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National Occupational Standard – Languages

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CFALANG1.1 - Read basic text on limited, familiar work topics

Overview

You understand a small number of basic words and key phrases in a limited range of very familiar situations. You can identify personal information such as someone’s name, family circumstances and job role, and you can follow messages about basic practical arrangements.

Performance criteria

  • Understand short messages.
  • Identify basic personal details from letters or other documents.
  • Identify the likely purpose and subject of short texts by using the layout and your knowledge of a few key words.
  • Recognise common written signs or safety warnings.
  • Understand basic numerical information in menus, signs or other documents.
  • Understand requests for personal details in short forms or other documents.
  • Understand short, basic questions, invitations or requests.
  • Understand brief, basic instructions or directions.
  • Understand basic wishes, likes/preferences and dislikes.

Knowledge and understanding

BASIC Vocabulary

  • A small number of words/signs in everyday use.
  • The most important words/signs needed for your work.
  • Basic everyday connectors.
  • A small number of set phrases/signs expressing politeness.
  • Days of the week, months, time; yesterday, today and tomorrow.
  • Basic numerical terms.

Grammatical forms

  • Short expressions to convey a small number of verbs in the present.
  • Basic positives and negatives.
  • A few common instructions.
  • A small number of questions.
  • Facial expressions to convey basic emotions and ask questions (sign
    language only)
  • Basic compound signs (sign language only)
  • Key non-verbal polite conventions.
  • How to use reference sources to find out or check meaning or accuracy.

CFALANG1.2 – Read predictable text in familiar work situations

Overview

You can understand short, simple, predictable text on familiar subjects. You can get the rough gist of short articles or tourist or promotional material, use a simple travel timetable, and understand simple forms well enough to complete them with a few words and personal details.

Performance criteria

  • Understand simple messages.
  • Understand specific details and numerical information.
  • Identify the purpose and main theme of a text by using visual information and familiar vocabulary.
  • Understand common written signs, safety warnings and notices.
  • Understand simple questions, invitations and requests.
  • Follow simple instructions or directions.
  • Understand simple forms.
  • Identify simple feelings or opinions, wishes and preferences.

Knowledge and understanding

PREDICTABLE Vocabulary

  • Simple set phrases and common words/signs in everyday use.
  • Common words/signs used in your work.
  • Simple everyday connectors.
  • Common set phrases expressing politeness.
  • Days of the week, months, time; yesterday, today and tomorrow.
  • Simple numerical terms.

Grammatical forms

  • Some common verbs.
  • Simple ways to distinguish past, present and future events.
  • Simple ways to make positive and negative statements.
  • Facial expressions to convey emotions, descriptions, question forms and
    negation (sign languages only)
  • Some compound signs (sign languages only)
  • Common question structures.
  • Simple ways to give an opinion.
  • Simple ways to ask permission.
  • Simple ways to give orders or instructions.

Cultural conventions

  • Key non-verbal polite conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to use reference sources to find out or check meaning or accuracy.

CFALANG1.3 – Read routine text in familiar, everyday work situations

Overview

You can understand short texts written in familiar language. You grasp the gist of articles and other material on topics familiar to you, and you can understand routine letters and e-mails relating to your area of work. You can understand the broad outline of signs, notices or announcements (e.g. job vacancies, advertisements) and follow straightforward safety regulations.

Performance criteria

  • Recognise the difference between formal and informal correspondence.
  • Understand routine messages or e-mails.
  • Understand the purpose and overall theme of a text and its different sections.
  • Identify specific details and information using your knowledge of vocabulary and grammar (e.g. for time frames)
  • Understand routine charts or diagrams.
  • Understand routine enquiries or requests.
  • Understand routine instructions or advice.
  • Understand everyday written wishes and opinions.

Knowledge and understanding

ROUTINE Vocabulary

  • Everyday vocabulary.
  • Common words/signs and set phrases used in your work
  • A range of everyday connectors.
  • Polite ways to express forms of address; greeting, leave-taking, mealtime conventions.
  • Polite ways to express feelings, agreement and disagreement.
  • Routine numerical terms.

Grammatical forms

  • The most common ways to express past, present and future.
  • Positive and negative statements.
  • A range of common question structures/words/signs and common ways to ask questions.
  • Common ways to ask permission and give instructions.

Cultural conventions

  • Key everyday non-verbal polite conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to use and check reference sources to find out or confirm meaning or accuracy.

CFALANG1.4 – Read varied text on a range of work topics

Overview

You understand a range of texts of different types and styles, from a paragraph to a few pages in length. You can work out the meaning of some unfamiliar vocabulary, use reference sources efficiently when you need to, and conduct a straightforward Internet search. You understand technical specifications for products and services within your area of work. You can also deal with non routine e-mails and letters, news articles and promotional material.

Performance criteria

  • Evaluate the relevance of a range of texts from the Internet or from other sources.
  • Understand the overall meaning of texts containing ideas, opinions and information.
  • Understand relevant details from different types of text by using your knowledge of vocabulary and key grammatical features of the language.
  • Distinguish between facts and ideas or opinions.
  • Extract accurate numerical data from a text or visual source.
  • Understand different enquiries, requests and complaints, their level of formality and their priority.
  • Follow multi-step written instructions or advice.
  • Relay written information informally from this language into your own.

Knowledge and understanding

VARIED Vocabulary

  • A broad general vocabulary and key work-related terms.
  • A range of ways to link phrases to help clarity and fluency.
  • A range of different forms of address; greeting, leave-taking and other polite conventions to suit different occasions and degrees of formality.
  • Ways to express feeling.
  • Numerical terms and ways to talk about them.

Grammatical forms

  • How to express the present, past, future and conditional.
  • How ‘can, must, could, should and would’ are expressed, if applicable.
  • Negatives, question forms and a range of commonly used grammatical
  • How to use classifiers (sign languages only)
  • How to ask permission and give instructions with varying formality and politeness.
  • A range of complex sentence combinations, of which some may be learned as set phrases.

