Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,
es ist an die Zeit.
It's time to learn about the CEFR, or the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. You can also call this the European language standards, if you like. In this series you'll learn what the CEFR standards are, how it applies to lessons and classes here at GermanWithNicole, what to expect in each level, and how to determine your CEFR level. The series will run like this:
1. Today's post: First Things First (see more below).
2. Introduction Post: all about the standards
3. - 8. One post describing each of the 6 levels.
9. A summary post.
There will be a tag on each of these posts and it's called "CEFR." If you click on this tag (the orange button at the bottom of this page) you'll be able to see all the blog posts which refer to the CEFR.
First Things First
Some of the most important information I can give you is this (and I really want you to sit with this for a few days before we jump into the series):
The CEFR and language classes which are taught on the basis of the CEFR
are probably TOTALLY DIFFERENT than how you learned in school.
I've used the CEFR since I started teaching English as a Foreign Language in 2004 and I've continued to use these standards since I began teaching German as a Foreign Language in 2010. It's the only way I teach.
What you'll read in this post is not just information about the CEFR, but about the CEFR and how I use it in lessons, classes, and even Buchgemeinschaft (Book Club).
The CEFR is NOT many things.
The CEFR is NOT a grading system. It has nothing to do with the grading we have here in the US (A, B, C, D, F).
It is NOT about what you got wrong.
It's worth repeating: the CEFR is NOT about what you did wrong.
The CEFR is NOT about what you still don't understand.
The CEFR is NOT about what topics you haven't covered yet.
The CEFR is indeed a good many other, good things.
(And by good, I really mean good.)
The CEFR is about what you CAN do.
The CEFR is about what you have learned to be able to do SO FAR.
The CEFR helps me meet you where you are in your German learning process.
The CEFR is about clearly defined levels of communication and abilities.
Please do let that sink in.
Because the CEFR and my teaching are very much about helping you build your skills. I tell clients and students all the time that learning German using the CEFR standards is a solid way of building your skillset in German. It's a path to follow that allows a lot of flexibility, helps you maintain some structure, and if you want to make things official and take a test to prove which level of German you've achieved thus far, you can clearly communicate that to other people who understand the CEFR system.
If there is one quote that defines how I view learning, it is this:
This is why I use the CEFR standards and my clients and students learn with books and materials that adhere to these standards. Because it is about ability. It is about knowing what you have learned and how well you can do it, and if you can't employ a skill well yet, then we work on it until you **are able** to do so.
We're here for German, right? Hier ist Herr Einstein auf Deutsch:
I'm so excited that you're here, reading these posts, and learning about how creative and constructive it can be to learn German.
So, ladies and gents, be sure to sign up for the newsletter/blog posts below. It's time to dive into the CEFR standards series!
Danke für's Lesen!