It is extremely important to make a good evaluation of student’s previous knowledge at the start of every course. This is done with intake tests: a short preliminary conversation and written and oral tests. The student’s level is determined on the basis of the preliminary conversation and the tests.
We use the CEFR (Common European Frame of Reference) for this. The results of the conversation and the tests give us information about the student’s starting level in the language. The tests not only give us insight into a student’s language skills, they are also important in determining the content of the course and the teaching method (some students learn better aurally and others visually). Based on the language level objectives are set and a lesson programme is developed with the student. Later in the learning process the student will be tested again and the knowledge acquired will be assessed using the CEFR
As the diagram above shows, there are six language levels.
A Proficient user
B Independent user
C Basic user
C1 Effective, Operational, Proficiency
For each level there are competences or skills (so-called “Can-do” statements) set for understanding, listening, reading, speaking (interaction and reproduction) and writing. We get a global view of students’ language level and can situate them on a scale (level A, B or C) as described in the CEFR.