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milengua - online language lessons

Julia Fischer

Apartado Correo 206 

46780 Oliva (Valencia) 

España

info@milengua.com 

+ 34 608 11 66 49

We speak English, German and Spanish!

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Language Level Assessment and CEFR 

You might know the classification of language levels from A1 (Beginner) to C2 (Proficiency). 

It’s an international and universal guideline to assess and describe language learners’ achievements and which can be applied to all European Languages. Since its first version was published in 2003, the Common European Framework of References for Languages has become an important instrument in recognising and acknowledging language qualifications of language learners and to derive educational and subject-oriented measures.

It is used in Europe but also in other continents.

A

Basic

User

A1 - Breakthrough 

A2 - Waystage

B

Independent User

B1 - Threshold 

B2 - Vantage

C

Proficient User 

C1 - Effective Operational Proficiency

 C2 - Mastery

 The Common Reference Level 

As the CEFR is universal for all languages in Europe, it won’t say which grammar chapter or which specific vocabulary is required - CEFR uses more general terms to describe learners’ language use. The approach is an action-oriented one. That means learners of a language are seen as social agents who have to master language activities within a certain social context. 

 

The Council of Europe gives a general description of a learner’s language on a global scale: 

 

Common Reference Levels: global scale 

 

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 Proficient meaning even in more complex situations. 

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. 

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 Independent disadvantages of various options. 

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 and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

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 Basic need. 

A1

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.


 

Language learning is a highly individual process. 

 

milengua courses are adapted to the CEFR approach by focusing on the personal, communicative needs of learners and by using materials and methods that are appropriate for learners’ individual characteristics.

Your designated course tutor will find out quickly which learning style is the most beneficial for each student (visual, logical, verbal, aural…) and will apply it to his/her teaching style. Furthermore, the speed of progress is totally adapted to each student’s capacities. What’s more, themes and domains for communicative activities are always chosen with each student’s requirements in mind and can be adjusted anytime throughout your course just by informing your tutor. 
 

Moreover, we integrate plenty of strategies promoted by the Council of Europe.

These include:

  • face to face interaction with native speakers

  • overhearing conversations; listening to radio, recordings, etc.; 

  • watching and listening to TV, video, etc.;

  • reading unmodified, ungraded, authentic written texts (newspapers, magazines, stories, novels, public signs and notices, etc.);

  • a combination of presentations, explanations, (drill) exercises and exploitation activities, 

  • direct exposure to specially selected (e.g. graded) spoken utterances and written texts in the target language (‘intelligible input’);

  • progressively reducing the use of native language and including more tasks and authentic texts, spoken and written, and an increasing self-study component;

  • combining the above with group and individual planning, implementation and evaluation of classroom activity with teacher support, negotiating interaction to satisfy different learner needs, etc.  

For every level there are particular exams like those from Goethe Institute or telc for German, Cambridge, TOEFL, IELTS for English, DELE for Spanish, DELF for French, CELI for Italian,  and many more. Each exam explains its requirements in terms of which language activities and strategies the exam taker has to master. 

Exam certificates are internationally accepted and are often required to gain permanent residence, to become a naturalized citizen or to apply at universities abroad. 

 

Exams normally contain four parts and assess levels in each linguistic sub-skill, i.e.: 

  1. Reading

  2. Listening

  3. Writing

  4. Speaking

During your preparation course, your tutor will apply a combination of explanations and exercises to familiarise you with the specific exam requirements and the types of tasks in the exam.

All parts can be practised but courses normally focus on language production i.e. writing and speaking. Simulating the oral exam for several times will boost students’ confidence. 

Practice for the writing part includes: text structure, idiomatic expressions, grammar, spelling and increasing the range of vocabulary. 

For the reading and listening test,  tutors will show students comprehension strategies like identifying key words, increasing reading speed and managing auditory inputs. 

 

If you have any more questions or would like more information about the CEFR and milengua’s application of it, please contact us. 

 

If you want to get a better idea of how a preparation course works, just sign up for a free demo lesson and you’ll meet your personal tutor for a free trial of 30 minutes, where you can try our method without any obligations. 

 

Information about Swiss Naturalisation  

Formal requirements*

 

The requirements for becoming Swiss have changed for applications from 1.01.2018. For the “regular naturalization” process you must have lived in Switzerland for at least 10 years and you must have  a “C” residence permit  at the time of applying.  (Years spent in the country between ages 8 and 18 count double with a minimum number of 6 years of residence. )  

Furthermore, each canton has its own requirements in terms of how many years applicants need to have lived there. Your community of residence and/or the cantonal naturalization service, from where you can also get the application form,  will provide you with specific information about the official requirements. 

