European Language Levels

Zing Languages European language programmes (French, German, Spanish, Italian, English) cover the full range of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)’s six reference levels (i.e. A1 to C2).

  • Beginner (A1)
  • Elementary (A2)
  • Intermediate (B1)
  • Upper-Intermediate (B2)
  • Advanced (C1)
  • Proficiency (C2)

Programmes and Levels

CEFR A1 (Beginner)

What can you do with an A1 level in English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian?

An A1 level of any European language would be sufficient for very simple interactions, for example as a tourist. An A1 level would not be sufficient for other academic or professional purposes.
 
According to the official CEFR guidelines, someone at the A1 level in European languages:

  1. Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type.
  2. Can introduce his/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows, and things he/she has.
  3. Can interact with other people in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

 
A1 level skills in detail

The official can-do statements are broken down into smaller chunks for teaching purposes. This more detailed skill breakdown can help a student assess their own level, or help a teacher assess a student’s level. For example, a student at the A1 level in European languages will be able to:

  • introduce themselves simply and use basic greetings.
  • tell where he/she and others are from and give a basic description of their city.
  • talk simply about family and colleagues, describing their appearance and personalities.
  • discuss clothing at a basic level and ask sales clerks simple questions about it.
  • talk about favourite foods and make simple orders for take-out food.
  • talk about daily activities and arrange meetings with friends and colleagues.
  • describe current weather conditions and suggest activities according to the weather forecast.
  • talk in general terms about his health and describe common medical symptoms to a doctor.
  • describe the location of his/her home and give simple directions.
  • talk about his/her hobbies and interests and makes plans for fun activities with friends or colleagues.
  • complete basic transactions at a hotel, including checking in and checking out.
  • discuss common products, make basic purchases and return faulty items.

CEFR A2 (Elementary)

What can you do with an A2 level in English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian?
 
An A2 level is sufficient for tourism in an European countries and socializing with Europeans, although to develop deeper friendships an A2 level is not adequate. An A2 level also allows for networking with colleagues, but working in the European language is limited to very familiar topics at the A2 level. An A2 level is not sufficient for academic study or for consuming most media (TV, movies, radio, magazines, etc.).
 
According to the official CEFR guidelines, someone at the A2 level:

  1. Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment).
  2. Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.
  3. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.


A2 level skills in detail

The official can-do statements are broken down into smaller pieces for teaching purposes. This more detailed skill breakdown can help a student assess their own level, or help a teacher assess a student’s level. For example, a student at the A2 level in German will be able to do all the things that a student in level A1 can do, and in addition he will be able to:

  • evaluate co-workers’ performance in the workplace.
  • relate events from their past, including their weekend activities and interesting stories.
  • describe their past life, giving details about important milestones.
  • entertain someone in their home or visit a friend or colleague in their home.
  • discuss their vacation plans and tell friends and colleagues about their vacation afterwards.
  • talk about the natural world and travels to see animals and natural areas in their country.
  • talk about movies that they like and choose a movie to see with friends.
  • discuss clothing and what kind of clothes they like to wear.
  • engage in basic communication at work, including attending meetings on familiar topics.
  • describe an accident or injury, get medical help from a doctor and fill a prescription for medicine.
  • engage in basic business socializing, welcoming guests and attending networking events.
  • understand and make basic business proposals in their area of expertise.
  • talk about and explain the rules of games.

CEFR B1 (Intermediate)

What can you do with an B1 level in English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian?
 
A B1 level would be sufficient for interactions with speakers of English, French, German etc., on familiar topics. In the workplace, people at a B1 level are able to read simple reports on familiar topics and write simple e-mails on subjects in their field. However, a B1 level is not adequate to function fully in the workplace.
 
According to the official CEFR guidelines, someone at the B1 level:

  1. Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
  2. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken.
  3. Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest.
  4. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

B1 level skills in detail

The official can-do statements are broken down into smaller chunks for teaching purposes. This more detailed skill breakdown can help a student assess their own level, or help a teacher assess a student’s level. For example, a student at the B1 level in Spanish will be able to do all the things that a student in level A2 can do, and in addition he/she will be able to:

  • discuss personal and professional hopes and dreams for the future.
  • arrange a job interview and interview for a job in their area of expertise.
  • talk about television viewing habits and favourite programmes.
  • describe their education and plans for future training.
  • talk about their favourite music and music trends and plan a night out to listen to live music.
  • talk about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and give and get advice about healthy habits.
  • talk about relationships and dating, including meeting people through social media.
  • go to a restaurant, order food, engage in polite dinner conversation and pay for their food.
  • participate in negotiations in their area of expertise, if they have help understanding some points.
  • discuss workplace safety issues, report an injury and explain rules and regulations.
  • discuss polite behaviour and respond appropriately to impolite behaviour.

