Level C2 of CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages)

Niveau C2 du CECR
Level C2, whilst it has been termed ‘Mastery’, is not intended to imply native-speaker or near native-speaker competence. What is intended is to characterise the degree of precision, appropriateness and ease with the language which typifies the speech of those who have been highly successful learners.

Descriptors calibrated here include: convey finer shades of meaning precisely by using, with reasonable accuracy, a wide range of modification devices; has a good command of idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms with awareness of connotative level of meaning; backtrack and restructure around a difficulty so smoothly the interlocutor is hardly aware of it.​

​​Global scale of the skills of level C2 of the CEFR

The global scale of the common reference of the CEFR defines level C2's user capable of the following linguistic skills:

  • Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read.
  • Can summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation.
  • Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in more complex situations.

​​Self-assessment grid of level C2 of the CEFR

The CEFR describe level C2's user capable of carrying out the following linguistic skills:
​​Understanding
​​Listening
​​I have no difficulty in understanding any kind of spoken language, whether live or broadcast, even when delivered at fast native speed, provided I have some time to get familiar with the accent.
​​Understanding
​​​​Reading
​​​I can read with ease virtually all forms of the written language, including abstract, structurally or linguistically complex texts such as manuals, specialised articles and literary words.

​Speaking


​​​Spoken interaction
​​I can take part effortlessly in any conversation or discussion and have a good familiarity with idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms.
​I can express myself fluently and convey finer shades of meaning precisely. If I do have a problem I can backtrack and restructure around the difficulty so smoothly that other people are hardly aware of it.

​Speaking

​​Spoken production
​​I can present a clear, smoothly flowing description or argument in a style appropriate to the context and with an effective logical structure which helps the recipient to notice and remember significant points.

​Writing


​​Writing
​​I can write clear, smoothly flowing text in an appropriate style.
I can write complex letters, reports or articles which present a case with an effective logical structure which helps the recipient to notice and remember significant points.
I can write summaries and reviews of professional or literary works.

Qualitative aspects of spoken language use of level C2 of the CEFR

​Range
Shows great flexibility reformulating ideas in differing linguistic forms to convey finer shades of meaning precisely, to give emphasis, to differentiate and to eliminate ambiguity. Also has a good command of idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms.
​​Accuracy
​Maintains consistent grammatical control of complex language, even while attention is otherwise engaged (e.g. in forward planning, in monitoring others reactions).​
​​Fluency
​​Can express him/herself spontaneously at length with a natural colloquial flow, avoiding or backtracking around any difficulty so smoothly that the interlocutor is hardly aware of it.
Interaction
Can interact with ease and skill, picking up and using non-verbal and intonational clues apparently effortlessly. Can interweave his/her contribution into the joint discourse with fully natural turntaking, referencing, allusion making, etc.
​​​​Coherence
​​Can create coherent and cohesive discourse making full and appropriate use of a variety of organisational patterns and a wide range of connectors and other cohesive devices.

Communicative language activities and strategies of level C2 of CEFR

​​Overall oral production
​​Can produce clear, smoothly flowing well-structured speech with an effective logical structure which helps the recipient to notice and remember significant points.
Sustained monologue: describing experience
​​Can give clear, smoothly flowing, elaborate and often memorable descriptions.

​​Addressing audiences

Can present a complex topic confidently and articulately to an audience unfamiliar with it, structuring and adapting the talk flexibly to meet the audience’s needs.
Can handle difficult and even hostile questioning.

​​Overall written production
​​Can write clear, smoothly flowing, complex texts in an appropriate and effective style and a logical structure which helps the reader to find significant points.
Creative writing
Can write clear, smoothly flowing, and fully engrossing stories and descriptions of experience in a style appropriate to the genre adopted.

​Reports and essays
Can produce clear, smoothly flowing, complex reports, articles or essays which present a case, or give critical appreciation of proposals or literary works.
​Can provide an appropriate and effective logical structure which helps the reader to find significant points.

