More about the CEFR and OOPT

More about the CEFR and OOPT

The new IEP program is designed to train individuals with no English ability up to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) B2 level. The CEFR is an international standard for describing language ability which is used for all European languages. The table below shows 3 main levels of English ability: (1) Basic user for CEFR levels A1 and A2, (2) Independent User for CEFR levels B1 and B2, (3) and Proficient user for CEFR levels C1 and C2.

Level CEFR General Description
Proficient User C2 Highly proficient – can use English very fluently, precisely and sensitively in most contexts
C1 Able to use English fluently and flexibly in a wide range of contexts
Independent User B2 Can use English effectively, with some fluency, in a range of contexts
B1 Can communicate essential points and ideas in familiar contexts
Basic User A2 Can communicate in English within a limited range of contexts
A1 Can communicate in basic English with help from the listener

The B2 level is a common level required to study in international degree producing programs around the world such as Payap University’s International College (IC).

Prior to beginning the course, the IEP will test the student’s ability with the Oxford Online Placement Test (OOPT) which gives a CEFR rating as a grade for the test. More about the OOPT can be found here. Since the OOPT only test use of English and listening ability, an additional speaking and writing test is added to this assessment. The table below is a cross reference of the CEFR levels as they compare to TOEIC, IELTS and TOEFL iBT.

CEFR Mapping of the Oxford Online Placement Test to International English Tests
User Type CEFR Overall OOPT CEFR Score IEP Level of Study TOEFL (Papaer) TOEFL (iBT) TOEIC IELTS Cambridge Exams
Proficient User C2 99-120 610-677 75-90 785-990 9 CAE
C1 80-99 550-607 58-74 550-780 7-8 FCE
Independent User B2 60-79 Level 3 513-547 41-57 450-550 5.5-6.5 PET
B1 40-59 Level 2/3 397-493 30-40 350-450 4-5 KET
Basic User A2 21-39 Level 1/2 347-393 19-29 250-350 3-4
A1 0-20 Level 0/1 0-343 0-18 0-250 0-2
SOURCE: Oxford University Press

The CEFR rating is used to place the student at the appropriate IEP level. Each class will use a set of Oxford University Press books with CEFR ratings which match the students CEFR level. As shown in the figure below, the Headway books will cover general English while the Oxford EAP (English for Academic Purposes) will train academic English abilities needed to succeed academically in a university’s international program.

IEP Books

There are many factors in language learning which impact how long each person may take to learn a particular language. Cambridge University published on one of their websites an estimate of the Guided Learning Hours (GLH) required to learn English. GLH refers to required study in a classroom. For example, with no English ability, it takes approximately 100 GLH go to CEFR level A1.

CEFR Level Guided Learning Hours
C2 Approximately 1,000-1,200
C1 Approximately 700-800
B2 Approximately 500-600
B1 Approximately 350-400
A2 Approximately 180-200
A1 Approximately 90-100
No English Ability

Combining GLH and the OOPT, a comparison chart was created which shows how long it may take to move between CEFR levels.

GLH & OOPT to IC Comparison Chart

GHL & OOPT Comparison Chart adopted from information from Cambridge University Press


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