Cultural conventions

  • Most common spoken/signed and non-verbal polite conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to make effective use of relevant language reference sources.

CFALANG1.5 – Read extended text on a wide range of work topics

Overview

You can understand technical documents within your area of expertise containing some complex language, though you may need to go over some sections more than once. You can make effective use of the Internet to find relevant information, and you can compare and evaluate written material. You can also enjoy reading for pleasure.

Performance criteria

  • Understand the overall meaning of texts on a wide range of topics.
  • Skim texts quickly and easily to assess their usefulness.
  • Extract relevant information on a wide range of topics by using your knowledge of vocabulary and a full range of grammatical features.
  • Identify opinions and values and distinguish them from other information.
  • Understand detailed instructions or requirements and their urgency or priority.
  • Identify the register, style and purpose of text.
  • Read extended text, with some reference to a dictionary.
  • Draw inferences from a range of reading material which may include graphs, charts and tables.
  • Relay written information informally from this language into your own.

Knowledge and understanding

EXTENDED Vocabulary

  • A broad general vocabulary and the technical language related to your work.
  • A wide range of ways to link and connect phrases to help clarity and fluency.
  • A wide range of different forms of address; greeting, leave-taking and other polite conventions to suit different occasions and degrees of formality.
  • Ways to express feelings.
  • A wide range of numerical terms and ways to talk about them.

Grammatical forms

  • All commonly used positive and negative verb forms.
  • All tenses, aspects or ways to show time frames, if applicable.
  • All voices and moods, if applicable.
  • How to express: ‘will, would, can, should, may, might, ought, will have, could have, should have’
  • Most commonly used grammatical structures, including those which are complex.
  • Alternative terms and structures which modify style and register for different audiences and contexts.
  • Manner (sign languages only)

Cultural conventions

  • All common spoken/signed and non-verbal polite conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to make effective use of relevant language reference sources.

CFALANG1.6 – Read complex text on a wide range of work topics

Overview

You can understand and synthesise a wide range of materials, scan complex texts speedily to find relevant information and draw inferences from text containing implicit messages or opinions. You can deal with lengthy, complex or technical documents within your area of expertise, complicated correspondence, and literature – which you may read for enjoyment.

Performance criteria

  • Gather and summarise relevant information from a range of complex texts.
  • Skim complex text to grasp the overall meaning.
  • Scan complex text to find relevant information and extract specific details.
  • Identify opinions and values and distinguish them from other information.
  • Identify information about the urgency and priority of requirements.
  • Read extended text quickly, understanding unfamiliar words from their context.
  • Critically evaluate texts, identifying features of style, register, social references and the writer’s intention.
  • Relay written information informally from this language into your own.

Knowledge and understanding

COMPLEX Vocabulary

  • Vocabulary to deal with most matters within your area of work.
  • Current colloquialisms used in business and social contexts.
  • A wide range of less commonly-used technical terms relevant to your area of work.
  • Most ways to link ideas, make your argument easier to follow and help clarity, precision and fluency.
  • A wide range of different forms of address; leave-taking and other polite conventions to suit different occasions and degrees of formality.
  • Ways to express all feelings.
  • All numerical terms and ways to discuss numerical data.

Grammatical forms

  • All verb forms in normal use.
  • All grammatical structures, except the most complex or obscure.
  • Signing space to express complex and abstract ideas (sign languages only)
  • A wide range of alternative terms and structures which express standard, colloquial, formal and informal registers.

Cultural conventions

  • All spoken/signed and non-verbal cultural conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to make effective use of relevant language reference sources.

CFALANG1.7 – Read complex and specialist text on all relevant work topics

Overview

You understand complex text relating to a full range of professional activities, including specialist or technical language relevant to your area of work. You are familiar with a wide range of tools and search resources. You can read complex
and specialised journals, correspondence, discussion papers, policy documents and relevant trade journals. You also have the language skills to handle modern or classic literature and social networking sites.

Performance criteria

  • Read and understand information, ideas and theories from complex and specialist text.
  • Skim complex and specialist text to grasp the overall meaning.
  • Scan complex and specialist text to extract full details.
  • Identify the content, tone, significance and implied meanings of text.
  • Identify and evaluate shades of meaning in writers’ choice of words.
  • Identify social references and the level of formality of the text and their
    implications for an accurate reading of the text.
  • Process extended passages of text with ease.
  • Relay written information informally from this language into your own.

Knowledge and understanding

COMPLEX AND SPECIALIST Vocabulary

  • Vocabulary to deal with all matters within your area of expertise, and other matters as they become necessary in the course of your work.
  • A full range of devices to make your language clear, precise and fluent.
  • Current colloquialisms used in business and social contexts.
  • An extensive range of idioms and expressions to convey shades of meaning.
  • An extensive range of metaphor (sign language only).
  • All numerical terms and ways to discuss numerical data.

Grammatical forms

  • All grammatical forms and sentence structures unless rare or archaic.
  • How to choose the right vocabulary and structures to express standard, colloquial, formal and informal registers.

Cultural conventions

  • All spoken/signed and non-verbal cultural conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to make effective use of all relevant general and specialist language reference sources.

CFALANG2.1 – Speak/Sign using basic language in limited, familiar work situations

Overview

You can use a small number of common words/signs and key phrases to communicate basic messages in very familiar, face to face situations. You may be hesitant and make some grammatical errors, but you could, for example, meet and greet colleagues or clients, giving your job title and company name, ask for directions or prices and say what you want in shops or in a restaurant.

Performance criteria

  • Greet, introduce yourself and other people, and say goodbye.
  • Thank others and say sorry.
  • Use key spoken/signed and non-verbal polite conventions.
  • Ask and answer a few questions.
  • Make brief factual statements.
  • Express basic wishes, likes/preferences and dislikes.
  • Show whether or not you understand, and ask for repetition when you have not understood.
  • Pronounce/articulate clearly enough to be understood.

