Home / Dutch language levels CEFR (A1,A2,B1,B2,C1,C2)

Dutch language levels CEFR (A1,A2,B1,B2,C1,C2)

The most common way to describe language proficiency is: The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) It is a guideline used to describe the language levels across Europe. You can also find a Dutch language proficiency table. We’ll describe both standards. 

The CEFR framework describes 6 language levels. We can distinguish 3 main categories (A, B, C) and 2 sublevels:

  • A Basic (A1/A2)
  • B Independent (B1/B2)
  • C Proficient (C1/C2)

Please use the language proficiency table below to do a self-assessment of your language level. This framework applies to all languages.

 ListeningReadingSpoken - interactionSpoken - productionWriting
A1I can recognise familiar words and very basic phrases concerning myself, my family
and immediate concrete surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly
I can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues.I can interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase
things at a slower rate of speech and help me formulate what I'm trying to say. I can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics
I can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where I live and people I know.I can write a short, simple postcard, for example sending holiday greetings. I can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering my name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form.
A2I can understand phrases and
the highest frequency vocabulary related to areas of most immediate personal relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local area). I can catch the main point in short, clear, simple messages and
announcements.
I can read very short, simple texts. I can find specific, predictable information in simple everyday material such as advertisements, prospectuses, menus and timetables and I can understand short simple personal lettersI can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar topics and activities. I can handle very short social exchanges, even though I can't usually understand enough to keep the conversation going myself.I can use a series of phrases and sentences to describe in simple terms my family and other people, living conditions, my educational background and my present or most recent job.I can write short, simple notes and messages relating to matters in areas of immediate needs. I can write a very simple personal letter, for example thanking
someone for something
B1I can understand the main points of clear standard speech on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. I can understand the main point of many radio or TV programmes on current affairs or topics of personal or professional interest when the delivery is relatively slow and clear.I can understand texts that consist mainly of high frequency everyday or job-related language. I can understand the description of events, feelings and wishes in personal letters.I can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. I can enter unprepared into conversation on topics that are familiar, of personal interest or pertinent to everyday life (e.g. family, hobbies, work, travel and current events).I can connect phrases in a simple way in order to describe experiences and events, my dreams, hopes and ambitions. I can briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans. I can narrate a story or relate the plot of a book or film and describe my reactions.I can write simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. I can write personal letters describing experiences and impressions.
B2I can understand extended speech and lectures and follow even complex lines of argument provided the topic is reasonably familiar. I can understand most TV news and current affairs programmes. I can understand the majority of films in standard dialect.I can read articles and reports concerned with contemporary problems in which the writers adopt particular attitudes or viewpoints. I can understand contemporary literary prose.I can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible. I can take an active part in discussion in familiar contexts, accounting for and sustaining my views.I can present clear, detailed descriptions on a wide range of subjects related to my field of interest. I can explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.I can write clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects related to my interests. I can write an essay or report, passing on information or giving reasons in support of or against a particular point of view. I can write letters highlighting the personal significance of events and experiences.
C1I can understand extended speech even when it is not clearly structured and when relationships are only implied and not signalled explicitly. I can understand television programmes and films without too much effortI can understand long and complex factual and literary texts, appreciating distinctions of style. I can understand specialised articles and longer technical instructions, even when they do not relate to my field.I can express myself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. I can use language flexibly and effectively for social and professional purposes. I can formulate ideas and opinions with precision and relate my contribution skilfully to those of other speakers.I can present clear, detailed descriptions of complex subjects integrating sub-themes, developing particular points and rounding off with an appropriate conclusionI can express myself in clear, wellstructured text, expressing points of view at some length. I can write about complex subjects in a letter, an essay or a report, underlining what I consider to be the salient issues. I can select style appropriate to the reader in mind.
C2I 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.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 works.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 itI 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.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.

Find below a less complex proficiency standard:

LevelDescription
A1
Breakthrough or beginner
-Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type.
-Can introduce themselves and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where they live, people they know and things they have.
-Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
A2
Waystage or elementary
-Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment).
-Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.
-Can describe in simple terms aspects of their background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
B1
Threshold or intermediate
-Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
-Can deal with most situations likely to arise while travelling in an area where the language is spoken.
-Can produce simple connected text on topics that are familiar or of personal interest.
-Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
B2
Vantage or upper intermediate
-Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in their field of specialization.
-Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.
-Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
C1
Effective operational proficiency or advanced
-Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer clauses, and recognize implicit meaning.
-Can express ideas fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions.
-Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.
-Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organizational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.
C2
Mastery or proficiency
-Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read.
-Can summarize information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation.
-Can express themselves spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations.

Dutch proficiency table

  • Level 1F: “basic user”
  • Level 2F: “independent user”, VMBO, MBO-1, MBO-2 en MBO-3
  • Level 3F: “independent user “, HAVO en MBO-4
  • Level 4F: “skilled user”, VWO
CEFR levelDutch levelEducational level
A1
A21F
B12FMBO
B23FHBO
C14FWO
C2



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