Benchmarks

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Spoken language skills

In our diverse world there is a lot of linguistic wealth, different speakers and different levels of speakers. How do you use your language skills in communication? Do you want to reflect on your own language skills and identify these skills?  

Benchmarks of spoken language

From this page you can listen to examples of different levels of spoken language skills. These examples reflect the levels of the evolving language skills that assess the speaker's ability to interpret and produce text and the speaker's interaction. Communication is, among other things, daily language use, which is reflected for all of us, for example, in everyday life, hobbies and working life. Spoken language skills therefore include interaction in different situations and with different objectives, whether the situation is at the shop register or a job interview. For many of us, this is our primary way for self-expression.  

Benchmarks are examples of the level of language skills in speech. Benchmarks can be used, for example, to see how speakers at different levels use different communication strategies and use culturally appropriate forms of communication, such as greetings and phrases.  

Purpose of the benchmarks

The purpose of the language benchmarks collected on the page is to help language learners and teachers to understand and share an understanding of the assessment of oral language skills. The examples are accompanied by descriptions on the basis of which the speakers' skill level has been assessed, as well as a verbal justification.  

From here for different language benchmarks:

Note. All features of the site work best using Chrome as a browser. For example, Internet Explorer does not recognize the table, nor does it allow you to leave an estimate of the skill level.

Assessment scales of spoken language skills

In Finland, there are two official language skill assessment systems, which also test spoken language skills. These are the general language degrees and a language degree for the central government. Both scales are linked to the levels A1 to C2 of the Common European Reference Framework.

By clicking the titles of the table, you can get to know the different stages of assessment of oral language (speaking).  

Mediation in interaction In the ass

essment of oral language skills, the assessment takes into account the mediation, i.e. constructive interaction. Knowledge of language structures is of course important, but the aim is that the interaction works and the parties understand each other. This means, assessing the fluency of the discussion as well. This includes ways of promoting consensus. This can mean, for example, explaining an unknown word or using a synonym, and creating an open and space-giving conversation.  
More about concepts.

European referen
ce framework
Degree of evolving la
nguage skills (LOPS 2003 and 2015, 2019, på svenska)
General language degrees, på svenskaLanguage examination of
central governme
nt
A1 A1.1
A1.2
A1.3
1[taitotasoa ei 
arvoida valtionhallinnon kielitutkinnossa] 
A2A2.1
A2.2
2[taitotasoa ei 
arvoida valtionhallinnon kielitutkinnossa] 
B1B1.1
B1.2
3Satisfactory skill
B2B2.1
B2.2
4Good skill
C1C1.15Good skill
C2[näin korkeaa osaamisen
 tasoa ei lukiossa arvioida] 
6Excellent skill
Language skills assessment conversion table

Landmark performances from around the world linked to The European Framework of Reference For a Period A1 to C2 

Examples of speaking skills at different levels (European reference framework) and languages of the Council of Europe

Cambridge English and Youtube website provide examples of oral exam and evaluation


IELTS (The International English Language Testing System)

  • IELTS listening exam videos on landmark performance can be found here (AEhelp)

France Éducation International (CIEP): DVD "Spoken performances illustrating the 6 levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages"

See also

Concepts related to basics of general upper secondary languages

LOPS 2003 scales

Scale of evolving language skill levels