Knowledge and understanding

BASIC Vocabulary

  • A small number of words/signs in everyday use.
  • The most important words/signs needed for your work.
  • Basic everyday connectors.
  • A small number of set phrases/signs expressing politeness.
  • Days of the week, months, time; yesterday, today and tomorrow.
  • Basic numerical terms.

Grammatical forms

  • Short expressions to convey a small number of verbs in the present.
  • Basic positives and negatives.
  • A few common instructions.
  • A small number of questions.
  • facial expressions to convey basic emotions and ask questions (sign language only)
  • Basic compound signs (sign language only)

Cultural conventions

  • Key non-verbal polite conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to use reference sources to find out or check meaning or accuracy.

CFALANG2.2 – Speak/Sign using predictable language in familiar work situations

Overview

You can use a limited range of words/signs and simple sentences in predictable and familiar situations. You may be hesitant and make grammatical errors in less familiar situations, but you can get simple messages across. You could handle simple exchanges, for example at a hotel reception desk or in a restaurant, and provide standard work-related information, for example concerning products, services, orders or quantities.

Performance criteria

  • Meet, greet, thank, apologise and take leave of others.
  • Use key spoken/signed and non-verbal polite conventions.
  • Ask and answer simple questions.
  • Express simple factual information.
  • Make simple requests and invitations.
  • Express simple wishes, opinions/feelings, needs and preferences.
  • Show whether you have understood, asking for repetition or explanation when necessary.
  • Check that the other person has understood.
  • Pronounce/articulate clearly enough to be understood.
  • Speak/sign accurately when using simple, familiar words/signs and phrases.

Knowledge and understanding

PREDICTABLE Vocabulary

  • Simple set phrases and common words/signs in everyday use.
  • Common words/signs used in your work.
  • Simple everyday connectors.
  • Common set phrases expressing politeness.
  • Days of the week, months, time; yesterday, today and tomorrow.
  • Simple numerical terms.

Grammatical forms

  • Some common verbs.
  • Simple ways to distinguish past, present and future events.
  • Simple ways to make positive and negative statements.
  • Facial expressions to convey emotions, descriptions, question forms and negation (sign languages only)
  • Some compound signs (sign languages only)
  • Common question structures.
  • Simple ways to give an opinion.
  • Simple ways to ask permission.
  • Simple ways to give orders or instructions.

Cultural conventions

  • Key non-verbal polite conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to use reference sources to find out or check meaning or accuracy.

CFALANG2.3 – Speak/Sign using routine language in familiar, everyday work situations

Overview

You can make yourself understood in routine situations, using set phrases and adapting simple structures with the right vocabulary. You may lack fluency and grammatical accuracy, but you can start up a conversation, and keep it going if the topic is familiar and the other person is willing to take the lead. You can make initial social contact and discuss familiar subjects, or provide routine information about your area of work. You could also, if appropriate, make routine phone/video calls; for example to make an appointment or to leave a short message.

Performance criteria

  • Meet, greet, thank, apologise and take leave of others.
  • Use everyday spoken/signed and non-verbal polite conventions.
  • Start conversations in social situations.
  • Ask everyday questions, make requests and give invitations.
  • Respond appropriately during routine conversations.
  • Provide brief routine descriptions, information or explanations.
  • Provide routine information about past, present and future events.
  • Make brief suggestions or give advice or instructions.
  • Express everyday wishes, feelings, needs, preferences and opinions.
  • Show whether you are following a conversation, and check you are being understood.
  • Ask for repetition or explanation and time to think when needed.
  • Use the right intonation and pronunciation/articulation.
  • Speak/sign accurately when using familiar words/signs and language structures.

Knowledge and understanding

ROUTINE Vocabulary

  • Everyday vocabulary.
  • Common words/signs and set phrases used in your work.
  • A range of everyday connectors.
  • Polite ways to express forms of address; greeting, leave-taking, mealtime conventions.
  • Polite ways to express feelings, agreement and disagreement.
  • Routine numerical terms.

Grammatical forms

  • The most common ways to express past, present and future.
  • Positive and negative statements.
  • A range of common question structures/words/signs and common ways
    to ask questions.
  • Common ways to ask permission and give instructions.

Cultural conventions

  • Key everyday non-verbal polite conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to use and check reference sources to find out or confirm meaning
    or accuracy.

CFALANG2.4 – Speak/Sign using varied language in a range of work situations

Overview

You can contribute in a range of social and work-related situations, and you have a good vocabulary which you can adapt to get straightforward messages across, usually finding alternative ways to explain when needed. You can keep the conversation going fairly smoothly within familiar areas, but you may have difficulty expressing complex or abstract ideas. You can make new contacts, manage uncomplicated negotiations and handle straightforward telephone/video calls.

Performance criteria

  • Initiate and maintain social contact.
  • Adapt your choice and style of language for formal and informal situations, using suitable spoken/signed and non-verbal cultural conventions.
  • Respond appropriately to questions and comments.
  • Contribute to discussions on familiar subjects.
  • Provide detailed information or explanations about past, present and future events.
  • Make suggestions and give instructions or advice.
  • Make requests or enquiries.
  • Express feelings, opinions and beliefs.
  • Find alternative ways to explain when needed.
  • Show whether you are following a conversation, and check you are being understood.
  • Ask for repetition or explanation, and time to think when needed.
  • Maintain accuracy and fluency in familiar situations.
  • Use accurate pronunciation and intonation/articulation and stress.
  • If appropriate: relay information informally from your language into this
    language.

Knowledge and understanding

VARIED Vocabulary

  • A broad general vocabulary and key work-related terms.
  • A range of ways to link phrases to help clarity and fluency.
  • A range of different forms of address; greeting, leave-taking and other polite conventions to suit different occasions and degrees of formality.
  • Ways to express feeling.
  • Numerical terms and ways to talk about them.

