English Levels

L Beginner Level (A1) is the lowest level of productive language use. At this point, the learner can interact in a simple way, ask and answer simple questions about themselves, where they live, people they know, and things they have, initiate and respond to simple statements in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics. They should no longer need to rely solely on a very finite, rehearsed group of situation-specific phrases.

L At the Elementary Level (A2) level students are beginning to be able to function in social situations. They are able to use simple everyday polite forms of greeting; greet people, ask how they are and react to news; handle very short social exchanges; ask and answer questions about what they do at work and in their free time; make and respond to invitations; discuss what to do, where to go and make arrangements to meet; make and accept offers. They can also function outside of the classroom. They can make simple transactions in shops, restaurants or banks; get simple information about travel; use public transport, ask for basic information, ask and give directions, and buy tickets.

L Pre-Intermediate Level (B1) level students are able to maintain interaction and get across what they want to express in a range of contexts and follow the main points of extended discussion around them, provided that speech is clearly articulated in standard dialect. They can express the main point they want to make comprehensibly and keep going comprehensibly, even though they may have to pause for grammatical and lexical planning and repair, especially in longer stretches of free production. The second feature is the ability to cope flexibly with problems in everyday life, for example coping with less concrete, routine situations at a store; dealing with most situations likely to arise when making travel arrangements through an agent or when actually traveling; entering unprepared into conversations on familiar topics.

L Intermediate Level (B1+) level students are working their way toward more natural fluency, no longer needing to rely solely on topics that are concrete or familiar to them. They are able to maintain more extended interaction and communicate what they want to express in a wider range of contexts. They can follow the main points of extended discussions as well as understand a greater amount of detail. They can understand speakers with a variety of accents discussing different topics provided that the speech is articulated, and they are able to then give opinions and discuss the topic. Learners can communicate in a more natural way in a number of different situations, including both the formal and informal use of language depending on the situation and context. Given a text, learners are able to infer meaning as well as make predictions. Learners can communicate direct information, as well as tell stories, both real and imagined. They can use collocations and idiomatic language as well as language for emphasis more effectively. They can express themselves more accurately and effectively in different situations and given the opportunity, they can correct most of their own mistakes in spoken and written production.

LAt the High Intermediate Level (B2) level, there is a focus on effective argument. Students are able to account for and sustain their opinions in discussion by providing relevant explanations, arguments and comments. They can explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options and can develop an argument giving reasons in support of or against a particular point of view. They can take an active part in informal discussion in familiar contexts, commenting, sharing their point of view clearly, evaluating alternative proposals and making and responding to hypotheses. They are able to support their ideas effectively in social discourse and understand in detail what is said to them in standard spoken language even in a noisy environment. They can initiate discourse, take their turn when appropriate and end a conversation when they need to, though they may not always do this naturally. They can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without imposing strain on either party. They are able to correct mistakes if they have led to misunderstandings, consciously monitor speech, and generally they can correct slips and errors if they become conscious of them.

L Students at the Advanced Level (C1) level have good access to a broad range of language, which allows fluent, spontaneous and almost effortless communication. They have 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 characterizing the previous level continue to be evident with an emphasis on increased fluency. They are able to select a suitable phrase from a fluent repertoire of discourse functions to preface remarks in order to gain time while thinking. They can produce clear, smooth flowing, well-structured speech, showing controlled use of organizational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.

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