My main language learning mistakes:
1.going to medschool. The inconsistency created by this nightmare has destroyed a lot in my life and damaged my langauges too. You cannot imagine how much I hate this. When I get the damn MD, I will rebuild my life, build a well paying career with languages, get my youth back, and never sacrifice myself for something not worth it again. I'll try to catch up on all those wasted years.
2.trusting teachers too much. Looking back at all those years of langauge learning, the times under the direct "guidance" of teachers have always been the slowest and least efficient ones. A group class is the worst way to learn the langugage. And one on one learning is not always that much better, too many teachers are simply not good at their jobs and blame the student for any unhappiness with the progress. No, even a teacher must accept being just one tool on the list and that their purpose is helping me achieve my goal. Not force me to fit in their usual schedule. Yes, I have profited from having some teachers, true. But even the good ones tend to have some huge weakness in their learning method, and the problem is not noticing it in time to compensate.
3.Too few CEFR tests.
A few good opportunities in my life were missed, because I found them out too late to prepare, sit, and wait for the results of the appropriate exams. I should have been taking them just in case. Also not avoiding this challenge and taking even the lower level tests could have helped me with motivation to progress faster and to leave my comfort zone.
4.Switching the coursebooks and similar materials too much. Yes, I am a firm believer in using more than one. But using too many at once is a problem. And switching from a series to another series is a problem too, even though a smaller one. Consistency is important. I'd say three such resources at once ar the maximum, and at least one should be part of a series going through A1 to C1 (if such a series is available for the given language)
My two cents to what was already said:
David1917 wrote: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.
...If you say "I'd like to be around B2 in French by the end of the year," well, you've told me nothing.
This is only true, if you've read just the vague generic level descriptions. Yes, having never seen any CEFR labeled resource and just reading the definitions on wikipedia (or as often quoted on this forum, no offence meant), of course you are gonna make mistakes and act on them.
But if you use https://www.laits.utexas.edu/fi/sites/l ... ropean.pdf
which is a tool meant to be used for self assessment (a long list of things you can do at each level) and worked with CEFR labeled coursebooks, you are actually likely to assess yourself quite well. If you use an exhaustive resource like the Cervantes curriculum by level, available on their website for free, you can be even more precise and use it to fill some gaps, for example.
As I have experience with several language exams, have been using the resources using the scale, have been using the self-assessment checklist, and have heard people officially at various levels, I know almost perfeclty what people mean by "I'd like to be around B2 in French by the end of the year,". The problem here is your lack of knowledge, not the statement.
We could say that not enough knowledge about the scale is the problem, not the scale itself. Yes, it is not perfect, it doesn't cover everything. But it is much better than the alternatives.
David1917 wrote:I think the shortcut can be generally useful, especially when asking like "I'm maybe B1 is there a good book to get next?" But I think "I'm intermediate and completed XYZ course, is there a good book?" works just as well. For some reason I'm insanely pedantic about using these test scores, and find that they refer to specific achievements set by specific institutions under (less specific) guidelines, and while I'm not about to outright accuse anyone of being fraudulent by putting an un-tested CEFR level in their profile, I'm also like, why not just say intermediate....?
And like you said, it also doesn't account for different modalities to give an untested CEFR level. If you take a B2 test, it means you have all four modalities covered at least at that level. If you've read and understood Voltaire in the original but never spoken to a French person, then while you've accomplished a great intellectual feat commensurate with a C2 level, you'd probably be lucky to pass an A1.
Now you've said it yourself! You've written good reasons to use the CEFR, while trying to do the opposite.
The "I'm intermediate and completed XYZ course, is there a good book?" problem is one of the biggest reasons to have the CEFR level written on them! Yes, the switch will still not be entirely seamless, each book will be better at something and worse at something else. But choosing from several books with a label B2 is a huge improvement. Before, it used to be a huge challenge: "but this intermediate book is almost the same, and the advanced one too advanced" or "This course series ends with volume 3. With which volume of an entirely different series should I continue?"
If you are "insanely pedantic", welcome the fact many people are taking the tests and telling you exactly the minimum level of each of their skills. How could someone pedantic prefer the stupid term "intermediate", which can mean anything from A2 to B2, with tons of variables?
It is not fraudulent, that is highly offensive to say without having a good reason to believe someone has been lying on purpose (yes, there are such people, but it is not normal around here). Yes, people can be mistaken (just like they can falsely believe to be "intermediate", "fluent", "basic", "conversational" or any other term). But they are usually not frauds. The CEFR is meant for self assessment too!
David1917 wrote:People say that, but every CEFR rating means something different to someone else. That's my point. The guidelines are vague. The test for each language is different because of that problem.
The test for each language is different, because it is a different langauge
It's that simple.
If you look at the long self assessment list I've posted a link to, you will see there are common definitions to a lot of stuff. If you have a look in a resource like that hyper detailed list by Cervantes, you'll notice that the curriculum for each language is actually well thought out.
Yes, CEFR cannot cover some types of skills and there are some problems with the exam. But what you say is simply not true.