﬂexibly with problems in everyday life, for example cope with less routine situations on public transport; deal with most situations likely to arise when making travel arrangements through an agent or when actually travelling; enter unprepared into conversations on familiar topics; make a complaint; take some initiatives in an interview/consultation (e.g. to bring up a new subject) but is very dependent on interviewer in the interaction; ask someone to clarify or elaborate what they have just said.
Global scale of the skills of level B1 of the CEFR
The global scale of the common reference of the CEFR defines level B1's user capable of the following linguistic skills:
- 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 and ambitions and brieﬂy give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
Self-assessment grid of level B1 of the CEFR
The CEFR describe level B1's user capable of carrying out the following linguistic skills:
I can understand the main points of clear standard speech on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. I can understand the main point of many radio or TV programmes on current affairs or topics of personal or professional interest when the delivery is relatively slow and clear.
I can understand texts that consist mainly of high frequency everyday or job-related language. I can understand the description of events, feelings and wishes in personal letters.
I can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. I can enter unprepared into conversation on topics that are familiar, of personal interest or pertinent to everyday life (e.g. family, hobbies, work, travel and current events).
I can connect phrases in a simple way in order to describe experiences and events, my dreams, hopes and ambitions. I can briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans. I can narrate a story or relate the plot of a book or film and describe my reactions.
I can write simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. I can write personal letters describing experiences and impressions.
Qualitative aspects of spoken language use of level B1 of the CEFR
In the illustrative descriptors a distinction is made between the ‘criterion levels’ (e.g. B1 or B1.1) and the ‘plus levels’ (e.g. B1+ or B1.2). The latter are distinguished from the former by a horizontal line, as in this example for planning.
Has enough language to get by, with sufficient vocabulary to express him/herself with some hesitation and circumlocutions on topics such as family, hobbies and interests, work, travel, and current events.
Uses reasonably accurately a repertoire of frequently used 'routines' and patterns associated with more predictable situations.
Can keep going comprehensively, even though pausing for grammatical and lexical planning and repair is very evident, especially in longer stretches of free production.
Can initiate, maintain and close simple face-to-face conversation on topics that are familiar or of personal interest. Can repeat back part of what someone has said to confirm mutual understanding.
Can link a series of shorter, discrete simple elements into a connected, linear sequence of points.