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CEFR - Deciphered

Updated: Dec 11, 2022

‘CEFR’ - what? And what is ‘CEFR’ anyway? Well, it’s an acronym just like ‘UK’ or ‘BBC’, for example, and it stands for ‘Common European Framework’. Basically it’s a standardised system to indicate a learner’s competence in the language learnt, at six different levels. As explained by Google, ’The six levels within the CEFR are A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2. These six reference levels are widely accepted as the European standard for grading an individual's proficiency in around forty different languages.’

The 3 main bands are A - B - C, called ‘Basic’, ‘Independent’ and ‘Proficient’ User, more commonly known as ‘Elementary’, ‘Intermediate’ and ‘Advanced’. These are the words you normally find on the front cover of your grammar-book or course book, with the CEFR-level typically shown on the back cover.

And why should this matter to you at all?

Cue: ‘Insta’!

As you will see, mamboenglish is on Instagram now, too, where every week you will find a post in the form of an ‘Odd One Out’ game. Also, I will indicate the CEFR-level for the language point behind each set of words so that you know where you stand (and reach for the grammar book for more practice, if needed!)

Unless you are new to learning English, you probably know the game already, but I will sum it up, just in case. There is a set of 4 words or short phrases (‘language items’) and you have to find the ‘odd one out’, in other words, the one which is different and doesn’t belong in the group.

An example: (CEFR - A1)

elephant - giraffe - snake - kangaroo

The odd one out is ‘elephant’ because you can say ‘a giraffe’, ‘a snake’, ‘a kangaroo’ but you can’t say ‘a elephant’ (we say ‘an elephant’). In my Instagram-post you will find a short explanation, which in this case is: ‘a’ + words beginning with a consonant and ‘an’ + for words beginning with a vowel. (Careful: vowel sound! Not letter, as there are ‘mute’ letters that we don’t pronounce, e.g. the ‘h’ in ‘honest’. So, we say ‘an honest man’ NOT: ‘a honest man’)

There might be more possibilities, and/or different reasons too, of course. (In this case, e.g. ‘snake’ - no legs.) This is the exciting bit and I would love to hear your suggestions! Do contact me by sending a message below the post and if your idea works, I will get back to to you!

‘Odd One Out’ is a very effective way of learning a language point. First of all, it tests your vocabulary. Also, you have to think about the use of the words (=grammar). It helps you with the most important thing: Use of English, i.e, how to put words together! So the easiest way to guess the different one is trying to make a short sentence with each word and see how they 'behave' in sentences.

Are you ready to mambo?

Go to Instagram....and follow!

See you there!:)

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