Understanding Language Levels
If you are taking a language course with Cactus you can find out more about our language levels and how you can track your progress using the ‘can do statements’ below. These statements outline the key things that you should be able to say and understand once you have completed each level. Can do statements are officially recognised as a set of performance-related scales describing what a learner is able to do in a foreign language, in accordance with the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) and the CEFR defined levels.
You can also take an online level test to monitor your progress. Are you a beginner? Find out more about our Beginners Language Courses.
Can Do Statements – CEFR Levels
At the end of Beginner (A1):
- You can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type
- You can introduce yourself and others
- You can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where you live, what you do, people you know and things you have
- You can ask and give directions
- You can order food and drink
- You can make very basic travel and accommodation arrangements
- You can have a basic conversation, provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
At the end of Elementary (A2):
- You can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas including basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography and employment
- 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
- You can comfortably ‘get by’ when visiting the country, albeit with some difficulty.
At the end of Intermediate (B1):
- 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 describe experiences and events
- You can talk about dreams, hopes and ambitions
- You can briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans
- You could consider working in the country using the language (e.g. bar/counter work, waiting service in cafés or basic office work).
At the end of Upper Intermediate (B2):
- 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 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.
- You can do business with speakers of the language in most run-of-the-mill situations.
At the end of Advanced (C1):
- You can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning
- You can express yourself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions
- You can use the 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, logical flow of text, and clear awareness of the audience.
At the end of Proficient (C2):
- You can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read
- You can summarise information from different spoken and written sources
- You can reconstruct arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation
- You can express yourself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely
- You can differentiate finer shades of meaning, even in the most complex situations.