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Understanding the CEFR Basic User A1

Introduction to CEFR Basic A1

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is a standardized system used across Europe to assess language proficiency. At the Basic A1 level, learners are introduced to fundamental language skills. This article delves into what the A1 level entails, providing a comprehensive overview based on the CEFR guidelines.

What is CEFR Basic A1?

The CEFR Basic A1 level represents the initial stage of language learning. At this level, users can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and basic phrases aimed at meeting concrete needs. They can introduce themselves and others and ask and answer questions about personal details such as where they live, people they know, and things they have. Interaction at this level is simple and relies on slow and clear speech from the other person.

Self-Assessment Grid for A1 Level

The self-assessment grid for the A1 level helps learners evaluate their proficiency in listening, reading, spoken interaction, spoken production, and writing. It is divided into three categories: understanding, speaking, and writing.


Listening: The user can recognize familiar words and very basic phrases concerning themselves, their family, and immediate concrete surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly.

Reading: The user can understand familiar names, words, and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues.


Speaking Interaction: The user can interact in a simple way, provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase things at a slower rate of speech and help formulate what they are trying to say. They can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics.

Speaking Production: The user can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where they live and people they know.


The user can write a short, simple postcard, for example sending holiday greetings. They can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering their name, nationality, and address on a hotel registration form.


Qualitative Aspects of Spoken Language Use

The CEFR provides a detailed description of the qualitative aspects of spoken language use for A1 users. These aspects are crucial for assessing spoken performances:

Range: Has a very basic repertoire of words and simple phrases related to personal details and particular concrete situations.

Accuracy: Shows only limited control of a few simple grammatical structures and sentence patterns in a memorized repertoire.

Fluency: Can manage very short, isolated, mainly pre-packaged utterances, with much pausing to search for expressions, articulate less familiar words, and repair communication.

Interaction: Can ask and answer questions about personal details. Can interact in a simple way, but communication is totally dependent on repetition, rephrasing, and repair.

Coherence: Can link words or groups of words with very basic linear connectors like “and” or “then.”


Follow the CEFR Standards in Our Language Courses

When teaching, whether it’s Romanian or Spanish, in group lessons or private modules, we always follow the standards set by the CEFR.

Now that you know more about your goals in relation to the CEFR standard, join our Romanian lessons to ensure you follow a well-structured and coherent learning plan. We are confident that you will be more than satisfied with your results.

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