Language Proficiency Levels

There are 10 standard levels of instruction in our system plus our EXTENDED Level Program. Levels 1 – 8 each take 9 weeks to complete. Levels 9 & 10 and EXTENDED Levels each take 13 weeks to complete. The proficiency scales for
each level are as follows:

Level 1 – Introductory Speaker

  • Able to answer very simple questions when giving autobiographical info though with numerous errors
  • Can produce the most basic sentences though with numerous errors
  • Can understand simple questions and statements, requiring slowed speech and a lot of repetition or paraphrasing
  • Asks for frequent repetition

Level 2 – Apprentice Speaker

  • Able to satisfy routine travel needs and minimum courtesy requirements using a very limited range of words
  • Can understand simple questions and statements, requiring slowed speech, repetition or paraphrasing
  • Errors in pronunciation and grammar are frequent
  • Asks for frequent repetition

Level 3 – Very Limited Speaker

  • Able to deal with daily situations satisfactorily
  • Can produce complete sentences though with numerous errors
  • Although errors in grammar and pronunciation are frequent, has the resources to persist until a message is put across and a response is received
  • Asks for frequent repetition

Level 4 – Limited Speaker

  • Able to satisfy routine social demands and limited work requirements
  • Vocabulary sufficient to express ideas simply with some circumlocutions, and frequent hesitations
  • Pronunciation may be a barrier for clear communication

Level 5 – Modest Speaker

  • Able to express ideas adequately though hesitantly in most familiar social and professional situations
  • Accent, though still faulty, is improving
  • Can usually handle basic constructions accurately, but does not have thorough or confident control of the grammar
  • Can pronounce common words satisfactorily

Level 6 – Competent Speaker

  • Able to handle everyday social and business demands efficiently, but still lacks confidence to express meaning in complicated and unfamiliar situations
  • Pronunciation good but accented
  • Intonation fairly natural
  • Can get the meaning of most conversations on non-technical subjects

Level 7 – Advanced Speaker

  • Can cope efficiently with everyday social and professional demands, both face-to-face and on the telephone
  • Still needs conscious effort to express meaning and understand situations that are complicated or unfamiliar
  • Can handle elementary constructions quite accurately as well as some complex structures such as conditionals

Level 8 – Very Advanced Speaker

  • Able to speak the language with sufficient structural accuracy and vocabulary to participate effectively in some formal and informal conversations on practical, social and professional topics
  • Able to discuss, argue, negotiate and make presentations with little loss of meaning
  • Can adequately deal with new situations, utilizing circumlocutions well
  • Can use all basic structures well, but makes mistakes with more complex patterns
  • Pronunciation is standard, intonation natural, vocabulary broad and precise

Level 9 – Fluent Speaker

  • Able to speak the language with good structural accuracy and vocabulary to participate effectively in most formal and informal conversations on practical, social and professional topics
  • Able to succeed in most types of interaction and respond with some effort to different social tones and attitude
  • Can use all basic structures well, but occasionally makes random mistakes with more complex patterns
  • Able to make a good impression in complex professional situations

Level 10 – Very Fluent Speaker

  • Able to speak the language with above average structural accuracy and vocabulary to participate effectively in most formal and informal conversations on practical, social and professional topics
  • Able to succeed in all types of interaction and respond effortlessly to different social tones and attitude
  • Have the assurance to conduct him/herself similarly to a native speaker
  • Able to make an excellent impression in complex and status-sensitive professional situations

EXTENDED Levels – Highly Fluent Speaker

  • Able to speak with very high accuracy and vocabulary as well as participate effectively in formal and informal conversations on practical, social and professional topics
  • Able to read and understand in-depth academic articles at the university level
  • Able to listen to and understand diverse university level lectures
  • Verbally express detailed responses to university level debate topics
  • Able to write university level essays following formal essay structure