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The European Framework of Reference for Languages describes the language levels of a language learner. It enables measurable learning progress. The language teaching is internationally comparable.


The language levels

A0 - Complete beginner (beginner)

You have no knowledge of the language.
Please look at the dates regarding courses for beginners

A1 - Little knowledge (elementary)

You know a few words in the foreign language, and can possibly understand a few sentences, and can speak with single words. You have no knowledge of the grammar of the respective language.

A2 - Basic knowlege (lower intermediate)

You can already communicate with single words and simple sentences in everyday life, but can't speak fluently. Grammar skills are present in the approach.

For exotic languages like Russian, Arabic, Japanese or Thai you can class yourself as this level, if you already know the characters of the alphabet.

B1 -  Advanced level (intermediate)

You can already communicate well in the foreign language, when in familiar situations and conversations. You have good listening and reading comprehension. There may possibly be errors with pronunciation and terminology.

The level corresponds to the European Foreign Language Certificate UNIcert I.

B2 - Higher advanced level (upper intermediate)

You can communicate well in the foreign language, and can also understand new and abstract themes, and participate actively in conversations with certain vocabulary. You have good knowledge of terminology and grammar.

The level corresponds to the European Foreign Language Certificate UNIcert II.

C1 - High level (advanced)

You speak the language well, even though you may still make a few errors and the pronunciation isn't always correct. You can orientate yourself in all language situations and can speak fluently and spontaneously. You can understand specialist text without any problems. You class your language knowledge as advanced and would like to learn specialist vocabulary to perfect your language knowledge.

The level corresponds to the European Foreign Language Certificate UNIcert III.

C2 - Almost mother tongue  (upper advanced)

You have a rich vocabulary, and intuitively use grammar correctly and speak the foreign language fluently. You can effortlessly understand or regurgitate whatever was read or heard. You can master complex topics in a linguistic way. You want to work on your language skills mainly to speak the language as a native or to, for example, perfect your language proficiency as a translator or linguist.

The level corresponds to the European Foreign Language Certificate UNIcert IV

Detailed descriptions of the language levels

A - Elementary language use »

A1 - Complete beginner

A1 - Listening: I can understand familar, everyday words and expressions and simple sentences provided they are spoken slowly and clearly, which refer to myself, my family or other concrete things. I can understand, for example, where my speaking partner lives, who they know or what things they have and i can reply to these questions. I can communicate in simple ways, if the speaking partner speaks slowly and clearly, and is prepared to help me.

A1 - Reading: I can read and understand certain familiar names, words and complete simple sentences e.g. on signs and menus.

A1 - Speaking: I can communicate in simple ways, if my speaking partner is prepared to repeat something more slowly or say something in a different way, and can help me express what i'm trying to say. I can ask simple questions and answer them as long as they are direct things relevant to me, and are very familiar topics.  I can use simple phrases and sentences to describe people i know, and to, for example, describe who i am, how old i am, where i live and what i like.

A1 - Writing: I can write short, simple post cards, e.g. holiday greetings. I can also fill out hotel forms e.g. names, adresses, nationality etc.

A2 - Little knowledge (elementary)

A2 - Listening: I can understand certain sentences and and basic words, when it's about relevant things to me (e.g. very simple information about people, family, shopping, work, the nearby surroundings. I understand the essentials of short, clear and simple passages and statements.

A2 - Reading: I can read very short, simple texts. I can figure out general texts like, for example, menus, timetables or brochures, and I can understand short, simple personal letters.

A2 - Speaking:  I can communicate in simple, routine situations, where there is a simple and direct exchange of information regarding familiar themes and activities. I can lead a very short conversation, but I do not usually understand enough to keep the conversation going. I can describe e.g. my family, other people, where i live, my education and my current or previous professional activities with a series of sentences by simple means.

A2 - Writing: I can write short, simple notes and messages. I can write a simple, personal letter e.g. for me to give thanks for something. I know basic grammar and can already use primary rules.

B - Independent language use »

B1 - Advanced level - (intermediate)

B1 - Listening: I can understand the key points, if clear, standard speech is used, and if it's about familar things from work, school, free time etc. I can extract key information about current events from many TV programmes, and from topics in my workplace or places of interest, if they are spoken relatively slowly and clearly.

B1 - Reading: I can understand texts, which use very common, everyday or working language. I can understand a private letter, which refers to events, feelings or wishes.

B1 - Speaking: I can manage most situations encountered when travelling around areas of the language. I can participate in a conversation without preparation regarding themes which are familiar to me, which i am personally interested in or everyday topics like family, hobbies, work, food, travelling, sports and current events. I can easily speak in flowing sentences to describe experiences or events, or my wishes, hopes and aims. I can briefly explain and justify my opinions and plans. I can tell a story or explain the plot of a book or film, and describe my opinion of it.

