Presentation on theme: "The CEFR Common Reference Levels: Validated reference points"— Presentation transcript:
1The CEFR Common Reference Levels: Validated reference points and local strategiesBrian North
2Common Framework of Reference What is the purpose of the CEFR?Where do the Common Reference Levels come from?What claim to validity have the illustrative descriptors?How can we ensure consistent interpretation of the levels?
3CEFR: Purpose Encourage: Provide a Concertina-like reference tool: use of a common, comprehensible metalanguagereflection on current practiceagreement on common reference pointsProvide a Concertina-like reference tool:categories/levels can be expanded/contractedadopted/adapted appropriate to the local contextrelated to the greater scheme of thingsthus communicated more easily to stakeholders
4CEFR: Concertina-like Reference A BBasic User Independent UserA A B16A1.1 A1.2 A1.3 A2.1 A2.2
5Common Framework of Reference What is the purpose of the CEFR?Where do the Common Reference Levels come from?What claim to validity have the illustrative descriptors?How can we ensure consistent interpretation of the levels?
7Descriptors Intuitive Phase: Creating a pool of classified, edited descriptorsQualitative Phase:Analysis of teachers discussing proficiency32 teacher workshops sorting descriptorsQuantitative Phase:Teacher assessment of 2800 learners on descriptor- checklists (500 learners, 300 teachers)Teacher assessment of videos of some learnersInterpretation Phase:Setting “cut-points” for common reference levels
8Salient Characteristics A1 The point at which the learner can:interact in a simple wayask and answer simple questions about themselvesrespond to statements in areas of immediate needrather than relying purely on a rehearsed repertoire of phrases
9Salient Characteristics A2 The majority of descriptors stating social functions:greet people, ask how they are and react to newshandle very short social exchangesdiscuss what to do, where to go and make arrangementsDescriptors on getting out and about:make simple transactions in shops, banks etc.get simple information about travel and services
10Salient Characteristics B1 Maintain interaction and get across what you want to:give or seek personal views and opinionsexpress the main point comprehensiblykeep going comprehensibly, even though pausing evident, especially in longer stretchesCope flexibly with problems in everyday life:deal with most situations likely to arise when travellingenter unprepared into conversations on familiar topics
11Salient Characteristics B2 Effective argument:account for and sustain opinions in discussion by providing relevant explanations and argumentsexplain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various optionsHolding your own in social discourse:interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers possibleadjust to changes of direction, style and emphasisA new degree of language awareness:make a note of "favourite mistakes" and monitor speech for them
12Salient Characteristics C1 Fluent, well-structured language:good command of a broad lexical repertoire allowing gaps to be readily overcome with circumlocutionsexpress self fluently and spontaneously, almost effortlesslyproduce clear, smoothly‑flowing, well-structured speech, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices
13Salient Characteristics C2 Precision and ease with the language:convey finer shades of meaning precisely by using, with reasonable accuracy, a wide range of modification devicesshow great flexibility reformulating ideas in differing linguistic forms to give emphasis, to differentiate and to eliminate ambiguity
14Common Framework of Reference What is the purpose of the CEFR?Where do the Common Reference Levels come from?What claim to validity have the illustrative descriptors?How can we ensure consistent interpretation of the levels?
15Validity Claim Developed scientifically: comprehensive documentation of existing descriptionsrelation to theory through descriptive schemewhat learners can do and how well they do itpositive, independent criterion-descriptorschecking teachers could use categories & descriptorsscaling on same scale as learners (video samples)data from real, end-of-year assessmentfour educational sectors in a multi-lingual environmentthree foreign languages (English, French, German)values replicated: ALTE 0.97; DIALANG: 0.92 / 0.96
16Validity QuestionsGeneric reference point and also specific application?Generic validity: theory-based – yet practicalCommon descriptors: common difficulty levelSelection of a certain level as a standard in a context:Use Portfolio as exploratory tool to identify levelSuitable for the language of schooling?Convergence: categories of Descriptive SchemeDivergence: illustrative descriptors:Emerging abilities more than behavorial outcomesLevel of cognitive and social development
17Common Framework of Reference What is the purpose of the CEFR?Where do the Common Reference Levels come from?What claim to validity have the illustrative descriptors?How can we ensure consistent interpretation of the levels?
18Linking Assessment to the CEFR Specification (of content in relation to CEFR)Description; Coverage: CEFR categories, levelsStandardisation (of interpretation of levels)Training with calibrated examples providedTransfer to local examples (videos, scripts, items)Empirical Validation (of test cut-scores to levels)Internal (test characteristics)External (linking to calibrated tests, descriptors)