European Language Levels

Language Levels and Progression A1/A2

Number of weeks of classes necessary to obtain the desired level. The indications are based on statistics and they depend on your personal commitment. (reference: ESL)


Beginner level

In principle, the student has no knowledge of the language in question. Beginners are classified in two groups:

  • Absolute beginners, who have had no previous contact with the target language.
  • False beginners, who have already been exposed to the language in a passive way or have studied it in the past.


Elementary level (A1*)

The student understands basic phrases and instructions used in specific situations. He/she can interact in a very simple way and uses incomplete sentences, without real grammatical content.

Upper-elementary level (A2*)

The student masters simple sentences and can write them, and understands expressions related to areas of immediate relevance. He/she is able to participate in a direct exchange of simple information and uses vocabulary that is generally taught in school.

Lower-intermediate level (A2-B1*)

The student gets the general idea of what is being said, but usually has difficulties, except in some specific contexts. He/she can read and write simple texts and is able to hold a basic conversation about topics that are familiar or of personal interest.

Intermediate level (B1-B2*)

The student is able to understand the main ideas of a complex text. He/she can interact with a degree of spontaneity, but often has trouble with grammar and vocabulary.

Upper-intermediate level (B2*)

The student understands everyday language. Despite making some grammar and spelling mistakes, he/she can write and speak fluently. He/she is able to interact with native speakers without strain. Language knowledge is sufficient to use in professional contexts.

Advanced level (C1*)

The student can understand almost everything, including idiomatic expressions. He/she can produce complex texts and uses the language effectively for professional, academic and social purposes.

Proficiency level (C2*)

Usually following a long stay abroad, the student can understand virtually everything and masters the foreign language perfectly. Sometimes, his/her knowledge of the language is superior to that of a native speaker, with perhaps fewer idiomatic expressions.

*Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

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