What’s your level?
Here’s some background info – skip to “So what’s my level?” if it’s too boring.
Our level system is based on the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference).
This framework is a little bit counter-intuitive because the lowest level is A1 and the highest C2. That’s committees for you!
There are 3 bands, A, B and C. Each is divided into 1 and 2. For regular course-book based courses, we have further divided each sub-band into 3, because it’s not possible to cover even half a band on a standard 6-week course.
Our system means that in theory it is possible to become fluent in 18 half-terms, or 6 years. In practice, everyone is different and the speed of learning depends on various factors, such as:
- Whether you are already bi- or multi-lingual
- Exposure – trips abroad for a language course will speed things up
So what’s my level?
- A1 | A1(1), A1(2) A1(3) – Beginners – you are learning the basics, how to introduce yourself, say hello, goodbye, days of the week, numbers, that sort of thing.
- A2 | A2(1), A2(2) A2(3) Post-beginners/”false-beginners” – you know the “basic basics” and you’re moving on to simple descriptions (for example of people) narrative (what you did yesterday). You can have successful “formulaic” interactions where you know what to say and how people reply is fairly predictable. You may be a “false beginner” if you studied the language a while ago and still have some latent knowledge.
- B1 | B1(1), B1(2) B1(3) Intermediate – you’re building confidence, developing a certain vocabulary range (food, places, objects, abstract nouns (such as “peace”, “sadness”) and you are able to use the main tenses to place events in time (I have breakfast in a café every morning, I met my husband on holiday…)
- B2 | B2(1), B2(2) B2(3) Upper-intermediate – You are confident now in a range of situations and as long as things don’t get too unpredictable and free-range (someone at a bus stop wants to discuss US politics with you, for example) you manage fine. You can use “conditionals” (if you touch me again, I’ll call the police / if I won the lottery, I would live in Winchester).
- C1 | C1(1), C1(2) C1(3) Advanced – You are not yet at native speaker level, but you can manage in most situations and do not fear losing track of things nor do you get too tired after a long time using the target language. You are nearly there!
- C2 | C2(1), C2(2) C2(3) Super-advanced – You are approaching native-speaker level and are rarely stuck for a word. You could function in a non-specialist job, attend a social event and feel at ease. You have reached your destination.
So, you decide!
There are various online tests you can take, but we do not recommend them as they are generally restricted in format – for example, mostly just multiple choice questions – and can give you the wrong result.
If you join a course and feel the level is not right for you, please stick at it for a while. If you give it a go and it’s still not working, we’ll try to find an alternative for you.
Give us a ring to discuss if you want some more guidance. 01962 859700