Keep educating yourself

What do A1-C2 Levels of English Mean?

We may often hear from English learners: "my English level is B2 or C1". But what do these letters and numbers stand for? In the tables below you will find a detailed description of each level in terms of reading and listening comprehension as well as writing and speaking ability. This information based on CEFR (The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) data.

Language Skills A1 A2
Understanding
Listening
You can recognize familiar words and very basic phrases concerning yourself, your family and immediate concrete surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly. You can understand phrases and the highest frequency vocabulary related to areas of most immediate personal relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local area, employment). You can catch the main point in short, clear, simple messages and announcements.
Reading
You can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues. You can read very short, simple texts. You can find specific, predictable information in simple everyday material such as advertisements, prospectuses, menus and timetables and You can understand short simple personal letters.
Speaking
Spoken Interaction
You can interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase things at a slower rate of speech and help me formulate what I'm trying to say. I can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics You can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar topics and activities. You can handle very short social exchanges, even though You can't usually understand enough to keep the conversation going yourself.
Spoken Production
You can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where I live and people I know. You can use a series of phrases and sentences to describe in simple terms your family and other people, living conditions, your educational background and your present or most recent job.
Writing
You can write a short, simple postcard, for example sending holiday greetings. You can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering your name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form. You can write short, simple notes and messages relating to matters in areas of immediate needs. You can write a very simple personal letter, for example thanking someone for something.

Language Skills B1 B2
Understanding
Listening
You can understand the main points of clear standard speech on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. You can understand the main point of many radio or TV programs on current affairs or topics of personal or professional interest when the delivery is relatively slow and clear. You can understand extended speech and lectures and follow even complex lines of argument provided the topic is reasonably familiar. You can understand most TV news and current affairs programs. You can understand the majority of films in standard dialect.
Reading
You can understand texts that consist mainly of high frequency everyday or job-related language. I can understand the description of events, feelings and wishes in personal letters. You can read articles and reports concerned with contemporary problems in which the writers adopt particular attitudes or viewpoints. You can understand contemporary literary prose.
Speaking
Spoken Interaction
You can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst traveling in an area where the language is spoken. You can enter unprepared into conversation on topics that are familiar, of personal interest or pertinent to everyday life (e.g. family, hobbies, work, travel and current events). You can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible. You can take an active part in discussion in familiar contexts, accounting for and sustaining your views.
Spoken Production
You can connect phrases in a simple way in order to describe experiences and events, my dreams, hopes and ambitions. You can briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans. You can narrate a story or relate the plot of a book or film and describe your reactions. You can present clear, detailed descriptions on a wide range of subjects related to your field of interest. You can explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
Writing
You can write simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. I can write personal letters describing experiences and impressions. You can write clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects related to your interests. You can write an essay or report, passing on information or giving reasons in support of or against a particular point of view. You can write letters highlighting the personal significance of events and experiences.

Language Skills C1 C2
Understanding
Listening
You can understand extended speech even when it is not clearly structured and when relationships are only implied and not signaled explicitly. You can understand television programs and films without too much effort. I have no difficulty in understanding any kind of spoken language, whether live or broadcast, even when delivered at fast native speed, provided I have some time to get familiar with the accent.
Reading
You can understand long and complex factual and literary texts, appreciating distinctions of style. You can understand specialized articles and longer technical instructions, even when they do not relate to your field. You can read with ease virtually all forms of the written language, including abstract, structurally or linguistically complex texts such as manuals, specialized articles and literary works.
Speaking
Spoken Interaction
You can express yourself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. You can use language flexibly and effectively for social and professional purposes. You can formulate ideas and opinions with precision and relate your contribution skilfully to those of other speakers. You can take part effortlessly in any conversation or discussion and have a good familiarity with idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms. You can express yourself fluently and convey finer shades of meaning precisely. If I do have a problem I can backtrack and restructure around the difficulty so smoothly that other people are hardly aware of it.
Spoken Production
You can present clear, detailed descriptions of complex subjects integrating sub-themes, developing particular points and rounding off with an appropriate conclusion. You can present a clear, smoothly-flowing description or argument in a style appropriate to the context and with an effective logical structure which helps the recipient to notice and remember significant points
Writing
You can express yourself in clear, well structured text, expressing points of view at some length. You can write about complex subjects in a letter, an essay or a report, underlining what I consider to be the salient issues. You can select style appropriate to the reader in mind. You can write clear, smoothly-flowing text in an appropriate style. You can write complex letters, reports or articles which present a case with an effective logical structure which helps the recipient to notice and remember significant points. You can write summaries and reviews of professional or literary works.
 

Have you taken the test yet? Do it now and tally up your accomplishments in concrete numbers.

Share with a friend:

You can set up an online contest with your colleague or friend.