​​Planning
​​Can plan what is to be said and the means to say it, considering the effect on the recipient/s.
​​​Compensating
​Can substitute an equivalent term for a word he/she can’t recall so smoothly that it is scarcely noticeable.​
​​Monitoring and repair
​​Can backtrack and restructure around a difficulty so smoothly the interlocutor is hardly aware of it.
​​Overall listening comprehension
​Has no difficulty in understanding any kind of spoken language, whether live or broadcast, delivered at fast native speed.
​​Understanding conversation between native speakers
​​Can easily follow complex interactions between third parties in group discussion and debate, even on abstract, complex unfamiliar topics.
​​Listening as a member of a live audience
​​Can follow specialised lectures and presentations employing a high degree of colloquialism, regional usage or unfamiliar terminology.

​​Listening to announcements and instructions

Can extract specific information from poor quality, audibly distorted public announcements, e.g. in a station, sports stadium etc.
Can understand complex technical information, such as operating instructions, specifications for familiar products and services.


​​Listening to audio media and recordings
​​Can understand a wide range of recorded and broadcast audio material, including some non-standard usage, and identify finer points of detail including implicit attitudes and relationships between speakers.

​Overall reading comprehension
Can understand and interpret critically virtually all forms of the written language including abstract, structurally complex, or highly colloquial literary and non-literary writings.
Can understand a wide range of long and complex texts, appreciating subtle distinctions of style and implicit as well as explicit meaning.

​​Reading correspondence
​​Can understand any correspondence given the occasional use of a dictionary.

​​Reading for orientation

Can scan quickly through long and complex texts, locating relevant details.
Can quickly identify the content and relevance of news items, articles and reports on a wide range of professional topics, deciding whether closer study is worthwhile.


​​Reading for information and argument

​​Can understand in detail a wide range of lengthy, complex texts likely to be encountered in social, professional or academic life, identifying finer points of detail including attitudes and implied as well as stated opinions.

​​Reading instructions​

​​Can understand in detail lengthy, complex instructions on a new machine or procedure, whether or not the instructions relate to his/her own area of speciality, provided he/she can reread difficult sections.
​​Watching TV and film
Is skilled at using contextual, grammatical and lexical cues to infer attitude, mood and intentions and anticipate what will come next.
​​Identifying cues and inferring (Spoken & Written)
​​Is skilled at using contextual, grammatical and lexical cues to infer attitude, mood and intentions and anticipate what will come next.

​Overall spoken interaction
Has a good command of idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms with awareness of connotative levels of meaning. Can convey finer shades of meaning precisely by using, with reasonable accuracy, a wide range of modification devices. Can backtrack and restructure around a difficulty so smoothly the interlocutor is hardly aware of it.
Understanding a native speaker interlocutor
​​Can understand any native speaker interlocutor, even on abstract and complex topics of a specialist nature beyond his/her own field, given an opportunity to adjust to a non-standard accent or dialect.
​Conversation
​​Can converse comfortably and appropriately, unhampered by any linguistic limitations in conducting a full social and personal life.
​​Informal discussion (with friends)
​​Can easily follow and contribute to complex interactions between third parties in group discussion even on abstract, complex unfamiliar topics.
​​Formal discussion and meetings
​​Can hold his/her own in formal discussion of complex issues, putting an articulate and persuasive argument, at no disadvantage to native speakers.
​​Goal-Oriented co-operation (e.g. Repairing a car, discussing a document, organising an event)
Can understand detailed instructions reliably.
Can help along the progress of the work by inviting others to join in, say what they think, etc.
Can outline an issue or a problem clearly, speculating about causes or consequences, and weighing advantages and disadvantages of different approaches.



