The Pre-A1 Level in the Updated Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (pp. 11-29), Thomaï Alexiou & Maria Stathopoulou


The Pre-A1 Level in the Companion Volume of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages


Given the gap in the literature regarding the integration of the CEFR in the Early Language Learning (ELL) classroom, this paper aims at presenting the philosophy and characteristics of the new CEFR Pre-A1 level descriptors included in the new Companion Volume (Council of Europe, 2018/2020),1 discussing their theoretical underpinnings and examining the extent to which they reflect any teaching methodologies. To this end, this paper (a) analyses and evaluates the new Pre-A1 descriptors, (b) discusses the scales in which they appear and why–as not all scales include the Pre- A1 level, and (c) explores ways that these descriptors can be translated into practice. The paper ends by concluding that the new Pre-A1 level can-do statements can be employed for the creation of language programmes, curricula, syllabi and materials for early language learning. However, more concrete instructions accompanied by linguistic descriptions are needed so as to help practitioners and material developers.


Key words: Pre-A1, young learners, pedagogy, CEFR, vocabulary, assessment, preschool, pre-primary