There are a lot of ways of assessing verbal proficiency in a language. Unsurprisingly, most of the research and teaching material are for language teachers and researchers.

However, I was wondering whether anyone knows of good scales or competencies that learners like to use to measure their own proficiency. To help them monitor their own progress.

edit: Good link to Flimsy's 2015 post. That was very helpful. I still think that a fluency scale that is understandable and intuitive for the learner and not dependent on external agencies such as ILR, ACTFL and CEFR is still helpful. Especially important for work and sensitive topics.

A proficiency scale that allows learners to figure out and map their competency would be ideal.

Edit: to change fluency to proficiency

  • Sorry I did not find Flimsy's post. I looked at all the posts on fluency and somehow missed his one. Not sure whether my edit makes a useful distinction or not. I am happy to delete if you think the distinction is too minor. I just don't think there is anything out there but I thought I would ask anyway.
    – Poidah
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 10:04
  • Not sure if an independent scale exists. Then your question is not a duplicate, of course. Anyway, have you checked, for example, CEFR scale? It is all built around the concept of measurement, e.g. "if a learner is capable of X and Y, but not yet Z, let's call it A2 level". I think it is very close to what you need. Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 10:32
  • CEFR looks great. I guess the scale I am interested in is more based on understanding and feelings rather than observable actions. The CEFR is based on observations and requires analysing the learner's actions. Not really based on the learner observing and self-assessing. It is hard for a learner to know where they are on the fluency scale. The usual problem is that learners think they are fluent at C2 when they are actually A2 (on the CEFR scale). A scale that describes the complexity of the language used and outlines the level of detail required. Thanks for your thoughts bytebuster :)
    – Poidah
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 10:53
  • 1
    Please be aware that fluency refers to the automaticity or smoothness with which language tasks are performed, whereas proficiency refers to the level reached by the learner. You can have fluency at any level. Please clarify in your question whether you mean proficiency (e.g. as assessed according to CEFR) or fluency (assessed as part of many exams, not, AFAIK, in tests that stand on their own.)
    – Tsundoku
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 11:22


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