How do we measure English level?
How many words do we need to know?
How many phrases?
What is the best order to learn language?
In 2001, the CEFR was introduced (Common European Framework of Reference). It is a scale of language ability. A lot of big publishers (Oxford, Cambridge…) use this scale to help decide what language to teach at different levels. It starts at beginners A1, A2, intermediate B1, B2, and advanced C1, C2.
There are lists of words and phrases that learners usually know at each level. For example, the word head is listed as LEVEL A1 (beginner). The word chin is listed as LEVEL B1 (intermediate). The word spine is listed as LEVEL C1 (advanced).
“I can jump” is a phrase that learners at LEVEL A1 will probably know. “I should be able to finish the project” is a phrase that learners at LEVEL B1 will probably know. “I think they may well come to an agreement” is a phrase that learners at LEVEL C1 can probably understand.
The CEFR is used to help make curriculums, text books and tests of English. Here is how the CEFR compares to EIKEN and IELTS:
And this is how the CEFR compares to TOEIC:
The CEFR is a common scale in a lot countries. It is not so popular in Japan, though.
Measuring your English level is a good way to boost motivation. It also makes learning more effective, if you know which words and phrases you should learn in order to level up.