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Levels of Proficiency

Proficiency Scale

Keep in mind that our program Placement Test, Books, and Proficiency Scale align with the CEFR.

“The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is an international standard for describing language ability. It is used around the world to describe learners’ language skills” – Cambridge English.

For more information about the CEFR watch this short video at: http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/exams/cefr/



Integrated Skills

(Grammar, vocab)

Reading Listening/Speaking


#: 0


Name: Basic




Can use basic daily vocabulary. Can introduce self and ask basic questions. Able to read and identify letters, words and simple sentences. Can read a short paragraph and can answer basic questions. Able to understand speakers who speak clearly. Can follow simple instructions   Able to participate in basic interviews. Uses basic daily vocabulary. Can introduce self and ask basic questions Can ask for or pass on personal details in written applications/ forms.





Low Beginner




Can communicate using compound sentence structures to express personal opinions. Can understand very short, simple texts a single phrase at a time, picking up familiar names, words and simple phrases. Can follow speech which is very slow and carefully articulated, with long pause for them to assimilate meaning. Can interact in a simple way but communication is totally dependent on repetition at a slower rate of speech Able to complete applications/ forms. Understands subject verb sentence structure.   Can write simple sentences



High Beginner



Can use past and future grammar tenses appropriately when communicating. Can use beginner school and community related vocabulary. Can understand short, simple texts containing the highest frequency vocabulary Can understand enough provided speech is clearly and slowly articulated. Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information Can write short simple formulaic notes relating to matters in areas of immediate need



Low Intermediate



Can communicate using perfect tenses and more complex vocabulary related to everyday situations. Can read straightforward factual texts on subjects related to their field and interest Can understand the main points of clear standard speech on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure. Can exploit a wide range of simple language to deal with most situations Can write personal letters and notes asking for and convening simple information of immediate relevance
#: 4



High Intermediate



Can recognize when different future, present, past, and perfect grammar tenses are appropriate. Can use and infer complex vocabulary related to school and everyday situations. Has a broad active reading vocabulary but may experience some difficulty with idioms Idiomatic usage influences the ability to understand. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction Can express news and views effectively in writing


Upper levels have optional programs: Academic English & Situational English


Level Integrated Skills (Grammar, vocab) Reading Listening/Speaking Writing
#: 5



Name: Low Advanced



Can communicate fluently understanding of various forms of grammar including perfect tenses and mixed conditionals. Can understand extended speech or lectures on familiar topics and understand the arguments of the speakers. Can give clear, detailed reasons to support a viewpoint related to a familiar topic. Has a broad active reading vocabulary and can understand unfamiliar words through context. Can identify and read different types of texts (informative, persuasive, descriptive, etc.) on contemporary issues and understand the writer’s stance Idiomatic usage influences the ability to understand. Can understand enough to follow advanced topics though they may need to confirm details. Can interact with fluency and spontaneity. Can express news and views effectively in writing. Is familiar with different writing styles and formats for academic purpose. Can utilize the topic sentence, supporting details, and conclusion in a paragraph and in an informative or persuasive essay related to academic topics.
#: 6


Name: Advanced




Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer clauses. Can show controlled use of organizational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices. Can formulate and express complex opinions or descriptions in a well-organized manner, as well as incorporate information from academic sources, with fluency and spontaneity. Can understand even the nuances and implications of extended speech Can understand in detail length, complex, and academic texts provided they can reread difficult sections. Can understand extended, difficult factual or literary texts in a wide variety of academic topics and subjects


Can understand enough to follow complex & academic topics, though they may need to confirm details. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously. Can express him/herself with clarity and precision. Can write thesis statements with supporting details. Can express opinions or give detailed information of complex, academic topics in a clear, well-organized, 3-5 paragraph essay.

Can effectively tailor the essay to the audience.


#: 7


Name: High Advanced



C2 <


Can understand with ease a variety of grammar and vocabulary in context for both social, academic and professional purposes.   Can follow complex arguments or complicated instructions in a speech about any academic field. Can express oneself with great precision in academic discussions with high fluency, accuracy, and organization Can understand a wider range of long and complex texts. Can Identify main ideas, details, and plot of academic readings. Has no difficulty reading any type of text, including specialized academic articles, abstract language, or literary texts Has no difficulty in understanding any kind of spoken language, delivered at fast native speed. Has a good command of idiomatic expressions. . Can write clearly, smoothly flowing, complex texts in a logical structure. Can write for academic purpose. Can write a complex, academic essay on any topic and in virtually any style or format in a clear, well-organized, 5 paragraph essay.

Level Advancement

*A student may not move up a level until they have passed the final exam to place them in that level.
**Students may not drop to a lower level they have already passed.
***They may only do so with written approval from the current teacher and the target class teacher with the permission of the language program director.
****To advance to the next level, students must pass their class and their final exam with at least a 75%.