CEFR alignment and learner profiles
Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is an international standard for describing language ability. It is used around the world to describe learners' language skills.
- See the ISE IELTS CEFR alignment chart to see how Trinity's ISE levels and IELTS scores each align to CEFR levels.
- See a Trinity qualifications CEFR alignment chart to see how all of Trinity's English qualifications align to CEFR levels.
The CEFR Calibration Report details how GESE and ISE examinations are related to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).
The CEFR Project Summary is a shorter version of this report.
To pass ISE at CEFR proficiency levels B2, C1, and C2, candidates must be able to demonstrate that they can:
ISE II (CEFR B2)
- understand the main ideas of complex spoken and written English on both concrete and abstract topics
- use active and passive vocabularies sufficient to cover a wide range of subjects, including technical topics within his or her field of specialisation
- interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers of English quite possible without strain for either party — language production is spontaneous and natural
- explain his or her viewpoint on a topical issue, giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options
- read, respond to and write clear, detailed texts on a wide range of subjects
ISE III (CEFR C1)
- express themselves fluently and spontaneously, almost effortlessly
- express themselves using a wide range of complex language structures, vocabulary and functions
- use a wide range of idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms
- use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes
- recognise and appreciate different registers and degrees of formality
- read and respond to a wide range of demanding, longer texts
- produce clear, well-structured, detailed texts on a wide range of subjects, underlining the relevant salient
- issues, expanding and supporting points of view with subsidiary points, reasons and relevant examples
ISE IV (CEFR C2)*
- express themselves spontaneously, very fluently and precisely differentiating finer shades of meaning, even in more complex situations
- exploit a comprehensive and reliable mastery of a very wide range of complex language structures, vocabulary and functions
- express themselves using idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms
- use language effortlessly and appropriately for social, academic and professional purposes
- control the direction of a spoken interaction and maintain its flow with ease, relating skilfully to the contributions of the listener
- understand the main points, arguments, inferences,
- changes in register and emphasis in complex and sometimes unstructured speech, even when delivered at fast native speed
- read and respond to virtually all forms of the written language including abstract, structurally or linguistically complex texts, appreciating subtle distinctions of style and implicit as well as explicit meaning
- write clear, smoothly flowing complex texts on a wide range of subjects in an appropriate style and with an effective logical structure
*Note that the exam format for IV (C2) is different.