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Guide To Levels

Here at Southbourne School of English, Bournemouth, we grade our student’s level of English using the internationally recognised Common European Framework (CEF) descriptors. These levels are:

Beginner (A0)
  • Can communicate very basic needs and understand very simple conversational language.
  • Has a limited vocabulary for everyday situations.
  • Can read and produce short, simple pieces of writing.
Elementary (A1)
  • Can communicate basic needs and speak about personal topics.
  • Has sufficient vocabulary for everyday routines.
  • Can recognise main grammatical structures.
  • Can write short personal texts and notes.
Pre-intermediate (A2)
  • Can communicate in everyday situations and hold short conversations.
  • Can use main grammatical structures.
  • Can write texts with some detail.
Intermediate (B1)
  • Can communicate with some confidence in a reasonable number of situations.
  • Has good control of main grammatical structures.
  • Can write longer texts using paragraphs with reasonable accuracy.
Upper-intermediate (B2)
  • Can communicate effectively and express ideas/opinions in most situations.
  • Can discuss a range of topical issues.
  • Can use a wide range of structures, with reasonable accuracy.
  • Can produce a range of written texts using the correct register.
Advanced (C1)
  • Can express feelings, opinions and ideas accurately and precisely using a wide range of vocabulary.
  • Can produce the full range of texts with natural cohesion.
  • Can understand authentic texts with little difficulty.
  • Has a very good degree of grammatical control.