Serpent wrote:I don't think it's possible to have a C2 comprehension and zero production. Not even for a Spaniard learning Portuguese or vice versa.David1917 wrote: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.This.Cavesa wrote: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.
The differences between skills can be several levels wide, but I'd agree that such an extreme might be impossible. Also, the fact you haven't spoken to anyone doesn't mean you cannot, the activation of well prepared skill can be very fast. However, I have never heard of solutions to the problem of very similar languages in language testing. What I mean: let's imagine such a a Spaniard learning Portuguese or, even closer, a Slovak "learning" Czech would sit an exam. How would their spoken and written production be graded, if it was clearly a mix of the two languages (a mix including more of their native language than the target one), I have no idea. I'd be curious about it!
A lot of the CEFR problems are actually being solved, there is some evolution. A few months ago, someone posted(no idea in which thread and who, unfortunately) a link to the report on the recent changes to it. The questions that are being solved are in many ways similar to what we've been talking about on this forum for years. There are more "levels" after C2. Yes, the exams and precise definition for those are unlikely to be needed, but there are differences between the very advanced learners. There is also a level under A1, at which people can actually speak about a very narrow set of things, related to their job usually, but cannot do the more general stuff (typically a person competent at selling their products or working in a restaurant communicating with foreign customers, often in several languages, but definitely unable to talk about themselves or do majority of the content of the A1 coursebooks. These people are now nothing on this scale, despite not being monolingual). And there are attempts to classify somehow the bilingual skills, such as the ability to read an article in your target language and sum it up in your native one (which is an example of a thing people do all the time).
Still, the scale will never be perfect and include everything. But nothing is perfect, and the scale is a clear step in the right direction away from the vague terms, I'd say. If even language schools vary on their definitions of words "intermediate" and "advanced", when they name their courses, the words are probably not good enough (In some language schools, advanced can be B2, and intermediate A2) And while I completely understand, why many people may be reluctant to self-assess their skills or believe self-assessments of others, it doesn't change the fact that CEFR is meant for self-assessment too. Not mainly, true. The exams are central to it and should be much more widely spread. But honestly, self-assessment is in many cases more correct than random assessment by less experienced and less knowledgeable teachers, I definitely wouldn't dismiss it completely.