What is CEFR?
When learning Danish, it is important that you have a clear understanding of your current level and relevant learning goals. At Copenhagen Language Center, we strive to make the content of our courses transparent, showing you how we plan our Danish instruction and providing a step-by-step description of how we teach you to speak, write and understand Danish.
All Danish courses at Copenhagen Language Center relate to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, which is also known by the acronym CEFR.
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is a universal system for assessing language proficiency. Originally developed by the Council of Europe, it is now widely used across the globe to describe foreign language learning and competence.
CEFR can be used for all languages and gives educational institutions and teachers a clear set of guidelines for foreign language instruction. The framework is also used to assess whether learners have the required language competences in a given context, such as school/job applications, etc. Read more about CEFR at the Council of Europe website.
CEFR levels as guidelines for courses and learning goals
CEFR divides language competences into six levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2. In the following, we provide a brief description of the required Danish skills at each level.
The CEFR’s level descriptions outline the general framework of what you will learn in each of our courses. These descriptions serve as our guidelines in the planning of each course and in our choice of materials and teaching methods.
We frequently refer back to CEFR during a Danish course to assess your learning and adjust the teaching plan to ensure that both you and your classmates achieve the desired level. When you complete a Danish course unit with us (minimum class attendace 75%), you will receive a certificate of participation that mentiones the CEFR unit you have just completed.
A1 – Beginner
- You can understand very simple expressions when spoken slowly and clearly.
- You can read names, words and simple phrases, e.g. on posters and in advertisements.
- You can ask and answer simple questions about everyday topics.
- You can present and describe yourself using a few words and simple sentences.
- You can enter personal information in forms and write a short greeting.
- You can formulate simple sentences and questions.
- You can exchange basic information about yourself and others.
- Vocabulary: everyday activities and daily routines.
- You learn to talk about the time and numbers (prices, telephone numbers and time of day).
- You can talk about something that happened previously (past tense), and plans and wishes (future).
- You can use adjectives to describe things.
- Vocabulary: lifestyle, housing, education and work.
- You learn to express dates and years.
A2 - Elementary
- You can understand the most common words and expressions.
- You can read short and simple texts.
- You can exchange information in a short conversation, but cannot elaborate or explain further.
- You can express your needs and use simple phrases to describe yourself and your surroundings.
- You can write short and simple messages.
- You learn to express views and assessments, and to state your opinion.
- You begin to be able to distinguish between formal and informal language.
- Vocabulary: friendship and emotions
- You can express yourself more extensively about your everyday life, background and lifestyle
- You learn to make suggestions, plan and discuss plans.
- You can talk more extensively about your life story, education and plans for the future.
- You can talk about experiences.
- Vocabulary: free time and vacation, climate and urban spaces
B1 - Intermediate
- You can understand the overall content of lectures and TV programs on common topics.
- You can read texts written in everyday language or which relates to your field of expertise.
- You can engage in conversations about everyday topics or topics of interest to you.
- You can briefly explain and justify your opinions and plans.
- You can write a brief but coherent text about topics of interest to you.
- You can understand conversations about topics you encounter in your everyday life, at work, and in your free time.
- You can talk about experiences, hopes, expectations and intentions.
- You can provide simple reasoning for views and beliefs.
- Vocabulary for everyday life and current events within the course topic.
- You can understand conversations about topics you meet in your everyday life, at work or in your spare time.
- You can talk about aspirations, expectations and intentions.
- You can use basic grammar – now you need to put it in practice and learn the exceptions.
- Vocabulary: body and movement, role models and interpersonal relationships.
- You know more words for the same concept and can vary the way you express yourself.
- You can talk about subjects you are familiar with, debate and draw conclusions.
- You can formulate your thoughts on more complex social conditions.
- Vocabulary: gender roles, work environment and identity.
B2 - Pre-advanced
- You can understand lectures and TV programs if you are already familiar with the topic.
- You can read most short stories and unchallenging novels.
- You can converse with most Danes without much difficulty.
- You can provide a clear and detailed explanation on common topics or topics within your field of knowledge.
- You can write personal letters and reports on topics within your field of knowledge.
- You can explain views and assess the benefits and disadvantages of something.
- You can express your own opinions on both concrete and abstract topics.
- You can speak fluently about everyday topics and your area of professional expertise.
- Vocabulary relating to issues, justifications and elaboration on the course topic.
- You can explain views and assess advantages and disadvantages.
- You can express your own opinion about both concrete and abstract topics.
- You can speak fluently about everyday subjects and your own field.
- Vocabulary: environment, gender equality, politics, health and prevention, education and the labor market.
- You understand complex discussions, TV shows and lectures if the subject is fairly familiar.
- You can read articles and reports on current issues that present a particular point of view.
- You can write texts about a wide range of topics where you convey information and views.
- You can speak fluently and spontaneously with native speakers, participate actively in discussions, and explain your opinion.
C1 - Advanced
- You can understand all types of TV programs and films in Danish.
- You can understand academic language and technical instructions, including outside your field of specialization.
- You can actively engage in all conversations and express yourself fluently and spontaneously, no matter who you are talking to.
- You can provide a clear and detailed explanation of complex topics.
- You can write a detailed and well-structured text, even on complicated topics.
- You can formulate yourself correctly and complexly in social and professional contexts.
- You can describe and explain in detail, elaborate and clarify views, round off and conclude.
- You can adapt your linguistic style according to the situation and conversation partner.
- Vocabulary, expressions and phrases for concrete and abstract conversation on the course topic.
C2 - Mastery
- You can understand all forms of spoken language and understand nuances in the dialects of native speakers.
- You can easily read all types of texts, including abstract texts with difficult words.
- You can engage in all conversations, choose an appropriate tone for the situation, and express yourself with great precision.
- You can present a clear and fluent argument that fits the situation in terms of style and level.
- You can write clearly and fluently in a style that is appropriate for the purpose and recipient.
At the moment, we do not offer Danish classes at C2 level.
Unique challenges at every level
Every level in the CEFR is equal in the model above, but this is merely a theoretical model. In reality, there are huge differences in how much you have to learn at each level. As a beginner – at levels A1 and A2 – you must learn words and simple grammatical rules, and you will quickly notice significant progress. In a matter of no time, you will be capable of much more than when you started!
But once you reach level B1, your elementary Danish skills are in place, and you must begin learning to use the language more independently, while navigating greater complexity. It takes far more instruction to touch on all aspects of understanding, speaking, reading and writing independently.
Your progress may not be as clear to you as in the beginning, since this is much more subtle and abstract learning, and cannot be immediately applied in everyday life.
No two paths to Danish proficiency are the same
The ease and speed of learning Danish will vary greatly depending of many factors, including
- your mother tongue
- whether you’ve learned Danish before
- how much you practice and use Danish in everyday life.
As a result, the amount of teaching you need to achieve a given level of Danish proficiency will also vary.
We accommodate these varying needs by offering a wide range of Danish courses with a diversity of teaching methods and progression speeds. A quick look at our course catalog reveals many different courses leading to A1.1 level, and these courses consist of a varying number of lessons. The key is finding the Danish course that perfectly suits your needs and wishes. We will gladly assist you with finding the ideal match!
If you are in doubt about your level of Danish, please don’t hesitate to book a time for a free placement test with our counselors.