Defining Excellence in Language Acquisition For Professional Purposes

ALAP Framework

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) was put together by the Council of Europe as a way of standardising the levels of language exams in different regions. It is very widely used internationally and all-important language exams are mapped to the CEFR. ALAP tests are mapped against CEFR Levels as shown.

There are six levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2. These are described in the table below.

 CEFR LevelDescription
Proficient UserC2 MasteryCan understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.

No ALAP equivalent.
Proficient UserC1 Effective Operational EfficiencyCan understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.

No ALAP equivalent.
Independent UserB2 VantageCan understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

ALAP Level 3 Examination and ALAP Placement Test of over 90%
Independent UserB1 ThresholdCan understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics, which are familiar, or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

ALAP Level 2 Examination and ALAP Placement Test of 70-89%
Basic UserA2 WaystageCan understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.

ALAP Level 1 Examination and ALAP Placement Test of 55-69%
Basic User
A1 BreakthroughCan understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

ALAP Placement Test score of 40-55%

Note that at the higher levels (C1 and C2) there are no ALAP equivalents. This is because ALAP tests are designed for lower level learners and peak at Upper Intermediate or B2 levels. Thereafter, ALAP recommends students take IELTS, TOEFL or the Pearson Test of English (PTE).

TESOL/TEFL Accreditation  
ALAP Certificate in TESOL/TEFL120 + learning hours -
ALAP Diploma in TESOL300 + learning hours -

The ALAP seven level Framework of Language Performance (FLP) is based on the Common European Framework (CEFR) created by the Council of Europe. We prefer to use the term CFR (Common Framework) to acknowledge international learners outside of Europe. With this in mind, the ALAP framework is designed for use by language learners worldwide.  The framework is an indication of what the learner can do with the language skills achieved at each level, and was created to allow learners and employers internationally to easily identify current language skills and required focus for development.

ALAP issues Awards of Achievement (Certificates and Diplomas) following accredited courses of study at the seven levels on the ALAP Framework of Language Performance.  Any learner achieving an ALAP Certificate and/or Diploma can instantly prove their level of language competency for a specific purpose.

ALAP Level 1 – Beginners

Learners have minimal knowledge of the language. They have few basic words and phrases and can use expressions of greeting and know numbers. They have picked up words and phrases from films and popular music, but cannot hold conversations in the language.

CEFR Level Equivalent: A1
IELTS Level Equivalent: 1.0 – 2.0

ALAP Level 2 – Elementary

Learners have limited to basic knowledge of the language. They can use present tenses and can understand past and future tenses. They can hold a simple conversation on familiar topics in familiar situations, but struggle with unfamiliar topics and unfamiliar situations.

CEFR Level Equivalent: A2 – B1
IELTS Level Equivalent: 4 – 5

ALAP Level 3 – Intermediate

Learners are able to converse with relative ease in the language in familiar situations. They are gaining knowledge of use of tenses and are widening their vocabulary. They are, however, still not competent in unfamiliar situations.

CEFR Level Equivalent: B1 – B2
IELTS Level Equivalent: 4.5 – 6

ALAP Level 4 – Upper Intermediate

Learners are able to communicate effectively in most situations. They speak fluently on a large range of topics. There are likely to be a range of concepts which these learners would struggle to express. Their ability to speak fluently will not be limited by the errors which they will still be making.

CEFR Level Equivalent: B2 – C1
IELTS Level Equivalent: 5.5 – 7.0

ALAP Level 5 – Advanced

Learners are able to communicate effectively in all situations. They speak fluently without hesitation. They still need to improve accuracy in certain areas of the language, to expand vocabulary and to improve pronunciation, use and understanding of idiom.

CEFR Level Equivalent: C1
IELTS Level Equivalent: 7- 8

ALAP Level 6 – Fluent

Learners are fluent. They may still make errors, especially in pronunciation, but these errors do not interrupt fluency.

CEFR Level Equivalent: C2
IELTS Level Equivalent: 9

ALAP Level 7 – Native Speaker