Language Levels and Level Tests with International Comparison

Language Trainers course levels correspond to the following internationally recognized standards, ensuring that you have an established reference for your language level no matter where you are in the world. Read on to find out more about our levels, the number of hours required to move from one level to the next and the factors which will determine your likely progress.

Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Proficiency Guidelines (ACTFL)
Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB)
International Second Language Proficiency Ratings (ISLPR)

General
levels

Language Trainers levels
Language Trainers One-To-One Courses (number of hours required to reach the levels below from beginner level)
Language Trainers Group courses (number of hours required to reach the levels below from beginner level)
CEFR levels (Europe)
ACTFL levels (USA)
CLB levels (Canada)
ISLPR levels (Australia)
Beginner Language Trainers level 0 Novice Low
Elementary Language Trainers level 1 Language Trainers Elementary (30 hs) Language Trainers Elementary (50 hs) A1 Novice (Mid/High) Initial Basic Proficiency, Developing Basic Proficiency Formulaic Proficiency (0+) Minimum 'Creative' Proficiency (1-)
Pre-intermediate Language Trainers level 2 Language Trainers Pre-intermediate 1 (50 hs)
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Language Trainers Pre-intermediate 2 (80 hs)
Language Trainers Pre-intermediate 1 (80 hs)
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Language Trainers Pre-intermediate 2 (100 hs)
A2 Intermediate (Low/Mid) Adequate Basic Proficiency, Fluent Basic Proficiency Basic Transactional Proficiency (1) Transactional Proficiency (1+)
Intermediate Language Trainers level 3 Language Trainers Intermediate 1 (100 hs)
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Language Trainers Intermediate 2 (150 hs)
Language Trainers Intermediate 1 (150 hs)
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Language Trainers Intermediate 2 (200 hs)
B1 Intermediate High Initial Intermediate Proficiency, Developing Intermediate Proficiency Basic Social Proficiency (2)
Upper Intermediate Language Trainers level 4 Language Trainers Upper Intermediate 1 (200 hs)
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Language Trainers Upper Intermediate 2 (250 hs)
Language Trainers Upper Intermediate 1 (250 hs)
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Language Trainers Upper Intermediate 2 (300 hs)
B2 Advanced (Low/Mid/High) Adequate Intermediate Proficiency, Fluent Intermediate Proficiency Social Proficiency (2+)
Advanced Language Trainers level 5 Language Trainers Advanced 1 (300 hs)
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Language Trainers Advanced 2 (400 hs)
Language Trainers Advanced 1 (400 hs)
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Language Trainers Advanced 2 (550 hs)
C1 Superior Initial Advanced Proficiency, Developing Advanced Proficiency Basic 'Vocational' Proficiency (3) Basic 'Vocational' Proficiency Plus (3+)
Proficiency Language Trainers level 6 Language Trainers Proficiency 1 (500 hs)
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Language Trainers Proficiency 2 (650 hs)
Language Trainers Proficiency 1 (700 hs)
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Language Trainers Proficiency 2 (850 hs)
C2 Distinguished Adequate Advanced Proficiency, Fluent Advanced Proficiency 'Vocational' Proficiency (4) Advanced 'Vocational' Proficiency (4+)

Level description


0 Beginner

You have no knowledge of the language or you may know some common words and phrases, such as: greetings, giving your name, saying how you feel and numbers.

1 Elementary

You can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. You can introduce yourself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where you live, people you know and things you have. You can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

2 Pre-intermediate

You can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, jobs). You can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. You can describe in simple terms aspects of your background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.

3 Intermediate

You can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. You can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. You can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. You can also describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

4 Upper Intermediate

You can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in your field of specialisation. You can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. You can also produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

5 Advanced

You can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognize implicit meaning. You can express yourself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Also, you can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. You can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.

6 Proficiency

You can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. You can summarize information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. You can express yourself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in more complex situations.

Number of hours to move from one level to the next



Our courses are tailored to your language level and learning goals and we use specific materials to cover the topics you need to learn, and more. Our trainers adapt the course contents to match your exact language needs so you are free to make any suggestions throughout the duration of the course.
In order to progress from one level to the next, it can take anywhere between 30 and 250 hours, depending on the difficulty of the level and several other factors that you can see below. Usually, the more advanced the learner is, the more hours are required to move upwards to the next classification.

For more exotic languages, e.g. Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, Korean and Hebrew, you need to add 100 hours to the number of hours needed to go from one level to the next, due to the different challenges regarding pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, spelling and writing systems. Japanese, for example, has 3 different scripts (alphabets) and many widely used characters have more than one meaning. Another difficult aspect of some of these languages is that of tone and intonation, where small differences can completely change the meaning of what you are saying.

Factors that determine the progress of a language learner



The number of hours needed to progress in a language depends on various factors such as:

  • Your native language: If your native and target language are related (such as if you already speak a Romance language which include French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian and are learning another of those languages), then you will learn easier and faster as you will recognize vocabulary and grammar rules.

  • Knowledge of other languages: If you are an experienced language learner and you know 2 or more languages, you will be able to acquire a new language more rapidly.

  • Difficulty of the language: If the language to be learnt is markedly different from any languages you might know, then prepare to spend a significant amount of time to learn the basics. For example, if you want to learn Mandarin Chinese and your language background is completely unrelated, then it will take serious effort to master the characters and other peculiarities of the language, much more than if you were going to study another language which uses the Latin alphabet (a, b, c, etc).

  • Living in a country where the target language is spoken: The conversation practice that you get by merely living amongst native speakers of the language you want to learn is invaluable.

  • Time for self-study: The more time you invest in language learning at home, either by doing the homework given by the trainer or any language related activity (such as watching TV, films, listening to radio, reading online newspapers, checking sites, etc ), the faster you will be able to progress.

  • Opportunity to practice the language with people other than your trainer: Being exposed to other accents will help you improve your listening skills tremendously!

  • Motivation to learn the new language: A strong motivation is the secret ingredient of language learning. If you are determined to obtain good results and/or have a real need to use the language, there is a lot more chance of success.

  • Your age: Language specialists say that age is an important factor in acquiring a new language. Although many say that the younger you are the better (we have all seen how most young children pick up languages in a matter of months), we firmly believe that with a strong determination, senior citizens can do better than young people - it's all a matter of focus!

About our online tests



To get an idea of your current level you can take our online test, and the instant results will indicate your current ability based on the above mentioned references. Please note that this test approximates your level as it doesn’t assess all language abilities, such as speaking and listening. However, at the start of your course, your designated teacher will assess all your language skills and the lessons will focus on developing the language areas where you feel you need most help or you want to focus on.