“Facilitated naturalization” is mainly for those citizens who have been married to a Swiss national for at least  3 years and have lived in Switzerland for 5 years. Couples who live abroad have to be married for at least 6 years and must have  “close ties to Switzerland”. (The municipal or cantonal department will decide if this condition is fulfilled). 

The application form for the facilitated process of naturalization is available at the State Secretariat for Migration FOM, Quellenweg 6, CH-3003 Bern-Wabern -

for applications from abroad: from the relevant Swiss representation.

* All specifications without guarantee: Information taken from Swiss Confederation's official website / Staatssekretariat für Migration (SEM); (09/2019).

Proving Swiss integration  

After the applicant has met the formal requirements she/he will be invited by the office in charge for an initial meeting. They'll inform the applicant about the further process, for example in which way she/he has to prove her/his economic, social and linguistic integration into Switzerland. 

 

Not only do applicants have to be economically independent, they also have to demonstrate they are integrated into Swiss life and society and that they are familiar with the following:

 

  • Swiss history 

  • Swiss political system

  • Swiss geography 

  • Swiss culture and customs 

  • Regional facts about your municipality/canton and your surrounding area 

 

In some cantons, applicants will need to sit a written test, but the most common test is the "Einbürgerungsgespräch", a face to face interview with a group representing the local government. Normally, the Federal Migration Office will follow their consensus on whether an applicant is sufficiently well integrated. 

milengua preparation courses 

 

milengua courses guarantee an excellent preparation for the Einbürgerungsgespräch. This course not only covers the topics that come up in the interview but also practices answering questions and giving explanations in German. Furthermore, we will give you helpful tips on how you can prove your successful integration into Swiss life and society. Additionally, we offer Swiss German classes in order to get your comprehension of the local dialect to a high level. 

 

In a first free trial lesson, your teacher will assess your language level and find out about your knowledge of the Swiss Confederation. She/he will make a suggestion about how many lessons you'll need to get well prepared - normally 10 or 20, depending on the student's individual prior knowledge and language competence. 


 

Proving language proficiency 

 

As for language requirements, they are very specific and more measurable.

In most cantons, applicants require A2 Level for written language and B1 Level for spoken language in accordance with the Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEFR). Evidence of language proficiency is given by obtaining a certificate through an officially accredited institute (for German e.g.: Goethe, TELC, TestDaf) or through the “fide language passport”  - a program provided by  the Swiss migration service. See here for a complete list.  

 

Normally, the (main) language of your canton is the one that’s required, however, if you are a native speaker of one of the four official languages (German, French, Italian or Rhaeto-Romanic), you don’t need to provide a language certificate. This is also not needed if you have visited a Swiss compulsory school for at least 5 years or you if you have completed a professional education. 

 

Nevertheless, when it comes to the naturalization interview you must be able to hold a 30- minute conversation about your Swiss integration and your motivation behind becoming a Swiss citizen, answer questions on politics, history, geography, culture, and regional topics. 

And as if that wasn’t challenging enough, these interviews are often held in regional dialects - so applicants must at least have a good comprehension of Swiss German while they can speak High German. 

 

milengua preparation courses for language exams 

​Milengua gets you prepared perfectly for officially recognised language certificates. We are experts in efficient exam training. In a free trial lesson, we’ll present you with the different formats and the different language tests (mainly: Goethe and telc). We help you become familiar with the exam in which the following linguistic sub-skills are tested:

 

  1. Reading

  2. Listening

  3. Writing

  4. Speaking 

 

Preparation courses usually focus on the “productive” language skills speaking and writing during the lessons while we provide you with a plan for how to develop the “receptive” skills of reading and listening. You will learn and train how to identify the keywords in a text to answer correctly and we will provide you with the techniques to accelerate your reading skills and to single out important information. 

For many students, the speaking part is quite tricky, so we’ll practise “exam simulations” of the different tasks until you feel confident and perfectly equipped for the oral exam. 

Regarding the written part, you will learn how to use good and suitable phrases, improve your grammar and spelling and - most importantly - how to structure your text and meet the requirements of the task. Any corrections of written work  will be made outside the lessons so that in class we can focus on your questions and practise structures that you find challenging. 

 

If you have any more questions or would like more information about the Swiss naturalization process  and milengua’s preparation courses, please get in contact with us! 

 

If you want to get a better idea of how a preparation course works, just sign up for a free demo lesson and you’ll meet your personal tutor for a free trial of 30 minutes, where you can try our method without any obligations.