​​Transactions to obtain goods and services
Can cope linguistically to negotiate a solution to a dispute like an undeserved traffic ticket, financial responsibility for damage in a flat, for blame regarding an accident.
Can outline a case for compensation, using persuasive language to demand satisfaction and state clearly the limits to any concession he/she is prepared to make.
Can explain a problem which has arisen and make it clear that the provider of the service/customer must make a concession.



​Information exchange

Can understand and exchange complex information and advice on the full range of matters related to his/her occupational role.
Can pass on detailed information reliably.
Can give a clear, detailed description of how to carry out a procedure.
Can synthesise and report information and arguments from a number of sources.

​​​Interviewing and being interviewed
​​Can keep up his/her side of the dialogue extremely well, structuring the talk and interacting authoritatively with complete fluency as interviewer or interviewee, at no disadvantage to a native speaker.
​​Overall written interaction
​Can express him/herself with clarity and precision, relating to the addressee flexibly and effectively.​
​Correspondence​
​Can express him/herself with clarity and precision in personal correspondence, using language flexibly
and effectively, including emotional, allusive and joking usage.


​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 select a suitable phrase from a readily available range of discourse functions to preface his/her remarks appropriately in order to get the floor, or to gain time and keep the floor whilst thinking.
​​Co-operating
​​Can relate own contribution skilfully to those of other speakers.
​​Asking for clarification
​​Can ask follow-up questions to check that he/she has understood what a speaker intended to say, and get clarification of ambiguous points.
​​Note-taking (lectures, seminars, etc.)
​Is aware of the implications and allusions of what is said and can make notes on them as well as on the actual words used by the speaker.
​​Processing text
​​Can summarise information from different sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a ​coherent presentation of the overall result.

Communicative language competences of level C2 of CEFR

​​General linguistic range
Can exploit a comprehensive and reliable mastery of a very wide range of language to formulate thoughts precisely, give emphasis, differentiate and eliminate ambiguity.  No signs of having to restrict what he/she wants to say.
​​Vocabulary range
​​Has a good command of a very broad lexical repertoire including idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms; shows awareness of connotative levels of meaning.
​​Vocabulary control
​​Consistently correct and appropriate use of vocabulary.
​​Grammatical accuracy
​​Maintains consistent grammatical control of complex language, even while attention is otherwise engaged (e.g. in forward planning, in monitoring others’ reactions).
​​Phonological control
Can vary intonation and place sentence stress correctly in order to express finer shades of meaning.
​​Orthographic control
​Writing is orthographically free of error.

​​Sociolinguistic appropriateness
Has a good command of idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms with awareness of connotative levels of meaning.
Appreciates fully the sociolinguistic and sociocultural implications of language used by native speakers and can react accordingly.
Can mediate effectively between speakers of the target language and that of his/her community of origin taking account of sociocultural and sociolinguistic differences.

​​Flexibility
Shows great flexibility reformulating ideas in differing linguistic forms to give emphasis, to differentiate
according to the situation, interlocutor, etc. and to eliminate ambiguity.

​Turntaking
​​Can select a suitable phrase from a readily available range of discourse functions to preface his/her remarks appropriately in order to get the floor, or to gain time and keep the floor whilst thinking.
​​Thematic development
​​Can give elaborate descriptions and narratives, integrating sub-themes, developing particular points and rounding off with an appropriate conclusion.
​​Coherence and cohesion
Can create coherent and cohesive text making full and appropriate use of a variety of organisational patterns and a wide range of cohesive devices.
​​Spoken fluency
​Can express him/herself at length with a natural, effortless, unhesitating flow. Pauses only to reflect on precisely the right words to express his/her thoughts or to find an appropriate example or explanation.​
​Propositional precision
Can convey finer shades of meaning precisely by using, with reasonable accuracy, a wide range of qualifying devices (e.g. adverbs expressing degree, clauses expressing limitations).
​Can give emphasis, differentiate and eliminate ambiguity.

Level C2 of the CEFR serves as reference for DALF C2 tests.

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