David1917 wrote:zenmonkey wrote:David1917 wrote:I think the worst things people do are:
a) Self-assess CEFR levels / aim for self-assessed CEFR levels
Why do you think this is bad? Most people that learn a language don't take CEFR test and evaluate roughly how well they are doing and how far they want to get.
If fact, most languages don't have a CEFR test. These are really only available for a dozen languages and certainly not in most places. How is this the first thing on your list?
It's the most prevalent issue I see here, but the list was certainly not "in order of importance."
The issue I have is that it means nothing for practical goal-setting, it says nothing about your actual strengths/weaknesses, purpose for learning, or capabilities. The CEFR guidelines are vague enough in themselves such that the test varies across languages. Add in personal interpretation of the guidelines and the inherent lack of objectivity when it comes to self-assessment, and all of a sudden the code is totally meaningless.
I'd rather see people outlining their goals for applying the language learned and create a roadmap to get there. If you want to learn French to read Voltaire, then you'll want to spend more time on reading, analysis, and perhaps grasping the underlying themes in your own language first. If you want to learn French because you're marrying into a French family, you'll want to spend more time on speaking, listening, pop-culture, slang. If you need to learn French for work reasons, and part of that is a stipulation that you sit the B2 exam, then you will have to practice taking the test. If you say "I'd like to be around B2 in French by the end of the year," well, you've told me nothing.
So what you're really putting your finger on is that people seem to be (or at least aren't communicating) practical goals, current and future capabilities and reasons for learning. The issue isn't the CEFR self evaluation, per say, it's that it's a incomplete shortcut to a much larger process.
By the way, my own self evaluation and the test results that I got on the German TELC test were spot on, including which sections would carry me and which were my weakness. If I say I'm B2 in xxx, you may or not know whether that is tested or not. The issue isn't the self evaluation, it's that the shortcut doesn't tell you whether I'm all around at that level or if I have a particular weakness in speaking vs comprehension, writing, listening.
Perhaps people don't communicate that but I'd guess that for a lot of learners (at least the successful ones) they are quite able to identify their weaknesses without a test, but I get what you're saying. I agree that to properly align activity, actual functional expectations, current level matter. I still find the shortcut useful, it just needs a little follow up in the thinking and conversation.