language Course Levels
Each of our languages are taught in stages, enabling you to study at the level that suits you, and to progress on to more advanced studies when you are ready. To give an idea of which stage would be most suitable for you, an outline of each level is provided below. If you’re not sure which stage would be best, please contact us for further advice.
Stage 1A - Complete Beginners
Choose this stage if you have no knowledge of the language. Term 1 courses at this level aim for social survival in various everyday situations.
Stage 1B - Beginners
Term 2 is for you if you have attended the previous term or have the equivalent of 20 to 26 hours of study. You can:
- understand and reply to basic greetings and phrases (e.g. ‘hello', ‘good morning', 'excuse me', ‘sorry', ‘thank you')
- reply to simple questions about yourself and write basic sentences and single words
- understand and respond to very simple information concerning numbers and the alphabet
- understand very short dialogues and interact in everyday situations.
Stage 1C - Beginners Plus
Term 3 is for you if you have attended two previous terms or have the equivalent of 40 to 52 hours of study. You can:
- ask and answer simple questions about familiar topics and routine activities
- write short sentences using formal and informal language
- carry out simple transactions (e.g. in shops) and order something to eat or drink
- make simple plans with people (e.g. what to do, where to go and when to meet)
- express what you feel in simple terms, and express thanks
- ask for and provide simple, practical information (e.g. directions, times, dates, quantities, job roles).
Stage 2 - Lower Intermediate
Year two is for you if you have the equivalent of one year's tuition (60 to 80 hours). You can:
- understand and respond to straightforward factual information about everyday, study or work-related topics, identifying both general meaning and specific details.
- participate in everyday conversation and short narratives on familiar topics when delivered in clear standard speech
- read and write short paragraphs on day-today topics covering basic grammar structures
- understand detailed directions, instructions and messages relating to everyday personal and work matters.
Stage 3 - Intermediate
Year three is for you if you have the equivalent of two years' tuition (120 to 160 hours). You can:
- understand and use routine vocabulary and standard sentence structures
- recognise some less familiar elements (e.g. extract information from routine notices, reports and correspondence)
- write a short informal message or a brief formal letter
- give a clear, systematically developed presentation on a topic in your area of work, study or special interest.
- find another way of saying what you mean
Stage 4 - Lower Advanced
Year four is for you if you have studied for about three years or have recently completed a course at GCSE standard. You can:
- give clear, detailed descriptions on a range of subjects related to personal, cultural, social or work issues
- develop a clear coherent argument, linking ideas logically and expanding and supporting your points with appropriate examples
- explain a viewpoint on a topical issue or work proposal giving advantages and disadvantages of various options
- give a clear, systematically developed presentation on a topic in your area of work, study or special interest
- understand the gist of a conversation or written text.
Stage 5 - Advanced
Year five is for you if you are confident in the language and able to join in with native speakers. You can:
- join in most lively conversations with several fast speakers, even if the subject is not very familiar
- participate effectively in extended discussions and debates on complex topics of personal, professional, social or cultural interest
- respond to questions and comments and answer complex lines of counter argument fluently, spontaneously and appropriately
- write extended text using a wide range of language accurately (e.g. essays, formal letters).
Stage 6 - Proficiency
Year six is very advanced post-A2 Level work comparable to NVQ Level 4 or the first year of a foundation degree. You can:
- hold your own arguments in formal discussions of complex issues, arguing articulately and persuasively and without being at a disadvantage compared with native speakers
- have a good command of idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms with an awareness of implied meaning and meaning by association
- express yourself naturally and effortlessly
- understand a wide range of recorded and broadcast audio visual material
- write a range of formal and informal text using extended vocabulary and grammar according to style and content.
For an indication of which levels are available for each language view our Progression Chart.