Vwo 5 students of English in The Netherlands are somewhere between B2 and C1 level. You can find the whole CEFR document here.
These are the descriptions of the CEFR for levels B2 – C1.
Level B2 Vantage Level Independent User: at the lower end of the band there is a focus on effective argument: account for and sustain his opinions in discussion by providing relevant explanations, arguments and comments; explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options; construct a chain of reasoned argument; develop an argument giving reasons in support of or against a particular point of view; explain a problem and make it clear that his/her counterpart in a negotiation must make a concession; speculate about causes, consequences, hypothetical situations; take an active part in informal discussion in familiar contexts, commenting, putting point of view clearly, evaluating alternative proposals and making and responding to hypotheses. Secondly, running right through the level there are two new focuses. The first is being able to more than hold your own in social discourse: e.g. converse naturally, fluently and effectively; understand in detail what is said to him/her in the standard spoken language even in a noisy environment; initiate discourse, take his/her turn when appropriate and end conversation when he/she needs to, though he/she may not always do this elegantly; use stock phrases (e.g. ‘That’s a difficult question to answer’) to gain time and keep the turn whilst formulating what to say; interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without imposing strain on either party; adjust to the changes of direction, style and emphasis normally found in conversation; sustain relationships with native speakers without unintentionally amusing or irritating them or requiring them to behave other than they would with a native speaker. The second new focus is a new degree of language awareness: correct mistakes if they have led to misunderstandings; make a note of ‘favourite mistakes’ and consciously monitor speech for it/them; generally correct slips and errors if he/she becomes conscious of them; plan what is to be said and the means to say it, considering the effect on the recipient/s. In all, this does seem to be a new threshold for a language learner to cross.
At the next band – representing a Strong Vantage (B2+) performance – the focus on argument, effective social discourse and on language awareness which appears at B2 (Vantage) continues. However, the focus on argument and social discourse can also be interpreted as a new focus on discourse skills. This new degree of discourse competence shows itself in conversational management (co-operating strategies): give feedback on and follow up statements and inferences by other speakers and so help the development of the discussion; relate own contribution skilfully to those of other speakers. It is also apparent in relation to coherence/cohesion: use a limited number of cohesive devices to link sentences together smoothly into clear, connected discourse; use a variety of linking words efficiently to mark clearly the relationships between ideas; develop an argument systematically with appropriate highlighting of significant points, and relevant supporting detail. Finally, it is at this band that there is a concentration of items on negotiating: outline a case for compensation, using persuasive language and simple arguments to demand satisfaction; state clearly the limits to a concession.
Level C1 is Effective Operational Proficiency: allows fluent, spontaneous communication, as illustrated by the following examples: Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously, almost effortlessly. Has a good command of a broad lexical repertoire allowing gaps to be readily overcome with circumlocutions. There is little obvious searching for expressions or avoidance strategies; only a conceptually difficult subject can hinder a natural, smooth flow of language. The discourse skills characterising the previous band continue to be evident at Level C1, with an emphasis on more fluency, for example: select a suitable phrase from a fluent repertoire of discourse functions to preface his remarks in order to get the floor, or to gain time and keep it whilst thinking; produce clear, smoothly flowing, well-structured speech, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.
Vwo 5 students of English in The Netherlands compare to Australian students in the ACARA Year 9 Sequence of Achievement standard for the receptive modes: listening, reading, viewing:
Students analyse the ways that text structures can be manipulated for effect questioning the reliability of sources. They analyse and explain how images, vocabulary choices and language features distinguish the work of individual authors.
They evaluate and integrate ideas and information from texts to form their own interpretations. They select evidence from texts to analyse and explain how language choices and conventions are used to influence an audience. They listen for ways texts position an audience.
For the productive modes: speaking, writing, and creating, as English is their second language, they compare to Year 8:
They understand how the selection of language features can be used for particular purposes and effects. They explain the effectiveness of language choices they make to influence the audience. Through combining ideas, images and language features from other texts, they show how ideas can be expressed in new ways.
They create texts for different purposes, selecting language to influence audience response. They make presentations and contribute actively to class and group discussions, using language patterns for effect. When creating and editing texts to create specific effects, they take into account intended purposes and the needs and interests of audiences. They demonstrate understanding of grammar, select vocabulary for effect and use accurate spelling and punctuation.
In the ACARA Sequence of Content, these sub-strands and descriptors describe what goes on in my classroom:
Language variation and change: year 7: my students understand how the English language reflects a changing world, particularly in response to the use of new technologies for presenting texts and global communication.
Language for Social Interactions: year 10: they understand how language can have inclusive and exclusive social effects, and can empower and disempower people.
Evaluating Language: they understand how rhetorical devices are used to persuade and how different layers of meaning are developed through the use of metaphor, irony, parody, allusion, evocative vocabulary. They understand how people’s evaluations are influenced by their value sytems, the context and the purpose and the mode of communication.
Sentences and clause-level grammar: year 7: they know what a clause is and how simple, compound and complex sentencesare constructued by using different types of conjunctions. They recognise and understand that subordinate clauses increases the density of information in academic and formal writing.
