I’m late today because I’ve been busy scrolling through the 230-page ‘COMMON EUROPEAN FRAMEWORKOF REFERENCE FOR LANGUAGES: LEARNING, TEACHING, ASSESSMENT – COMPANION VOLUME WITH NEW DESCRIPTORS‘.
If you’ve got a couple of days to spare, do take a look.
You could just look at Appendix 2, the Self-Assessment Grid, which is only a single page.
It’s not hard to understand – along the top you have the six levels, from the lowest (A1) to the highest (C2).
Bet you’d like to know what yours is, right?
And down the left-hand side there are five skill areas, set out like this:
UNDERSTANDING – Listening / Reading
SPEAKING – Spoken interaction / Spoken production
WRITING – Writing
For each of the five skill areas, you read the evaluation criteria, working along from the left to the right.
Each of the ‘descriptors’ begins with the words ‘I can…’
So you have a simple task: read the sentence and decide whether you can do that in Italian, or not.
If your answer is “You betcha!”, then go rightwards and read the next box.
When honestly compels you to answer “Nah, not in a million years!”, look up to the top of the column.
That’s the next level, what you need to aim at.
Look back to the left, and up.
That’s what you’ve already achieved.
It could be an effective description of where you are right now, or you could be already nearer to the next level up (the box on the right…)
You probably have a good idea which.
See how this works? Six levels, five skills areas, and simple descriptors beginning with ‘I can…’
So, let’s have a go.
Click here and follow along with me.
Starting with ‘Listening’, I’d say almost a B1 (certainly an A2) in Swedish.
And for Italian? C2, though I still don’t understand what my kids say when they talk with their mouths full…
That’ll be a “You betcha!” to the A2 descriptor for Swedish, but not yet to the B1 descriptor.
So, I still have some work to do there.
And for Italian, it’ll have to be C1.
I put my hand on my heart and confess, not C2.
But only because Italian texts can be so abstruse that even educated native speakers find excuses not to read them.
Speaking next, and ‘Spoken interaction’, which according to my wife, who was eavesdropping on my online Swedish lesson this morning, is one of my strengths.
She reported that I took charge and started chatting away immediately (though she pointedly didn’t enthuse over my accuracy and intelligibility…)
I’ll award myself an A2 for ‘spoken interaction’ in Swedish, with the secret hope that I’m sneaking up on a B1.
Italian would be a C2.
‘Spoken production’ is next. So ‘ditto’ for Swedish, A2 closing on B1.
And ‘ditto’ for Italian, too. My spoken Italian is C2, though with a big hole where the grammar should be.
So finally to ‘Writing’, where I’ll admit to some uncertainty, as I don’t write that much in either language.
I suppose, then, an A2 for Swedish and a C1 for Italian, though I’m not sure I’d like to put that to the test in either language!
I’m A2, working towards B1 in Swedish. C1 or C2 in Italian, depending on the skill area.
Now, what about you?
Try it yourself – it takes just a minute or two.
Oh, and Lisa wrote in wondering why more people don’t comment on the articles I write for the club.
She thinks people read them, but then don’t click through to the site where it’s possible to leave a comment.
Guess we could test her hypothesis…
If you’d like to share the results of your own ‘self-assessment’, or argue that grammar is really, really, really important, blah, blah, blah, then this is what you should do:
1. Click this link to view this article on the club website.
2. Scroll down to the bottom of the the article and fill in the comments form (your email won’t be published.)
3. If you’ve not commented before, wait a while for me to moderate your comment – this is an anti-spam measure.
(If you have commented on the club site before, you should see your comment published immediately.)
4. Come back later to read what others think!
And lo, we have a conversation, which might keep us amused for the rest of the day.
Or you could read the other 229 pages of ‘COMMON EUROPEAN FRAMEWORKOF REFERENCE FOR LANGUAGES: LEARNING, TEACHING, ASSESSMENT – COMPANION VOLUME WITH NEW DESCRIPTORS‘…