As the CEFR is language-neutral, one thing it cannot do is to itemize the actual vocabulary and grammar in the target language that is being learned. That is where English Profile comes in. Its mission is to provide a reliable and precise description of the English that learners know and use at each CEFR level. To this end, several research projects have been undertaken and more are in progress. Their common aim is to describe the gradual mastery of English across the six CEFR levels. Each project within the English Profile Programme is evidence based, informed by the Cambridge Learner Corpus, other English language corpora and many additional sources.
The English Vocabulary Profile (EVP) is a free online resource that lists the CEFR levels of words, phrases, phrasal verbs and idioms. This research project took five years to complete, and has included an extensive trialling and validation phase. The online results are hosted in a powerful, user-friendly tool that not only displays the relevant CEFR level but also offers a full dictionary-style entry with audio pronunciation, a definition, dictionary examples and a typical learner example.
It is also possible to use the EVP to carry out advanced searches by Topic, Part of speech, Grammar, Usage, Prefixes and Suffixes, or a combination of these filters. So, for instance, you could search for all nouns ending in –ness for the topic of ‘People: Personality’. This search would give 26 matches in all, of which 11 at B2, including carelessness, laziness, politeness, willingness. This kind of information is invaluable to teachers and learners alike, supporting appropriate vocabulary development across the CEFR levels.
The English Grammar Profile (EGP) has been developed over a similar number of years by an expert research team, who have analysed the Cambridge Learner Corpus in order to develop detailed ‘Can Do’ statements for different grammatical categories, covering form and use. As is the case with vocabulary, learners appear to broaden their knowledge and use of the many aspects of grammar across the CEFR levels.
The EGP is available online for free and can be searched by level, by super- and sub- category, or by key word.