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Guide to Language Levels

The following descriptions are intended as a guide only.

Registration for academic modules: Registration has to be made with a tutor. During the enrolment session you will be assessed by a tutor, and assigned to a module most suitable to your ability. Click here for information about enrolment.

Registration for LLL modules: If you are new to the Language Centre, you must contact us so that we can arrange a consultation session with one of our LLL co-ordinators who will ensure that you enrol in the right level for you. Click here for information about enrolment.

CEFR:Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Academic

Level

Lifelong Learning

Level

Entry Level

Guide to Prior Knowledge

Working towards

(CEFR)

Level 1

 

Beginners

 

Beginners

Excludes anyone with GCSE.

None

 

Basic user

(breakthrough)

A1

Post

Beginners

 

Beginners

  • Previously studied LLL Beginners
  • or equivalent

 

You studied the language some years ago or attended a beginners course. Your vocabulary is limited but you have some understanding of basic structures. You can cope with predictable situations but lack confidence in other contexts. 

Basic user

(breakthrough)

A1+

 

Level 2

 

Lower

Intermediate

 

  • A1 of the CEFR
  • or GCSE level
  • or Language Centre level 1
  • or equivalent

You have a reasonable foundation in the language. You can deal with most common ‘survival’ situations confidently. You want to start moving beyond practising simple exchanges such as holiday or work abroad. 

Basic user

(waystage)

A2

 

Beginners Accelerated

N/A

Beginners.

No prior knowledge of the language.

This module allows to complete two levels in one year, instead of two years: levels 1 & 2.

Due to the 'accelerated' nature of the module, evidence of prior linguistic achievement (e.g. a GCSE grade A* or 9 in another language, or equivalent) is essential.

Basic user

(waystage)

A2

Intermediate Accelerated

N/A

  • A2 of the CEFR
  • or a high grade in GCSE or equivalent
  • or equivalent in International Baccalaureate
  • or Language Centre level 2 or Beginners Accelerated
  • or equivalent

This module allows to complete two levels in one year, instead of two years: levels 3 & 4.

Due to the 'accelerated' nature of the module, this module is for students who have demonstrated higher linguistic skills

You understand a good proportion of the language about a range of common topics. You talk/write with reasonable accuracy, but you are hesitant in more demanding situations.

Independent user

(vantage)

B1+/B2

 

Level 3

Intermediate

  • A2 of the CEFR
  • or a high grade in GCSE or equivalent
  • or equivalent in International Baccalaureate
  • or Language Centre level 2 or Beginners Accelerated
  • or equivalent

NB: For students with a high grade (minimum A or 7) in GCSE or equivalent if they are motivated and/or wish to progress to B2 of the CEFR over two years (by studying level 4 the following year) for study or work purposes.

You understand a good proportion of the language about a range of common topics. You talk/write with reasonable accuracy, but you are hesitant in more demanding situations.

Independent user

(threshold)

A2+/B1

 

Level 4

Higher

Intermediate

  • B1 of the CEFR
  • or a high grade at AS-level (A & B)
  • or equivalent in International Baccalaureate (standard level grades 5/6/7, higher level grades 4/5)
  • or Language Centre level 3
  • or equivalent

You have learnt a language in post compulsory schooling. Whilst being able to express yourself reasonably well and quite accurately, some of the language spoken at native speaker speed still escapes you and you feel the need for more intensive practice, both in speaking and in writing.

Independent user

(vantage)

B1+/B2

Level 5

Advanced 1

  • B2 of the CEFR
  • or a high grade at A-level (A*, A & B)
  • or equivalent in International Baccalaureate (higher level grades 6/7)
  • or Language Centre level 4 or Intermediate Accelerated
  • or equivalent

You have a good vocabulary and a fair understanding of fundamental grammatical rules and how to apply them. You are reasonably confident when speaking in most common, social or work settings and you have developed fluency in your reading and writing. You want to use the language more flexibly and use appropriate register to suit the context. You also want to understand some of the more complex grammar forms.

Independent user

(vantage)

B2/B2+

Level 6

Advanced 2

  • B2+ level of the CEFR
  • or advanced knowledge of the language: i.e. a good A level or equivalent + 1 year of further study
  • successful completion of Language Centre level 5
  • or equivalent

You can communicate and interact with ease in most common social or work situations, and you can grasp most of the language spoken at native speaker speed. You are confident, understanding written documents and developing fluency in your writing. You may have lived in the target language country and/or visit it regularly.

Proficient user

(operational proficiency)

B2+/C1

Level 7

Advanced Culture and Conversation (LfP)

  • approximately C1 level of the CEFR
  • or advanced knowledge of the language: i.e. a good A level or equivalent + 2 years of further study
  • or successful completion of Language Centre level 6 module
  • or equivalent

You have an excellent mastery of the language. You can communicate and interact with ease in any social or work situations. You have lived in the target language country and/or visit it regularly.

Proficient user

(operational proficiency)

C1/C1+