B1 - Writing: I can write texts easily about topics, which are familar to me or that i am interested in. I can write personal letters and tell my experiences and impressions. I can use simple grammatical rules.

B2 - Higher advanced (upper intermediate)

B2 - Listening: I can understand longer statements and speech, and also follow more complex arguments, if i am somewhat familar with the topic. I can understand most news channels on TV and current reports. I can understand most films, as long as standard language is spoken.

B2 - Reading: I can read and understand articles and reports on present problems, where the writer has a particular stance or point of view. I can understand contemporary, literary prose text.

B2 - Speaking: I can spontaneously and fluently communicate, so that a normal conversation with a native speaker is possible. I can actively take part in a discussion in familiar situations, and justify and defend my opinions. I can give a clear and detailed account of many topics i am interested in. I can explain my point of view in response to a direct question and give advantages and disadvantages of different possibilities.

B2 - Writing: I can write clear, detailed texts about a variety of themes, which interest me. I can regurgitate information in an essay or report, or present arguments and counter-arguments for or against a particular point of view. I can write letters, and within those, give a personal account of events and experiences clearly. I know almost all grammatical rules and can use the most important forms.

C - Competent language use »

C1 - High level (advanced)

C1 - Listening: I can follow longer speeches, even when they are not clearly structured and if the content isn't explicitly expressed. I can understand TV programmes and films without too much effort.

C1 - Reading: I can understand long, complex, factual texts and literature, and notice different styles. I can understand factual articles and longer technical instructions, even when they don't lie in my area of expertise.

C1 - Speaking: I can express myself fluently and spontaneously, without having to look clearly for words. I can use the language effectively and flexibly in social and professional life. I can express my thanks and thoughts accurately, and link my own contributions to those of other people. I can describe complex issues in detail and link topics with eachother, explain particular aspects and conclude with my contribution.

C1 - Writing: I can express myself clearly and with structure when writing, and i can explain my opinions in detail. I can write letters, essays or reports on complex issues, and highlight the essential aspects for myself. I can choose to write in a style of text, which is suitable for the relative readers. I know all grammatical rules and use them confidently most of the time. I still find some grammatical cases difficult but i don't use them often.

C2 - Almost native language: (upper advanced)

C2 - Listening: I have no difficulty at all, when understanding spoken language regardless whether it's spoken person to person or in the media, and also when spoken quickly. I need a bit of time, to adapt to a particular accent.

C2 - Reading: I can read practically any kind of written text effortlessly, also when it's abstract, context-related or of linguistic complexity e.g. user guides, professional articles and literary work

C2 - Speaking: I can take part in conversations and discussions effortlessly, and have confidence in expressions and colloquial language. I can speak fluently and also express different types of meaning. If i make a mistake with an expression, i can easily re-start and rephrase, so you rarely notice. I can explain and argue issues clearly, fluently and in the style of the particular situation; I can construct my account logically and thus make it easier for the listeners to recognise important points and to remember them.

C2 - Writing: I can clearly, fluently, and stylistically write for particular purposes. I can write sophisticated letters and complex reports or articles that represent a well structured text to help the reader recognise the important points. I can summarise and discuss specialised texts and literary work. I am proficient in the grammar and spelling, with almost no mistakes.

Aim of the European Framework of Reference for Languages

  • Comparability of language competence in Europe

  • Mutual recognition of linguistic qualifications

  • Basis for the development of lesson plans, exams, teaching materials

The European Framework of Reference for Languages is a reference framework, approved by the whole of Europe, which enables the language competency (levels) of language learning to be rated and you can compare it in the whole of Europe.
It enables the language learners to access and evaluate themselves. Each time you learn a language, e.g. through a language course, schooling or university, you have a general basis to compare your level Europe-wide as well as internationally.
The Euopean Framework of Reference for Languages describes what must be done to learn a foreign language in detail. It provides teachers with a way to create language- tests, exams and diplomas.

Specialist advice

United Kingdom
01256 - 808 212
Consultation UK

+45 76 24 53 33
Consultation Scandinavia

+34 95 808 29 02
Consultation Spain

+1 1256 - 808 212
Consultation USA

 +43 186 999 64
Consultation Austria

+33 182 88 44 74
Consultation France

+49 341 - 702 68 68
Consultation Germany

+39 240 708 087
Consultation Italy

+1 1256 - 808 212
Consultation Canada

Language teaching through The European Framework of Reference for Languages:

The standard of the respective language level is determined with an oral and written test on the first school day. With a LISA! language course, the participants are split into teaching groups of the same language level.


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