Grammatical forms

  • How to express the present, past, future and conditional.
  • How ‘can, must, could, should and would’ are expressed, if applicable.
  • Negatives, question forms and a range of commonly used grammatical structures.
  • How to use classifiers (sign languages only)
  • How to ask permission and give instructions with varying formality and politeness.
  • A range of complex sentence combinations, of which some may be learned as set phrases.

Cultural conventions

  • Most common spoken/signed and non-verbal polite conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to make effective use of relevant language reference sources.

CFALANG2.5 – Speak/Sign using extended language in a wide range of work situations

Overview

You can handle most aspects of your day-to-day work, including the unpredictable. You can communicate confidently over extended periods, though not always concisely or with complete accuracy. You can use your language skills for networking and can take part in discussions and meetings,negotiating and contributing formally if required. You can also make non-routine phone/video calls.

Performance criteria

  • Strike up and sustain conversation in social situations.
  • Use the right spoken/signed and non-verbal cultural conventions.
  • Contribute spontaneously to meetings or discussions.
  • Respond appropriately to questions, comments and arguments, developing them further.
  • Make prepared presentations, providing facts, ideas or opinions and supporting arguments.
  • Make proposals and give instructions and advice.
  • Make requests and enquiries.
  • Express a wide range of beliefs, feelings and opinions.
  • Adapt your register and use technical language as appropriate to the subject matter and context, finding alternative ways to express unfamiliar terms.
  • Maintain fluency in extended contributions, and fluency and accuracy in shorter contributions.
  • Use a range of strategies to keep conversation going smoothly.
  • Use accurate intonation, pronunciation/articulation and stress, so that your message can be easily understood.
  • If appropriate: relay information informally from your language into this language.

Knowledge and understanding

EXTENDED Vocabulary

  • A broad general vocabulary and the technical language related to your work.
  • A wide range of ways to link and connect phrases to help clarity and fluency.
  • A wide range of different forms of address; greeting, leave-taking and other polite conventions to suit different occasions and degrees of formality.
  • Ways to express feelings.
  • A wide range of numerical terms and ways to talk about them.

Grammatical forms

  • All commonly used positive and negative verb forms.
  • All tenses, aspects or ways to show time frames, if applicable.
  • All voices and moods, if applicable.
  • How to express: ‘will, would, can, should, may, might, ought, will have, could have, should have’
  • Most commonly used grammatical structures, including those which are complex.
  • Alternative terms and structures which modify style and register for different audiences and contexts.
  • Manner (sign languages only)

Cultural conventions

  • All common spoken/signed and non-verbal polite conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to make effective use of relevant language reference sources.

CFALANG2.6 – Speak/Sign using complex language in a wide range of work situations

Overview

You can communicate fluently over extended periods with only occasional inaccuracy – which you can usually correct. You can discuss all topics within your field, even when abstract or complex, and keep the conversation going smoothly. You can use your language skills to develop relationships with individuals and groups, and also, if required, negotiate in formal meetings to reach decisions or solve problems. You can use the telephone/videophone confidently and effectively.

Performance criteria

  • Take an active role in social situations, setting people at ease and including newcomers.
  • Use the right spoken/signed and non-verbal cultural conventions.
  • Contribute spontaneously to meetings and discussions, leading if
    appropriate.
  • Develop or challenge other people’s comments and arguments.
  • Make complex presentations using factual information to support theories and ideas.
  • Make complex proposals or suggestions and give instructions and advice.
  • Make complex requests and enquiries.
  • Express complex beliefs, feelings and opinions.
  • Use register, technical language and idiom as appropriate to the subject matter, context and your relationship with others.
  • Find alternative ways to express unfamiliar terms.
  • Maintain fluency in extended contributions, and accuracy when operating within your area of expertise.
  • Use accurate intonation, pronunciation/articulation and stress which put no strain on other people’s understanding.
  • If appropriate, relay information informally across languages.

Knowledge and understanding

COMPLEX Vocabulary

  • Vocabulary to deal with most matters within your area of work.
  • Current colloquialisms used in business and social contexts.
  • A wide range of less commonly-used technical terms relevant to your area of work.
  • Most ways to link ideas, make your argument easier to follow and help clarity, precision and fluency.
  • A wide range of different forms of address; leave-taking and other polite conventions to suit different occasions and degrees of formality.
  • Ways to express all feelings.
  • All numerical terms and ways to discuss numerical data.

Grammatical forms

  • All verb forms in normal use.
  • All grammatical structures, except the most complex or obscure.
  • Signing space to express complex and abstract ideas (sign languages only)
  • A wide range of alternative terms and structures which express standard, colloquial, formal and informal registers.

Cultural conventions

  • All spoken/signed and non-verbal cultural conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to make effective use of relevant language reference sources.

CFALANG2.7 – Speak/Sign using complex and specialist language in all relevant work situations

Overview

You can handle all complex language tasks in your professional environment, face to face or by video/telephone, including the unfamiliar, the unexpected, the abstract and those involving technical and specialist language. You communicate comfortably and spontaneously, with fluency and accuracy, adapting your style of language to suit the context. You are equally at home handling complex negotiations or in an informal context developing relationships with key clients.

Performance criteria

  • Use language sensitively and subtly to get to know people and maintain relationships.
  • Use the right spoken/signed and non-verbal cultural conventions.
  • Make unscripted presentations matched to the needs of the audience and the subject matter.
  • Present and exchange specialist information, advice, arguments or theories.
  • Express complex points succinctly.
  • Adapt your style of language to suit the subject matter, the context and your relationship with others.
  • Contribute fully to complex group discussions, debate pros and cons and negotiate an outcome.
  • Converse comfortably and spontaneously, with fluency and accuracy, for prolonged periods.
  • Use pronunciation and intonation/articulation which puts no strain on others’ understanding and enhances your meaning.
  • (if appropriate), relay information across languages

Knowledge and understanding

COMPLEX AND SPECIALIST Vocabulary

  • Vocabulary to deal with all matters within your area of expertise, and other matters as they become necessary in the course of your work.
  • A full range of devices to make your language clear, precise and fluent.
  • Current colloquialisms used in business and social contexts.
  • An extensive range of idioms and expressions to convey shades of meaning.
  • An extensive range of metaphor (sign language only)
  • All numerical terms and ways to discuss numerical data.