CEFR B2 (Upper-Intermediate)

What can you do with an B2 level in English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian?

A B2 level would allow you to function in the workplace in French or other European language, and indeed, many non-native speakers in international workplaces have this level. A person working at a B2 level will, however, lack nuance particularly outside his/her own field. He/she may also miss some of the subtleties and implied meanings in conversation.
 
According to the official CEFR guidelines, someone at the B2 level:

  1. Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialization.
  2. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.
  3. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

B2 level skills in detail

The official can-do statements are broken down into smaller pieces for teaching purposes. This more detailed skill breakdown can help a student assess their own level, or help a teacher assess a student’s level. For example, a student at the B2 level in German will be able to do all the things that a student in level B1 can do, and in addition he/she will be able to:

  • participate in meetings in their area of expertise, if they have help understanding some points.
  • discuss gender issues as they relate to perceptions of rudeness and cultural norms.
  • talk about their personal finances and give advice to friends and colleagues about their finances.
  • talk about their personal and professional lifestyle, including a description of their life at work.
  • explain their education, experience, strengths and weaknesses, and discuss their career path.
  • talk about mental processes and how they can use them to improve their effectiveness on the job.
  • talk about what they like to read and make recommendations about good things to read.
  • use appropriate language in social situations, including praising and expressing sympathy.
  • discuss leadership qualities and talk about leaders whom they admire.
  • deal with relatively complex awkward situations that arise in social and business contexts.
  • discuss common political situations and the behaviour of politicians.

CEFR C1 (Advanced)

What can you do with an C1 level in English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian?

A C1 level allows for a full range of functionality at work or in an academic setting. The C1 level would allow for full autonomy in a native country.
 
According to the official CEFR guidelines, someone at the C1 level:

  1. Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognize implicit meaning.
  2. Can express ideas fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions.
  3. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.
  4. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organizational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.

C1 level skills in detail

The official can-do statements are broken down into smaller chunks for teaching purposes. This more detailed skill breakdown can help a student assess their own English level, or help a teacher assess a student’s level. For example, a student at the C1 level in Italian will be able to do all the things that a student in level B2 can do, and in addition he/she will be able to:

  • discuss in detail issues related to success, including building a motivated, successful team.
  • talk in some detail about their favourite paintings and the architecture of buildings that they like.
  • discuss societal problems, possible solutions for problems and what role corporations can play.
  • participate in discussions about conservation, sustainability and habitat protection.
  • talk about events and issues in the news and how they affect people and companies.
  • talk about risks in life, including changing jobs and doing dangerous sports.
  • compare and contrast various forms of education and individual schools.
  • discuss various types of humour, including subtle forms like sarcasm.
  • understand various communication styles, including direct, indirect, formal and informal.
  • discuss issues related to your quality of life, including work-life balance and home environment.
  • understand and discuss issues related to ethics, like civil disobedience.

CEFR C2 (Proficiency)

What can you do with an C2 level in English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian?

A C2 level is essentially a native level. It allows for reading and writing of any type on any subject, nuanced expression of emotions and opinions, and active participation in any academic or professional setting.
 
According to the official CEFR guidelines, someone at the C2 level:

  1. Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read.
  2. Can summarize information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation.
  3. Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations.

C2 level skills in detail

The official can-do statements are broken down into smaller chunks for teaching purposes. This more detailed skill breakdown can help a student assess their own level, or help a teacher assess a student’s level. For example, a student at the C2 level in French will be able to do all the things that a student in level C1 can do, and in addition he/she will be able to:

  • discuss issues related to science and technology, including robots and new inventions.
  • talk about celebrities, celebrity activism and gossip about celebrities.
  • use a variety of techniques for promoting creativity in their speech and writing.
  • discuss financial planning and give and understand advice about personal finance.
  • talk about stress in their life and the lives of friends and colleagues.
  • discuss techniques for doing research on a wide range of topics.

Responses

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *