This glossary explains frequently used terms relating to the language/integration nexus and guides you through the apparent complexities of the relevant concepts and terminology.

Gemeinsamer europäischer Referenzrahmen für Sprachen (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages)

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is a scheme for assessing learners’ foreign language skills in a comparable manner. The CEFR comprises six different levels of language proficiency, known as reference levels. They describe what a learner should be able to do in speaking, listening and writing at each of the levels.

This action-oriented approach distinguishes the CEFR from older models for describing language skills, which mostly listed grammatical knowledge and determined the extent of a person’s vocabulary. The descriptors of the CEFR levels, however, are not linked to specific grammatical or lexical skills or to individual languages. They comprise “can-do” statements in order to describe a learner’s practical language skills. Here is an example of a descriptor relating to “Overall Written Interaction” skills at A2 level: “Can write short, simple formulaic notes relating to matters in areas of immediate need.”

This means that the CEFR can be applied to all European languages and, in principle, to other languages of the world.

Using the six levels A1 to C2, language courses are classified according to the difficulty of their target and language examinations. This also applies to the German courses and examinations offered by the Goethe-Institut.

Basic German, which following spouses have to demonstrate, corresponds to level A1. The German Test for Immigrants , the final examination for the integration courses, provides evidence of German language skills at level B1 or A2.

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