Grammatical forms

  • All grammatical forms and sentence structures unless rare or archaic.
  • How to choose the right vocabulary and structures to express standard, colloquial, formal and informal registers.

Cultural conventions

  • All spoken/signed and non-verbal cultural conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to make effective use of all relevant general and specialist language reference sources.

CFALANG3.1 – Write basic text on limited, familiar work situations

Overview

You can write short, basic phrases on a small number of familiar topics well enough to be understood, though there may be grammatical errors. You could state the time and place of a meeting, your wishes for accommodation or your personal likes and dislikes. Important communications will need to be checked, and you may need a template to adapt for all but the shortest messages.

Performance criteria

  • Write short notes and e-mails or other messages.
  • Start and end short formal and informal messages politely.
  • Write a short e-mail or letter to introduce yourself.
  • Say thank you and sorry when appropriate.
  • Give basic information.
  • Ask and answer basic questions.
  • Make basic requests.
  • Say what you want, like or prefer and dislike.

Knowledge and understanding

BASIC Vocabulary

  • A small number of words/signs in everyday use.
  • The most important words/signs needed for your work.
  • Basic everyday connectors.
  • A small number of set phrases/signs expressing politeness.
  • Days of the week, months, time, yesterday, today and tomorrow.
  • Basic numerical terms.

Grammatical forms

  • Short expressions to convey a small number of verbs in the present.
  • Basic positives and negatives.
  • A few common instructions.
  • A small number of questions.
  • Facial expressions to convey basic emotions and ask questions (sign language only)
  • Basic compound signs (sign language only)

Cultural conventions

  • Key non-verbal polite conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to use reference sources to find out or check meaning or accuracy.

CFALANG3.2 – Write predictable text on familiar work situations

Overview

You can write simple text to carry out familiar tasks using words and set phrases with a small number of sentences, some of which may be memorised. You write accurately when providing personal details, writing lists or completing simple forms or questionnaires. However, you will need to use a template and get text checked when accuracy is important, for example when writing short, formal messages.

Performance criteria

  • Write brief formal and informal short letters, e-mails and messages, starting and ending them politely.
  • Convey thanks and apologies.
  • Ask for and provide simple information.
  • Make simple requests.
  • Give simple instructions or directions.
  • Write simple wishes, feelings/opinions, needs and preferences.
  • Write accurately when using simple, familiar words and phrases.

Knowledge and understanding

PREDICTABLE Vocabulary

  • Simple set phrases and common words/signs in everyday use.
  • Common words/signs used in your work.
  • Simple everyday connectors.
  • Common set phrases expressing politeness.
  • Days of the week, months, time; yesterday, today and tomorrow.
  • Simple numerical terms.

Grammatical forms

  • Some common verbs.
  • Simple ways to distinguish past, present and future events.
  • Simple ways to make positive and negative statements.
  • Facial expressions to convey emotions, descriptions, question forms and negation (sign languages only)
  • Some compound signs (sign languages only)
  • Common question structures.
  • Simple ways to give an opinion.
  • Simple ways to ask permission.
  • Simple ways to give orders or instructions.

Cultural conventions

  • Key non-verbal polite conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to use reference sources to find out or check meaning or accuracy.

CFALANG3.3 – Write routine text in familiar, everyday work situations

Overview

You can produce short texts, combining set phrases and familiar language. You may make some grammar and spelling errors when writing outside your range, and you will need the support of templates and reference material for formal text. You can create standard formal letters (e.g. to enquire about availability or make orders), write a brief CV and write informal e-mails.

Performance criteria

  • Write routine formal and informal messages, using the right form of address and starting and ending correctly.
  • Provide brief, routine descriptions or explanations.
  • Provide information about past, present or future events.
  • Make routine written enquiries, requests and invitations.
  • Write routine instructions or advice.
  • Express everyday opinions, feelings, wishes, needs and preferences.
  • Write accurately when using familiar words and language structures.

Knowledge and understanding

ROUTINE Vocabulary

  • Everyday vocabulary.
  • Common words/signs and set phrases used in your work.
  • A range of everyday connectors.
  • Polite ways to express forms of address, greeting, leave-taking; mealtime conventions.
  • Polite ways to express feelings, agreement and disagreement.
  • Routine numerical terms.

Grammatical forms

  • The most common ways to express past, present and future.
  • Positive and negative statements.
  • A range of common question structures/words/signs and common ways to ask questions.
  • Common ways to ask permission and give instructions.

Cultural conventions

  • Key everyday non-verbal polite conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to use and check reference sources to find out or confirm meaning or accuracy.

CFALANG3.4 – Write varied text on a range of work topics

Overview

You can write text (1-3 pages) for work and social purposes on a range of topics, adapting your style for formal and informal situations. You may make some grammatical errors when writing on unfamiliar subjects, but your text is generally clear for the reader. You can produce a range of business correspondence, maintain relationships informally through e-mail correspondence, write short reports, descriptions or accounts and produce operating instructions for familiar pieces of equipment.

Performance criteria

  • Write formal and informal messages, e-mails and letters.
  • Adapt the formality of your language to suit the context and your relationship with the reader.
  • Provide detailed information, descriptions or explanations.
  • Write about past, present, future and possible events.
  • Give detailed instructions or advice.
  • Make enquiries, requests or invitations.
  • Express beliefs, opinions, feelings, wishes, needs and preferences.
  • Maintain fluency and accuracy when writing on familiar topics.
  • Informally relay information into this language from your own.

Knowledge and understanding

VARIED Vocabulary

  • A broad general vocabulary and key work-related terms.
  • A range of ways to link phrases to help clarity and fluency.
  • A range of different forms of address, greeting, leave-taking and other polite conventions to suit different occasions and degrees of formality.
  • Ways to express feeling.
  • Numerical terms and ways to talk about them.

