​​Level B1 of CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages)

Niveau B1 du CECR
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:

​Understanding


​​​​Listening
​​​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.
​​Understanding
Reading
​​​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.

​​Speaking
​​Spoken interaction
​​​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).

​​Speaking
​​Spoken production
​​​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.
​​​Writing
​​​Writing
​​​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

​​Range
​​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.
​​Accuracy
​​Uses reasonably accurately a repertoire of frequently used 'routines' and patterns associated with more predictable situations.
​​Fluency
​​Can keep going comprehensively, even though pausing for grammatical and lexical planning and repair is very evident, especially in longer stretches of free production.
​​Interaction
​​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.
​​Coherence
​​Can link a series of shorter, discrete simple elements into a connected, linear sequence of points.
​​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.
​​Can rehearse and try out new combinations and expressions, inviting feedback.
​B1
​​​​Can work out how to communicate the main point(s) he/she wants to get across, exploiting any resources available and limiting the message to what he/she can recall or find the means to express.
​​Levels B1.1 and B1.2 (B1+): Planning
To know more about level B1+ of the CEFR.

Communicative language activities and strategies of level B1 of CEFR

​​​​Overall oral production
​​Can reasonably fluently sustain a straightforward description of one of a variety of subjects within his/her field of interest, presenting it as a linear sequence of points.



​Sustained monologue: describing experience

Can give straightforward descriptions on a variety of familiar subjects within his/her field of interest.
Can reasonably fluently relate a straightforward narrative or description as a linear sequence of points.
Can give detailed accounts of experiences, describing feelings and reactions.
Can relate details of unpredictable occurrences, e.g. an accident.
Can relate the plot of a book or film and describe his/her reactions.
Can describe dreams, hopes and ambitions.
Can describe events, real or imagined.
​Can narrate a story.

​​Sustained monologue: putting a case (e.g in a debate)
Can develop an argument well enough to be followed without difficulty most of the time.
​​​​Can briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions, plans and actions.
Public announcements
​​Can deliver short, rehearsed announcements on a topic pertinent to everyday occurrences in his/her field which, despite possibly very foreign stress and intonation, are nevertheless clearly intelligible.

Addressing audiences
Can give a prepared straightforward presentation on a familiar topic within his/her field which is clear enough to be followed without difficulty most of the time, and in which the main points are explained with reasonable precision.
Can take follow up questions, but may have to ask for repetition if the speech was rapid.

​​Overall written production
​​Can write straightforward connected texts on a range of familiar subjects within his field of interest, by linking a series of shorter discrete elements into a linear sequence.

​Creative writing
Can write straightforward, detailed descriptions on a range of familiar subjects within his/her field of interest.
Can write accounts of experiences, describing feelings and reactions in simple connected text.
Can write a description of an event, a recent trip – real or imagined.
​Can narrate a story.




​Reports and essays

Can write short, simple essays on topics of interest.
Can summarise, report and give his/her opinion about accumulated factual information on familiar routine and non-routine matters within his/her field with some confidence.

​​Can write very brief reports to a standard conventionalised format, which pass on routine factual information and state reasons for actions.



​​Planning

Can rehearse and try out new combinations and expressions, inviting feedback.
​​Can work out how to communicate the main point(s) he/she wants to get across, exploiting any resources available and limiting the message to what he/she can recall or find the means to express.



​​Compensating
Can define the features of something concrete for which he/she can’t remember the word.
Can convey meaning by qualifying a word meaning something similar (e.g. a truck for people = bus).

Can use a simple word meaning something similar to the concept he/she wants to convey and invites ‘correction’.
​Can foreignise a mother tongue word and ask for confirmation.




​Monitoring and repair

Can correct mix-ups with tenses or expressions that lead to misunderstandings provided the interlocutor indicates there is a problem.
​Can ask for confirmation that a form used is correct.
​Can start again using a different tactic when communication breaks down.




​​Overall listening comprehension

Can understand straightforward factual information about common everyday or job related topics, identifying both general messages and specific details, provided speech is clearly articulated in a generally familiar accent.
​​​Can understand the main points of clear standard speech on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure etc., including short narratives.
​​Understanding conversation between native speakers
​​Can generally follow the main points of extended discussion around him/her, provided speech is clearly articulated in standard dialect.


​Listening as a member of a live audience

Can follow a lecture or talk within his/her own field, provided the subject matter is familiar and the presentation straightforward and clearly structured.
​Can follow in outline straightforward short talks on familiar topics provided these are delivered in clearly articulated standard speech.
​​Listening to announcements and instructions
Can understand simple technical information, such as operating instructions for everyday equipment.
Can follow detailed directions.



​​​Listening to audio media and recordings

Can understand the information content of the majority of recorded or broadcast audio material on topics of personal interest delivered in clear standard speech.
​​​Can understand the main points of radio news bulletins and simpler recorded material about familiar subjects delivered relatively slowly and clearly.
​​​​​​Overall reading comprehension​
​​Can read straightforward factual texts on subjects related to his/her field and interest with a satisfactory level of comprehension.
​Reading correspondence​
​​Can understand the description of events, feelings and wishes in personal letters well enough to correspond regularly with a pen friend.