They understand the necessity of referencing and a reference list, copyright and authority. References are used when they have included an idea in their essay or report which is not their own original idea and which is not common knowledge. They reference the idea whether they have presented the idea in the author’s original words, as a quote, or have paraphrased or summarised the author’s idea into their own words. They are able to integrate evidence into their own writing. As academic writers support their arguments with evidence, they need to be able to evaluate the validity of that evidence. A reference is the bracketed or footnoted piece of information that tells the reader where the supporting evidence used in academic writing comes from. The role of the reference is twofold: firstly, it informs the reader of the source of your ideas so that he or she can distinguish between your words and ideas and those of others; secondly, accurate referencing and lists of references are necessary to allow the reader to evaluate the information and read further into the area. Do this exercise!
Word-level grammar: different classes of words (nouns, verbs etc) and functions they perform in sentences and how they are combined) year 8 they understand the effect of nominalisation in the writing of informative and persuasive texts.
Visual language: how images work in texts to communicate meanings, especially in conjunction with other elements such as print and sund: years 7-8: they analyse how point of view is generated in visual texts by means of choices such as gaze, angle, social distance. They investigate how visual and multimodal texts allude to or draw on other texts or images to enhance and layer meaning.
Vocabulary: meanings of words including everyday and speicalist meanings and how words take their meanings from the context of the text: year 7: they can investigate vocabulary typical of extended and more academic texts, and the role of abstract nouns, classification, description and generalisation in building spcialist knowledge through language.
Literature and context sub-strand: Year 9: they can interpret and compare how representations of people and culture in literary contetxs are drawn from different historical, social and cultural contexts.
Responding to literature sub-strand: personal responses to ideas, characters and viewpoints: year 8: they can share, reflect on, clarify and evaluate opinions and arguments about aspects of literary texts.
Responding to literature sub-strand: expressing preferences and evaluating texts: year 9: they can reflect on, discuss and explore notions of literary value and how and why such notions vary according to context. They can explore and reflect on personal understanding of the world and significant human experience gained from interpreting various representations of life matters in texts.
Examining Literature sub-strand: features of literary texts: year 8: they can recognise, explain and analyse the ways literary texts draw on readers’ knowledge of other texts and enable new understanding and appreciation of aesthetic qualities.
Examining Literature sub-strand: language devices in literary texts, including figurative language that authors use and how these create certain meanings and effects in literary texts, especially devices in poetry: years 8-10: they can identify devices that create tone, such as wordplay, innuendo, parody. Investigate extended metaphor, allegory and symbolism in poetry, films, short stories, graphic novels, novels, plays. Compare and evaluate how ‘Voice’ as a literary device can be used in a range of different types of text to evoke particular emotional responses.
Creating literature sub-strand
Creating literary texts: based on the ideas, features and structures of texts experienced: year 9: they can create literary texts, including hybrid texts, that innovate on aspects of other texts, for example by using parody, allusion and appropriation (see: A Second Life for Literature Whole Task Approach).
Experimentation and adaptation: creating a variety of texts, including multimodal texts, adapting ideas and devices from literary texts: year 9: they can experiment with the ways that language features, image and sound can be adapted in literary texts, for example the effects of stereotypical characters and settings, the playfulness of humour and pun and the use of the hyperlink.
Texts and contexts in which they are used: how texts relate to their contexts and reflect the society and culture in which they were created. Year 10: they can analyse and evaluate how people, culture, places, events, objects and concepts are represented in texts, including media texts, through language, structural, and / or visual choices.
Listening and speaking interactions: purposes and contexts through which students engage in listening and speaking interactions: year 9/10: they can listen to spoken texts constructed for different purposes, for example to entertain and to persuade, and analyse how langauge features of these texts position readers to respond in a certain way, and use this knowledge to create purposeful texts that inform, persuade and engage.
Listening and speaking interactions: skills they use: year 7: they can use interaction skills when discussing and presenting ideas and information, selecting body language, voice qualities and other elements such as music and sound to add interest and meaning.
Oral presentations: that students engage in including presenting recounts and information, and presenting and arguing a point of view: year 8: plan, rehearse and deliver presentations, selcting and sequencing appropriate content, including multimodal elements, to reflect a diversity of viewpoints.
Interpreting, analysing, evaluation sub-strand:
Purpose and audience: recognising and analysing differences between different types of text: year 8: they can analyse and evaluate the ways that texts structures and language features vary according to the purpose of the text and the ways that referenced sources add authority to the text.
Reading processes: strategies for using and combining contextual, semantic, grammatical and phonic knowledge to decode texts including predicting, monitoring, cross-checking, self-correcting, skimming and scanning: year 8: they can apply increasing knowledge of vocabulary, text structures and language features to underatand the content of texts.
Comprehension strategies: strategies of constructing meaning from texts, including literal and inferential meaning: year 8: they can use comprehension strategies to interpret and evaluate texts by refelcting on the validity of content and the credibility of sources, including finding evidence in the txt for the author’s point of view.
Analysing and evaluating texts: how text structures and language features construct meaning and influence readers / viewers: year 7: they can compare the text structures and language features of multimodal texts, explaining how they combine to influence audiences.
Creating texts sub-strand
Creating texts: creating different types of spoken, written and multimodla texts using knowledge of text structures and of language features: year 9: they can create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that present a point of view and advance or illustrate arguments, including texts that integrate visual, print and / or audo features.
Editing: editing texts for meaning, structure and grammtical features: year 7: they can edit for meaning by removing repetition, refining ideas, reordering sentences and adding or substituting words for impact.
Use of software apllications to construct and edit print and multimodal texts: year 10: they can use a range of software, including word processing programs, confidently, flexibly and imaginatively to create, edit and publish texts, considering the indetified purpose and the characteristics of the user.