Grammatical forms

  • How to express the present, past, future and conditional.
  • How ‘can, must, could, should and would’ are expressed, if applicable.
  • Negatives, question forms and a range of commonly used grammatical structures.
  • How to use classifiers (sign languages only)
  • how to ask permission and give instructions with varying formality and politeness.
  • A range of complex sentence combinations, of which some may be learned as set phrases.

Cultural conventions

  • Most common spoken/signed and non-verbal polite conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to make effective use of relevant language reference sources.

CFALANG3.5 – Write extended text on a wide range of work topics

Overview

You can write at length and present arguments on a wide range of topics. You write appropriately for different audiences, and are mainly accurate, though your style may be a little awkward at times. You could maintain a business relationship through e-mail, provide detailed product or service information and write reports or work plans within your own area of expertise.

Performance criteria

  • Produce a wide range of work-related and social correspondence.
  • Present factual information, express ideas and opinions and set out supporting arguments on a range of topics.
  • Make proposals and draw up plans.
  • Give instructions or advice.
  • Adapt your style and use technical language as appropriate to the subject matter and the context.
  • Produce accurate, extended passages of text.
  • Make basic requests.
  • Informally relay information into this language from your own.

Knowledge and understanding

EXTENDED Vocabulary

  • A broad general vocabulary and the technical language related to your work.
  • A wide range of ways to link and connect phrases to help clarity and fluency.
  • A wide range of different forms of address, greeting, leave-taking and other polite conventions to suit different occasions and degrees of formality.
  • Ways to express feelings.
  • A wide range of numerical terms and ways to talk about them.

Grammatical forms

  • All commonly used positive and negative verb forms.
  • All tenses, aspects or ways to show time frames, if applicable.
  • All voices and moods, if applicable.
  • How to express: ‘will, would, can, should, may, might, ought; will have, could have, should have’.
  • Most commonly used grammatical structures, including those which are complex.
  • Alternative terms and structures which modify style and register for different audiences and contexts.
  • Manner (sign languages only)

Cultural conventions

  • All common spoken/signed and non-verbal polite conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to make effective use of relevant language reference sources.

CFALANG3.6 – Write complex text on a wide range of work topics

Overview

You can write fluently, clearly, accurately and convincingly in a range of styles, for different audiences, on complex topics. This may include complex reports and proposals within your own area of expertise, product or service information, complex advice or instructions within your area of work, and the exchange of complex business and social correspondence.

Performance criteria

  • Write for all aspects of your work within your area of expertise.
  • Present complex information, express complex ideas and opinions and write persuasively on a range of topics.
  • Draw up detailed proposals and plans, setting out benefits and disadvantages.
  • Provide complex information and advice.
  • Give basic information.
  • Write idiomatically and adapt your style to suit the subject matter, context and your relationship with your reader.
  • Select vocabulary and structures to express meaning clearly and succinctly.
  • Write text of any length accurately, logically and fluently.
  • Informally relay information into this language from your own.

Knowledge and understanding

COMPLEX Vocabulary

  • Vocabulary to deal with most matters within your area of work.
  • Current colloquialisms used in business and social contexts.
  • A wide range of less commonly-used technical terms relevant to your area of work.
  • Most ways to link ideas, make your argument easier to follow and help clarity, precision and fluency.
  • A wide range of different forms of address, leave taking and other polite conventions to suit different occasions and degrees of formality.
  • Ways to express all feelings.
  • All numerical terms and ways to discuss numerical data.

Grammatical forms

  • All verb forms in normal use.
  • All grammatical structures, except the most complex or obscure.
  • Signing space to express complex and abstract ideas (sign languages only).
  • A wide range of alternative terms and structures which express standard, colloquial, formal and informal registers.

Cultural conventions

  • All spoken/signed and non-verbal cultural conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to make effective use of relevant language reference sources.

CFALANG3.7 – Write complex and specialist text on all relevant work topics

Overview

You can write complex text to deal with a full range of professional activities. You have a comprehensive grasp of the language and can produce complex and specialised documents, reports, proposals and correspondence. You write fluently and present arguments persuasively on a full range of topics and in different styles as needed.

Performance criteria

  • Write for all aspects of your work.
  • Provide complex and specialist information.
  • Debate complex arguments, theories and ideas.
  • Draw up or discuss specialist proposals and plans.
  • Provide specialist instructions or advice.
  • Produce extended passages of text which are logically constructed, coherent, completely accurate and of a standard suitable for publication.
  • Select and adapt your style of language to suit the topic and the intended reader, and to make the impact you want.
  • Convey information informally across languages.

Knowledge and understanding

COMPLEX AND SPECIALIST Vocabulary

  • Vocabulary to deal with all matters within your area of expertise, and other matters as they become necessary in the course of your work.
  • A full range of devices to make your language clear, precise and fluent.
  • Current colloquialisms used in business and social contexts.
  • An extensive range of idioms and expressions to convey shades of meaning.
  • An extensive range of metaphor (sign language only)
  • All numerical terms and ways to discuss numerical data.

Grammatical forms

  • All grammatical forms and sentence structures unless rare or archaic.
  • how to choose the right vocabulary and structures to express standard, colloquial, formal and informal registers.

Cultural conventions

  • All spoken/signed and non-verbal cultural conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to make effective use of all relevant general and specialist language reference sources.

CFALANG4.1 – Understand basic spoken or signed language in limited familiar work situations

Overview

You understand a small number of basic words/signs and key phrases in a few familiar, face to face situations, provided the other person speaks/signs them carefully and clearly, and is willing to repeat or rephrase when needed. Your vocabulary relates mainly to personal details such as name, family, job role, and specific work situations. You can meet and greet people, understand some key expressions and follow very simple directions (one at a time).

