Tutorial Transcript

Hello everyone and welcome back to my channel. Today's video's topic is complex, so I hope you will have the patience to listen to me until the end of the video, to have a general but clear idea of what the different levels of competence are in Italian. In this video we will take a look at the competences for each level of the CEFR. So we will read the descriptions for each level and we will try to understand what are the grammar competences that are required and associated with each level. In the description below you will find many useful links in case you want to know more about this topic. In Italy, as in all European countries, we refer to the CEFR, that is the Common European Framework for languages. This framework divides competence in six levels: A1 is breakthrough, A2 is waystage, B1 is threshold, B2 is vantage, C1 is effective operational efficiency, while C2 is mastery. I have with me the global scale for common reference levels. You will see this on the screen. Let's start right away with reading the description for level A1. The student can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help. So, level A1 is a very beginner level at which the student gets to know the foreign language, so the domain is primarily personal. What are the grammar topics we can associate to this level? First of all, phonology and spelling, that are two very important topics in my opinion, but they're often avoided in language courses. Phonology is important because an A1 level student has to get familiar with the sounds of Italian language. Then, spelling, it's necessary to get familiar with graphemes of Italian language. What else do we have? Frequently used nouns and adjectives, subject personal pronouns (io, tu, lei, lui, noi, voi, loro), possessive adjectives and pronouns (mio, tuo, ecc) and demonstrative ones (questo, quello), fixed expressions with object pronouns (lo so, non lo so, mi piace, non mi piace, a lui/lei, ecc.), present tense of frequently used verbs (chiamarsi, essere, avere, andare, mangiare, ecc) and of modal verbs (volere, potere, dovere), present conditional in fixed expression "vorrei" to politely ask for something, simple prepositions i fixed expressions (a casa, a scuola, in ufficio, con la penna, di mio fratello, ecc), simple and frequently used adverbs (sì, no, dopo, prima, adesso, qui, là, etc.). So these are some of the grammar topics listed in the Syllabus for level A1 of Italian language. So I haven't made this information up, I found it in this syllabus which was edited by University of Siena, University of Perugia, University of Roma Tre and Società Dante Alighieri. Let's look at level A2. 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 his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need. What are the grammar topics associated to this level of competence? Control over prosody and pronunciation, spelling, personal direct and indirect object pronouns, frequently used verbs (reflexive and modal), presente tense, passato prossimo, imperfetto, present conditional, direct speech, negative sentences, interrogative sentences Yes/No answers and to ask for information How? Where? Why? Who? When? etc. These topics are available in the syllabus for level A2. It goes without saying that s student at an A2 level also has the competence for level A1. As you work your way to the top, you are in control of everything you've studied in the past. The higher level always incorporates the lower levels. We have arrived at the intermediate stage, so let's read the description for B1. 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 whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans. This last sentence is important to understand the grammar topics of this leve. Mastery of imperfetto and passato prossimo, future simple, present conditional, presente and imperfetto subjunctive, use of gerund (in present progressive "stare gerund"), use of polite form ("dare del Lei"), uso of relative "che", simple and combined prepositions, introduction to indirect speech, introductions to basic linking words, uso of impersonal form (with "si"). So you can see a more natural use of language at this stage. Here it's states "standard input", because at a higher level you might encounter inputs that are not standard, but colloquial (even regional or dialect). Let's read the description for level B2. Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. 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. A B2 student can easily take the floor and naturally interact with native speakers, Usually at lower levels, students tend to speak only if someone asks them questions. So, the syllabus for B2 lists the following topics: mastery of accents and apostrophies, conjugation of regular and irregular verbs, presente tense, future simple, imperfetto, passato prossimo (indicativo), and then present and past conditional, present and imperfetto subjunctive, introduction to if clauses, passive use of passato remoto (to understand written texts), mastery of frequently used verbs and their prepositions (abituarsi a, accorgersi di, etc.), mastery of linking words, mastery of polite form, mastery of pronouns (object, ci, ne), use of indirect speech and passive form. So, as for levels C1 and C2 I haven't found the syllabus, so we will only read the reference descriptions. So, C1. Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. Can express him/herself 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 organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices. C2. Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in more complex situations. This is it. There are some recurring topics, for example, prepositions. Prepositions are a topic of study at all levels. Very basic at A1-A2 levels, more detailed as we go on. So at a B2 level it is possible to study prepositions again, but with a more detailed approach. Learning is like a spiral, isn't it? We go back to the same spot, but on a different level. How to know what's your level? Well, there are language certifications, CELI, CILS, CERT.it, PLIDA. These are the four recongnised and official certifications. You can find tests online, but they are more effort than they're worth. Those are not much reliable, as they only tests a few topics and do not test the speaking part. As I previously said, this video is a somewhat summary of a very complex topic. There is much more to say. But you will find useful links in the description below, if you're interested. Leave a comment letting me know what level you think you are at, based on the information I share in this video. You might have a clearer ideo of your level. With that being said, I'll stop right here. Thank you so much for watching this video, I hope you find it useful. I'll see you in my next one. Ciao!