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The ALTE Framework
 

In developing a framework of levels for the comparison of language tests, ALTE members have drawn heavily on the work of the Council of Europe and, in recent years, ALTE as an association has been able to make its own contributions to a number of Council of Europe projects including the development of Vantage Level and work on the Common European Framework of Reference for Language Learning and Teaching.
 

Specifications of Objectives: Waystage and Threshold

The ALTE Framework comprises six main levels. A2 and B1have been defined respectively as Waystage User and Threshold User, terms taken from the work of the Council of Europe. In 1971 the Council recognised the importance of dividing the task of learning a language into smaller units, each of which could be credited separately, and also the necessity of basing curricula on learners needs rather than on language structures, as had previously been common practice. One of the major outcomes of this work is the Threshold level specification (van Ek, 1975) which proposed a model for the description of language ability based on the principle that language teaching should provide learners with the means of meeting their personal communicative needs. A lower level specification was also produced, under the name Waystage level.
The ALTE Framework of Language Examinations is shown in table form below. All six ALTE levels are characterised in the summaries following the table and for Levels A2 and B1 reference is made to Waystage and Threshold. In general, the brief descriptions are divided into what the candidates can do receptively and what they can do in terms of production and interaction.

 

The Can-do statements

There are placed 6 levels (Breakthrough, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). The levels are described by a series of Can-do statements, which:
• define levels of ability in terms of what language users can typically do at each level of the ALTE Framework
• make it easier for users to understand what each level means in relation to what language users actually do.
The Can-do system comprises approximately 400 statements, sub-divided into 40 categories, which describe what typical language users can do:
• in a particular language
• at a particular level
• in one of the skill areas (Listening/Speaking, Writing, Reading).

 

 

The Can-do statements exist in 13 languages:

 

Developing the ALTE level and Can-do system

The statements were developed through a rigorous process involving leading experts on language assessment and applied linguistics.
Data was collected from 10,000 language learners throughout Europe.
Research has taken place showing the relationship of the ALTE levels to the Common European Framework.

The four Can-do statement tables in this section illustrate:

1. Typical general ability at each level and in the skill areas (Overall general ability)
2. Typical ability in the Social & Tourist context at each level and in the skill areas (ALTE Social & Tourist typical abilities)
3. Typical ability in the Work context at each level and in the skill areas (ALTE Work typical abilities)
4. Typical ability in the Study context at each level and in the skill areas (ALTE Study typical abilities).

 

Overall general ability:

The table below illustrates typical general ability at each level and in the skill areas.

 

 

ALTE Work typical abilities

The table below illustrates typical ability in the work context at each level and in the skill areas.
Click on the other ability statements to the left to view other tables.

 

 

ALTE Study typical abilities

 
The table below illustrates typical ability in the study context and at each level and in the skill areas.
Click on the other ability statements to the left to view other tables.
 
 

ALTE Social and Tourist typical abilities

 

 

http://www.alte.org/

 

 

 

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