Reading for orientation
Can scan longer texts in order to locate desired information, and gather information from different parts of a text, or from different texts in order to fulfil a specific task.
​​Can find and understand relevant information in everyday material, such as letters, brochures and short official documents.


​​Reading for information and argument

Can identify the main conclusions in clearly signalled argumentative texts.
Can recognise the line of argument in the treatment of the issue presented, though not necessarily in detail.

​​Can recognise significant points in straightforward newspaper articles on familiar subjects.
​​Reading instructions
​​Can understand clearly written, straightforward instructions for a piece of equipment.



​​Watching TV and film

Can understand a large part of many TV programmes on topics of personal interest such as interviews, short lectures, and news reports when the delivery is relatively slow and clear.
Can follow many films in which visuals and action carry much of the storyline, and which are delivered clearly in straightforward language.
Can catch the main points in TV programmes on familiar topics when the delivery is relatively slow and clear.

​Identifying cues and inferring (Spoken & Written)​
Can identify unfamiliar words from the context on topics related to his/her field and interests.
Can extrapolate the meaning of occasional unknown words from the context and deduce sentence meaning provided the topic discussed is familiar.






​Overall spoken interaction

Can communicate with some confidence on familiar routine and non-routine matters related to his/her interests and professional field. Can exchange, check and confirm information, deal with less routine situations and explain why something is a problem. Can express thoughts on more abstract, cultural topics such as films, books, music etc.
​​Can exploit a wide range of simple language to deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling. Can enter unprepared into conversation on familiar topics, express personal opinions and exchange information on topics that are familiar, of personal interest or pertinent to everyday life (e.g. family, hobbies, work, travel and current events).
​Understanding a native speaker interlocutor​
Can follow clearly articulated speech directed at him/her in everyday conversation, though will sometimes have to ask for repetition of particular words and phrases.


​Conversation
Can enter unprepared into conversations on familiar topics.
Can follow clearly articulated speech directed at him/her in everyday conversation, though will sometimes have to ask for repetition of particular words and phrases.
Can maintain a conversation or discussion but may sometimes be difficult to follow when trying to say exactly what he/she would like to.
​Can express and respond to feelings such as surprise, happiness, sadness, interest and indifference.









​Informal discussion (with friends)
Can follow much of what is said around him/her on general topics provided interlocutors avoid very idiomatic usage and articulate clearly.
Can express his/her thoughts about abstract or cultural topics such as music, films. Can explain why something is a problem.
Can give brief comments on the views of others.
Can compare and contrast alternatives, discussing what to do, where to go, who or which to choose, etc.

Can generally follow the main points in an informal discussion with friends provided speech is clearly articulated in standard dialect.
Can give or seek personal views and opinions in discussing topics of interest.
Can make his/her opinions and reactions understood as regards solutions to problems or practical questions of where to go, what to do, how to organise an event (e.g. an outing).
​Can express belief, opinion, agreement and disagreement politely.



​Formal discussion and meetings

Can follow much of what is said that is related to his/her field, provided interlocutors avoid very idiomatic usage and articulate clearly.
Can put over a point of view clearly, but has difficulty engaging in debate.
Can take part in routine formal discussion of familiar subjects which is conducted in clearly articulated speech in the standard dialect and which involves the exchange of factual information, receiving instructions or the discussion of solutions to practical problems.



​Goal-Oriented co-operation (e.g. repairing a car, discussing a document, organising an event)
Can understand enough to manage simple, routine tasks without undue effort, asking very simply for repetition when he/she does not understand.
Can discuss what to do next, making and responding to suggestions, asking for and giving directions.

Can indicate when he/she is following and can be made to understand what is necessary, if the speaker takes the trouble.
Can communicate in simple and routine tasks using simple phrases to ask for and provide things, to get simple information and to discuss what to do next.



​Transactions to obtain goods and services
Can deal with most transactions likely to arise whilst travelling, arranging travel or accommodation, or dealing with authorities during a foreign visit.
Can cope with less routine situations in shops, post offices, banks, e.g. returning an unsatisfactory purchase. Can make a complaint.
Can deal with most situations likely to arise when making travel arrangements through an agent or when actually travelling, e.g. asking passenger where to get off for an unfamiliar destination.






​​​Information exchange

Can exchange, check and confirm accumulated factual information on familiar routine and non-routine matters within his/her field with some confidence.
Can describe how to do something, giving detailed instructions.
Can summarise and give his or her opinion about a short story, article, talk, discussion, interview, or
documentary and answer further questions of detail.

Can find out and pass on straightforward factual information.
Can ask for and follow detailed directions.
​Can obtain more detailed information.




​​​​​
​Interviewing and being interviewed

Can provide concrete information required in an interview/consultation (e.g. describe symptoms to a doctor) but does so with limited precision.
Can carry out a prepared interview, checking and confirming information, though he/she may occasionally have to ask for repetition if the other person’s response is rapid or extended.

