Written by:Stephanie Milsom
Date posted:November 7, 2022
Posted in:Home / Information / Language Levels

Language Levels

All our schools offer classes at a range of language levels, most according to the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR).

The CEFR framework below outlines the following categories or levels of language users.

Whether you have zero experience learning the language of your choice, you know a bit, or you’re already a pro, we’ve got the course for you!

A0: Absolute beginner: Has no experience of learning the language in any capacity.

A: Basic user. Has some knowledge but struggles to hold a conversation or recognise more complex vocabulary. This section is split into A1 – Breakthrough (false beginner) and A2 – Waystage (elementary).

B: Independent user. Can hold relatively complex conversations and is familiar with more complex vocabulary. This section is split into B1 – Threshold (low intermediate) and B2 – Vantage (upper intermediate).

C: Proficient user. Is fluent, or very nearly fluent. This section is split into C1 – Effective Operation Proficiency (advanced) and C2 – Mastery (fluent).

This table goes into more detail about the specific skills required for each level over all the core language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing):

Level of language - CEFR table - self-assessment

If you’re not sure what your starting level is, don’t worry. Whatever programme you select at whichever of our schools, you’ll be assessed prior to beginning your course. This allows the staff at the school to get a good gauge of your starting ability level so they can place you in a group with other students of a similar level. This methodology means all students learn at an appropriate pace – no one is left behind or stuck feeling bored!

In most of our schools, complete beginners (A0) need to start their course on a specific beginners’ date, while anyone with at least A1 experience can begin their course on any Monday*. Some schools accept all levels on Mondays, and some schools require A1 students (‘false beginners’) to start on set dates, too. You should be sure to book your course for the right date! If you’re unsure about this, contact us right away and we’ll be happy to help.

*Not applicable to specialist courses, which are often scheduled to start on set dates.

Language levels and progression

The length of time required to complete one level ranges depending on the language you’re studying. To a large extent, it also depends on what your mother tongue is. For example, a Dutch national wouldn’t need as long to study German as their French, Spanish, or Chinese counterparts, since the two languages are closely related. That same Dutch national would, however, likely need longer to progress in Japanese than the Chinese counterpart, because Mandarin and Japanese share similar writing systems.

There is, however, a general estimate of hours needed for the average student to progress through their language tuition by one level. This information is based on data from our schools for students studying 20 hours per week in an immersive group environment. The specific duration you require for your language course may vary.

Please find below the average estimate for the number of weeks it takes to progress by one level per language.

Arabic language levels

Level A0 – A1 A1 – A2 A2 – B1 B1 – B2 B2 – C1 C1 – C2 Total
Weeks 4 4 4 4 4 4 24

Arabic language level progression


Chinese language levels

Note: Chinese proficiency is measured across HSK levels 1 – 6. We have used the CEFR below as a guide only.

Level A0 – A1 A1 – A2 A2 – B1 B1 – B2 B2 – C1 C1 – C2 Total
Weeks 5 5 5 5 5 5 30

Chinese language level progression


English language levels

Level A0 – A1 A1 – A2 A2 – B1 B1 – B2 B2 – C1 C1 – C2 Total
Weeks 5 9 9 16 13 14 66

English language level progression

English language assessment grid


French language levels

Level A0 – A1 A1 – A2 A2 – B1 B1 – B2 B1 – C1 C1 – C2 Total
Weeks 7 8 9 10 11 12 57

French language level progression

French language assessment grid


German language levels

Level A0 – A1 A1 – A2 A2 – B1 B1 – B2 B2 – C1 C1 – C2 Total
Weeks 8 8 8 8 8 8 48

German language level progression

German language assessment grid


Greek language levels

Level A0 – A1 A1 – A2 A2 – B1 B1 – B2 B2 – C1 C1 – C2 Total
Weeks 4 4 4 4 4 4 24

Greek language level progression

Greek language assessment grid


Italian language levels

Level A0 – A1 A1 – A2 A2 – B1 B1 – B2 B2 – C1 C1 – C2 Total
Weeks 5 7 8 8 8 9 45

Italian language level progression

Italian language assessment grid


Japanese language levels

Note: Japanese proficiency is measured across levels 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. We have used the CEFR below as a guide only.

Level A0 – A1 A1 – A2 A2 – B1 B1 – B2 B2 – C1 C1 – C2 Total
Weeks 14 15 8 23 12 10 82

Japanese language level progression


Polish language levels

Level A0 – A1 A1 – A2 A2 – B1 B1 – B2 B2 – C1 C1 – C2 Total
Weeks 6 6 6 12 4 4 38

Polish language level progression

Polish language assessment grid


Portuguese language levels

Level A0 – A1 A1 – A2 A2 – B1 B1 – B2 B2 – C1 C1 – C2 Total
Weeks 4 4 6 6 8 8 36

Portuguese language level progression

Portuguese language assessment grid


Russian language levels

Level A0 – A1 A1 – A2 A2 – B1 B1 – B2 B2 – C1 C1 – C2 Total
Weeks 6 9 15 17 14 17 75

Russian language level progression

Russian language assessment grid


Spanish language levels

Level A0 – A1 A1 – A2 A2 – B1 B1 – B2 B2 – C1 C1 – C2 Total
Weeks 4 5 7 9 10 10 45

Spanish language level progression

Spanish language assessment grid


REMEMBER: there are various factors affecting your progression. These include practical things like how much time you can dedicate to extra-curricular study and how much exposure and practice you get outside the classroom, as well as more abstract things like how you learn and whether you are naturally disposed to language learning.

Things you can do to increase your rate of progression:

  • ensuring you continue using the language at all times outside the classroom (even if it feels difficult at first!);
  • watching television and movies in the language;
  • listening to songs, the radio, and podcasts in the language;
  • reading books and magazines in the language;
  • staying with a local homestay host to guarantee additional language practice with a native speaker;
  • booking a more rigorous course, such as a Super-intensive programme, private tuition, or a combined package (see Our Courses for more information);
  • exploring the location to get as much language exposure as possible, and trying to speak to as many people as possible while you do so to get extra language practice.

If you’re still unsure about how much tuition to book, or have questions about your planned language course, feel free to contact us at any time. You can call our offices on (+44) 1509 211 612 or email info@applelanguages.com. You can also fill in our web form or use our LiveChat function, and one of our dedicated team members will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Sunset, jumping up, success, happy students

Leave a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*