Language course levels
Don’t worry about your current level of your target language – we’re here to help you!
Below you will find further information about estimating your current language level to make a booking with us. Alternatively, visit our blog for a more comprehensive overview of all the levels and progression rates for each language.
What level am I?
If you have some previous experience learning your chosen language – i.e. you have at least an ‘elementary’ level – you can usually start your course on any Monday. You will take a level test before starting our lessons. This will allow you to be placed in a suitable group with students of a similar level, and thus study at the correct rate.
Of course, beginners do not need to take a level test; they are placed in groups with other beginners. There are regular start dates available for beginners at all our schools.
If you have forgotten most of what you studied at school (also known as a ‘false beginner’), you may wish to still choose a beginner course. You can choose to take the level test if you like, but it’s good to have the beginners’ class available to fall back on, if necessary.
View all start dates by heading to the location page or using the Prices & Availability quotation tool.
Listing your level when booking
You will see that we mention four broad language levels on our website. Our schools usually have 6-10 more specific levels by which they grade students.
The levels on our website/booking form are designed to give our schools a general idea of the level of each student. This lets them know whether you should take a level test and whether the chosen course will be appropriate for you. The level listed on your booking form is not used to place you into a study group.
Below are the four broad levels we use; you should choose the most appropriate one for you when submitting your booking to us.
A 'beginner' has no previous experience learning or studying the language. They may know one or two basic words or phrases, but nothing more.
Beginners should start on a suitable start date, marked as (b) or (*) on our booking tool. Beginners are usually placed in groups with other complete and false beginners.
Note: some schools allow students of all levels to begin on any Monday, including beginners. This will be noted on the location page and booking tool. Please get in touch with us if you are unsure what date you should begin your course.
An ‘elementary’ learner has previous experience with the target language. They can introduce themselves, ask/answer simple questions, and use numbers in dates and times. They are familiar with the present tense but may not know past or future.
In the UK schooling system, you are elementary if you have studied your language in secondary school to GCSE level.
Elementary is also called A1, and sometimes A2 if using a broad level description.
'Intermediate' students can use the language on a day-to-day basis. They know past, present, and future tenses but are usually unfamiliar with advanced grammar. They can ask/answer more complex questions and can comfortably speak or write about topics like their family and friends, hobbies, working life, and current events.
In the UK schooling system, you are intermediate if you have studied your language in secondary school to IB/A Level.
Intermediate is also called B1, and sometimes B2 if using a broad level description.
An ‘advanced’ learner has an almost fluent knowledge of the language. They have a broad vocabulary, can use complex grammar with few mistakes, and have little to no problems understanding the written or spoken language.
In the UK schooling system, you are advanced if you have studied your language to degree level.
Advanced is also called C1, and sometimes C2 if using a broad level description.
This table shows how the level grading on our booking tool relates to the levels of the CEFR framework.
You can read more about this on our blog.
|CEFR Levels||Our Levels|
|A: Basic User|
|• A0 (Beginner/’false beginner’)||= Beginner|
|• A1 (‘Breakthrough’)||= (Lower) elementary|
|• A2 (‘Waystage’)||= (Upper) elementary|
|B: Independent User|
|• B1 (‘Threshold’)||= (Lower) intermediate|
|• B2 (‘Vantage’)||= (Upper) intermediate|
|C: Proficient User|
|• C1 (‘Effective Operational Proficiency’)||= (Lower) advanced|
|• C2 (‘Mastery’)||= (Upper) advanced|
If you have questions about your level that haven’t been answered here, please don’t hesitate to contact us – we will be very pleased to help.