Performance criteria

  • Understand basic introductions, greetings, leave-taking, thanks and apologies.
  • Understand key spoken/signed and non-verbal polite conventions.
  • Understand a few basic questions.
  • Understand details from basic personal, social and work-related information.
  • Understand the main theme of brief, basic statements/descriptions and conversations.
  • Follow short, basic requests, instructions or directions.
  • Make basic requests.
  • Understand when people say what they do and do not want, like or prefer.

Knowledge and understanding

BASIC Vocabulary

  • A small number of words/signs in everyday use.
  • The most important words/signs needed for your work.
  • Basic everyday connectors.
  • A small number of set phrases/signs expressing politeness.
  • Days of the week, months, time, yesterday, today and tomorrow.
  • Basic numerical terms.

Grammatical forms

  • Short expressions to convey a small number of verbs in the present.
  • Basic positives and negatives.
  • A few common instructions.
  • A small number of questions.
  • Facial expressions to convey basic emotions and ask questions (sign language only)
  • Basic compound signs (sign language only)

Cultural conventions

  • Key non-verbal polite conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to use reference sources to find out or check meaning or accuracy.

CFALANG4.2 – Understand predictable spoken or signed language 155 in familiar work situations

Overview

You understand a small range of words/signs and simple sentences in familiar and predictable face-to-face situations, provided they are spoken/signed clearly, with opportunities for you to check back. You can follow short and predictable conversations, manage simple work-related and social situations, e.g. at a hotel reception desk or shopping, and follow simple instructions.

Performance criteria

  • Understand simple introductions, greetings, leave taking, thanks and apologies.
  • Understand key spoken/signed and non-verbal polite conventions.
  • Understand simple and predictable questions.
  • Understand key facts from simple statements, descriptions or conversations.
  • Understand the main theme of simple conversations.
  • Follow a short sequence of simple instructions or directions.
  • Understand simple requests or invitations.
  • Understand simple opinions.
  • Understand simple wishes or needs, likes or preferences and dislikes.

Knowledge and understanding

PREDICTABLE Vocabulary

  • Simple set phrases and common words/signs in everyday use.
  • Common words/signs used in your work.
  • Simple everyday connectors.
  • Common set phrases expressing politeness.
  • Days of the week, months, time, yesterday, today and tomorrow.
  • Basic numerical terms.

Grammatical forms

  • Some common verbs.
  • Simple ways to distinguish past, present and future events.
  • Simple ways to make positive and negative statements.
  • Facial expressions to convey basic emotions and ask questions (sign language only)
  • Some compound signs (sign language only)
  • Common question structures.
  • Simple ways to give an opinion.
  • Simple ways to ask permission.
  • Simple ways to give orders or instructions.

Cultural conventions

  • Key non-verbal polite conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to use reference sources to find out or check meaning or accuracy.

CFALANG4.3 – Understand routine spoken or signed language in 162 familiar everyday work situations

Overview

You can understand common everyday language spoken/signed clearly in familiar situations, preferably with opportunities for you to check back. You can follow conversations on familiar subjects, handle routine exchanges of information about your area of work, understand routine step-by-step instructions and take simple phone/video calls.

Performance criteria

  • Understand routine introductions, greetings, leave taking, thanks and apologies.
  • Understand everyday spoken/signed and non-verbal polite conventions.
  • Understand routine questions about everyday matters.
  • Understand details from everyday descriptions or accounts.
  • Identify the overall theme of routine conversations, descriptions or accounts.
  • Correctly identify whether events mentioned are in the past, present or future.
  • Follow routine requests, instructions or advice, understanding their priority and urgency.
  • Understand opinions, feelings, needs and preferences.
  • Understand key variations in pronunciation/regional forms.

Knowledge and understanding

ROUTINE Vocabulary

  • Everyday vocabulary.
  • Common words/signs and set phrases used in your work.
  • A range of everyday connectors.
  • Polite ways to express forms of address; greeting, leave-taking, mealtime conventions.
  • Polite ways to express feelings, agreement and disagreement.
  • Routine numerical terms.

Grammatical forms

  • The most common ways to express past, present and future.
  • Positive and negative statements.
  • A range of common question structures/words/signs and common ways
    to ask questions.
  • Common ways to ask permission and give instructions.

Cultural conventions

  • Key everyday non-verbal polite conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to use reference sources to find out or check meaning or accuracy.

CFALANG4.4 – Understand varied spoken or signed language in a range of familiar work situations

Overview

You can follow conversations and discussions delivered at normal speed on a range of topics in different social and work situations. You can take part in straightforward social interaction as well as following uncomplicated negotiations, discussions and instructions within your area of work. You understand straightforward news items, interviews and documentaries. If appropriate, you can deal with straightforward telephone or video calls.

Performance criteria

  • Understand a range of introductions, greetings, thanks, apologies and leave taking.
  • Understand a range of spoken/signed and non-verbal cultural conventions.
  • Distinguish between formal and informal language.
  • Understand enquiries or requests.
  • Identify some relevant details and the general meaning of talks, discussions and conversations.
  • Accurately identify whether events mentioned are in the past, present, future, or could happen in certain circumstances.
  • Understand opinions and distinguish them from fact.
  • Follow instructions and advice, understanding their priority and urgency.
  • Understand different ways to express feelings, needs, preferences and humour.
  • Recognise most common variations in pronunciation/regional forms.
  • If appropriate, relay information informally from this language into your own.

Knowledge and understanding

VARIED Vocabulary

  • A broad general vocabulary and key work-related terms.
  • A range of ways to link phrases to help clarity and fluency.
  • A range of different forms of address; greeting, leave-taking and other polite conventions to suit different occasions and degrees of formality.
  • Ways to express feeling.
  • Numerical terms and ways to talk about them.

Grammatical forms

  • How to express the present, past, future and conditional.
  • How ‘can, must, could, should and would’ are expressed, if applicable.
  • Negatives, question forms and a range of commonly used grammatical structures.
  • How to use classifiers (sign languages only).
  • How to ask permission and give instructions with varying formality and politeness.
  • A range of complex sentence combinations, of which some may be learned as set phrases.

