In questo articolo del nostro blog, Paul Bowley fa il punto riguardo un momento fondamentale nel percorso di apprendimento di un lingua: la valutazione del proprio livello. 

Quali sono le modalità per monitorare i proprio progressi? 
Che tipo di test si possono fare?
 certificazioni linguistiche esistono e che ruolo hanno?

La tabella riassuntiva finale aiuta a orientarci e a farci capire qual è il nostro “standard” attuale e quello a cui possiamo ambire.


One essential part of teaching and learning English is assessment. There are various ways this can be done:

  • Continuous informal assessment: both teachers and students should always have a reasonably good idea of learners’ ability and progress. Assessment of this kind is conducted in the context of objectives, expectations, overall group performance, intensity of study and real experience. This kind of evaluation is not normally expressed as a quantifiable measure but more often as a verbal summary of strengths and weaknesses.
  • Regular course testing: most courses will periodically subject participants to some form of formal or semi-formal test. The tests ask questions relating to specific material presented in the course and cover a variety of skills. Results are expressed as a grade or a number.
  • Local formal testing: Italian universities, schools of specialisation and even some companies sometimes require people to pass aa admission test which includes an English component. It is particularly important that the candidate finds out as much as possible about the test format and the required standard. These kinds of test can vary enormously, and the preparation needs to be appropriately targeted and it may be necessary to use a variety of sources of material.
  • International certificates: we all know about the Cambridge First Certificate (B2) and Advanced (C1) exams. But there are many others, including the IELTS and TOEFL systems. These exams are very carefully prepared and administered and are recognised throughout the world. Before taking any of these tests, however, find out what certificate is appropriate for your situation and level. And remember to prepare well using the right material.

In Europe, nearly all assessment in English language ability uses the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). This is a useful way of defining a person’s general linguistic ability. Here is a chart explaining the meaning of the various CEFR levels.