Can take some initiatives in an interview/consultation (e.g. to bring up a new subject) but is very dependent on interviewer in the interaction.
Can use a prepared questionnaire to carry out a structured interview, with some spontaneous follow up questions.




​Overall written interaction

Can convey information and ideas on abstract as well as concrete topics, check information and ask about or explain problems with reasonable precision.
​Can write personal letters and notes asking for or conveying simple information of immediate relevance, getting across the point he/she feels to be important.


Correspondence
Can write personal letters giving news and expressing thoughts about abstract or cultural topics such as music, films.
​​Can write personal letters describing experiences, feelings and events in some detail.


​​Notes, messages & forms

Can take messages communicating enquiries, explaining problems.
​​Can write notes conveying simple information of immediate relevance to friends, service people, teachers and others who feature in his/her everyday life, getting across comprehensively the points he/she feels are important.


​​Taking the floor (turntaking)
Can intervene in a discussion on a familiar topic, using a suitable phrase to get the floor.
​​Can initiate, maintain and close simple, face-to-face conversation on topics that are familiar or of personal interest.



​​​​​Co-operating

Can exploit a basic repertoire of language and strategies to help keep a conversation or discussion going.
Can summarise the point reached in a discussion and so help focus the talk.

​​Can repeat back part of what someone has said to confirm mutual understanding and help keep the development of ideas on course. Can invite others into the discussion.
​​Asking for clarification
Can ask someone to clarify or elaborate what they have just said.


​​​Note-taking (lectures, seminars, etc.)

Can take notes during a lecture which are precise enough for his/her own use at a later date, provided the topic is within his/her field of interest and the talk is clear and well-structured.
​​Can take notes as a list of key points during a straightforward lecture, provided the topic is familiar, and the talk is both formulated in simple language and delivered in clearly articulated standard speech.


​​Processing text
Can collate short pieces of information from several sources and summarise them for somebody else.
​​Can paraphrase short written passages in a simple fashion, using the original text wording and ordering.

​​Communicative language competences of level B1 of CEFR




​General linguistic range

Has a sufficient range of language to describe unpredictable situations, explain the main points in an idea or problem with reasonable precision and express thoughts on abstract or cultural topics such as music and films.
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, but lexical limitations cause repetition and even difficulty with formulation at times.​​
​​Vocabulary range
​Has a sufficient vocabulary to express him/herself with some circumlocutions on most topics pertinent to his/her everyday life such as family, hobbies and interests, work, travel, and current events.
​​Vocabulary control
​​Montre une bonne maîtrise du vocabulaire élémentaire mais des erreurs sérieuses se produisent encore quand il s'agit d'exprimer une pensée plus complexe.


​​Grammatical accuracy
Communicates with reasonable accuracy in familiar contexts; generally good control though with
noticeable mother tongue influence. Errors occur, but it is clear what he/she is trying to express.

Uses reasonably accurately a repertoire of frequently used ‘routines’ and patterns associated with more predictable situations.​​
​Phonological control​
​Pronunciation is clearly intelligible even if a foreign accent is sometimes evident and occasional mispronunciations occur.
​​Orthographic control
Can produce continuous writing which is generally intelligible throughout.
Spelling, punctuation and layout are accurate enough to be followed most of the time.



​​​​​​
​Sociolinguistic appropriateness

Can perform and respond to a wide range of language functions, using their most common exponents in a neutral register.
Is aware of the salient politeness conventions and acts appropriately.

​​Is aware of, and looks out for signs of, the most significant differences between the customs, usages, attitudes, values and beliefs prevalent in the community concerned and those of his or her own.


​​​​​Flexibility

Can adapt his/her expression to deal with less routine, even difficult, situations.
​​​Can exploit a wide range of simple language flexibly to express much of what he/she wants.

Turntaking
Can intervene in a discussion on a familiar topic, using a suitable phrase to get the floor.
​​Can initiate, maintain and close simple face-to-face conversation on topics that are familiar or of personal interest.
​​​​​Thematic development
​Can reasonably fluently relate a straightforward narrative or description as a linear sequence of points.
​​Coherence and cohesion
​​Can link a series of shorter, discrete simple elements into a connected, linear sequence of points.



​Spoken fluency

Can express him/herself with relative ease. Despite some problems with formulation resulting in pauses and ‘cul-de-sacs’, he/she is able to keep going effectively without help.
​​Can keep going comprehensively, even though pausing for grammatical and lexical planning and repair is very evident, especially in longer stretches of free production.​


​Propositional precision

Can explain the main points in an idea or problem with reasonable precision.
Can convey simple, straightforward information of immediate relevance, getting across which point he/she feels is most important.
​Can express the main point he/she wants to make comprehensively.

Level B1 of the CEFR serves as reference for DELF B1, DELF B1 junior version, DELF B1 for schools and DELF Pro B1 tests.


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