Cultural conventions

  • Most common spoken/signed and non-verbal polite conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to make effective use of relevant language reference sources.

CFALANG4.5 – Understand extended spoken or signed language in a wide range of familiar or work situations

Overview

You can handle most aspects of your work independently, and you know the relevant technical vocabulary. You are familiar with most common accents or regional forms, and you can distinguish the style and formality of the language. You can understand detailed information from a range of sources but may miss details when you are not being communicated with directly. You can follow discussions, films, live or televised debates, negotiations, complaints and problems within your area of work. You can deal with non-routine phone/video calls.

Performance criteria

  • Handle straightforward social interactions, understanding most spoken/signed and non-verbal cultural conventions.
  • Identify the style and the formality of language used.
  • Understand enquiries, questions, comments and responses.
  • Extract most relevant details and the general meaning of presentations, reports and discussions on a wide range of topics.
  • Follow arguments and lines of reasoning.
  • Identify opinions and values and distinguish them from other information.
  • Understand detailed instructions, advice and requests and their urgency and priority.
  • Understand a wide range of ways to express feelings, needs, preferences and humour.
  • Understand all common variations in pronunciation/regional forms.
  • If appropriate, relay information informally from this language into your own.

Knowledge and understanding

EXTENDED Vocabulary

  • A broad general vocabulary and the technical language related to your work.
  • A wide range of ways to link and connect phrases to help clarity and fluency.
  • A wide range of different forms of address; greeting, leave-taking and other polite conventions to suit different occasions and degrees of formality.
  • Ways to express feelings.
  • A wide range of numerical terms and ways to talk about them.

Grammatical forms

  • All commonly used positive and negative verb forms.
  • All tenses, aspects or ways to show time frames, if applicable.
  • All voices and moods, if applicable.
  • How to express: ‘will, would, can, should, may, might, ought, will have, could have, should have’
  • Most commonly used grammatical structures, including those which are complex
  • Alternative terms and structures which modify style and register for different audiences and contexts.
  • Manner (sign languages only)

Cultural conventions

  • All common spoken/signed and non-verbal polite conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to make effective use of relevant language reference sources.

CFALANG4.6 – Understand complex spoken or signed language in a wide range of work

Overview

You can extract complex information from a wide range of sources, even when the language is delivered at speed. You are comfortable with a range of regional variations, formal and informal language, relevant technical vocabulary and colloquialisms. You can take part in negotiations and deal with complaints, problems or disputes. You can also make phone/video calls effectively.

Performance criteria

  • Handle complex social interactions, understanding all spoken/signed and non-verbal cultural conventions.
  • Understand complex information.
  • Extract all relevant details and the general meaning of presentations, reports and discussions.
  • Understand complex enquiries, questions, comments and responses.
  • Follow complex arguments and lines of reasoning.
  • Understand complex instructions, advice and requests and their priority.
  • Understand humour, sarcasm and ambiguity.
  • Identify opinions and values and distinguish them from other information.
  • Identify complex feelings, needs and preferences.
  • Different regional variations and most colloquialisms, and identify the style and register of language used.
  • If appropriate, informally relay information from this language into your own.

Knowledge and understanding

COMPLEX Vocabulary

  • Vocabulary to deal with most matters within your area of work.
  • Current colloquialisms used in business and social contexts.
  • A wide range of less commonly-used technical terms relevant to your area of work.
  • Most ways to link ideas, make your argument easier to follow and help clarity, precision and fluency.
  • A wide range of different forms of address; leave-taking and other polite conventions to suit different occasions and degrees of formality.
  • Ways to express all feelings.
  • All numerical terms and ways to discuss numerical data.

Grammatical forms

  • All verb forms in normal use.
  • All grammatical structures, except the most complex or obscure.
  • Signing space to express complex and abstract ideas (sign languages only).
  • A wide range of alternative terms and structures which express standard, colloquial, formal and informal registers.

Cultural conventions

  • All spoken/signed and non-verbal cultural conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to make effective use of relevant language reference sources.

CFALANG4.7 – Understand complex and specialist language in all familiar or relevant or work situations

Overview

You have the language skills needed to handle all tasks in your professional environment, including those involving technical or specialist language. You can understand all kinds of spoken/signed language in all circumstances, picking up undercurrents and attitudes. You understand complex and specialised presentations, talks and group discussions. You can follow all discussions and debates related to high-level strategy or policy. You have the language skills to handle complex phone/video calls.

Performance criteria

  • Handle all social interactions in formal and informal settings, understanding all spoken/signed and non-verbal cultural signals.
  • Follow questions and comments from an audience.
  • Appreciate tone, social variations and register, different shades of meaning, and the intention behind the language chosen.
  • Identify apparent ambiguities.
  • Consistently handle large amounts of information, theories and ideas conveyed or implied in extended, complex and specialised presentations/talks and group discussions.
  • Ask and answer basic questions identify similarities and differences in what different contributors say, and the implication of this for the progress of the discussion.
  • Understand different regional forms and colloquialisms, with the exception of extreme variants from the standard language.
  • If appropriate, informally relay information across languages.

Knowledge and understanding

COMPLEX AND SPECIALIST Vocabulary

  • Vocabulary to deal with all matters within your area of expertise, and other matters as they become necessary in the course of your work.
  • A full range of devices to make your language clear, precise and fluent.
  • Current colloquialisms used in business and social contexts.
  • An extensive range of idioms and expressions to convey shades of meaning.
  • All numerical terms and ways to discuss numerical data.

Grammatical forms

  • All grammatical forms and sentence structures unless rare or archaic.
  • How to choose the right vocabulary and structures to express standard, colloquial, formal and informal registers.

Cultural conventions

  • All spoken/signed and non-verbal cultural conventions.

Reference sources

  • How to make effective use of all relevant general and specialist language reference sources.