Level of Proficiency in English! Let’s Discover Language Proficiency Levels!

Language proficiency levels are an essential aspect to consider when hiring for your company. For example, a person’s English language proficiency level will greatly affect the way they communicate with you and other employees in the workplace. Here is a brief guide on how proficiency levels are defined.

So, what is language proficiency? Basically, it’s the ability to speak and write a complete sentence in a language you are familiar with. In addition, it also includes writing grammatically correct sentences as well as having a wide vocabulary.

The English language is a language that, as of now, is being spoken by almost every country in the world. This language has evolved from various languages which have been used for different purposes. It is important for students, workers …etc. In this article, we will discuss English language levels and their types as well as some tips to improve English level skills.

Level of proficiency in English

This image talks about language proficiency levels.
This image talks about language proficiency levels.

The classification levels (A1-Beginner through C2-Proficient) are from the CEFR. Score comparisons are based on individual test providers’ websites using the CEFR as the main benchmark for comparison.

The CEFR uses a scoring system, so you need an online test for your country to get the score broken down for you! The Cambridge exam is used by universities in England while others use either one set of tests – these exams will be more qualitative and use more fillers if you’re self-applying.

The Cambridge exam is widely recognized as an international standard for teaching and assessment of language learning. Level A1 (the lowest entry to university) is universally considered the first language threshold and the C2 is the highest., invalidating some current official entrance criteria in countries like the USA, Canada, and the UK.

Language proficiency is a person’s ability to use language for real-world reasons naturally for many topics and reasons. 1

Here are 5 English proficiency levels

  1. Level 1: Beginner/Elementary – can understand and use basic phrases and expressions, but has limited vocabulary and struggles with grammar.
  2. Level 2: Pre-Intermediate – can communicate in familiar situations and understand simple texts, but still struggles with more complex grammar and vocabulary.
  3. Level 3: Intermediate – can express opinions and ideas, understand most conversations and texts, and use more complex grammar and vocabulary.
  4. Level 4: Upper-Intermediate – can participate in more complex discussions, understand and communicate effectively in most situations, and use a wide range of vocabulary and grammar structures.
  5. Level 5: Advanced – can communicate fluently and accurately, understand and analyze complex texts and conversations, and use advanced grammar and vocabulary with ease.

How to know your proficiency level in English

There are several ways to determine your English language proficiency levels. One of the most common ways is to take a standardized language proficiency test such as the TOEFL or IELTS. These tests assess your reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills and provide a score that indicates your level of proficiency.

Another way is to self-assess your language skills by using the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) which provides a framework for describing language proficiency levels from A1 (beginner) to C2 (proficient).

Additionally, you can practice your English skills by engaging in conversations with native speakers, reading English books and articles, and watching English movies and TV shows to gauge your level of comprehension and fluency.

Why it’s important to know your level of proficiency in English?

The language proficiency levels in English system you use to describe your English skills is usually imposed on you from the outside. Maybe you live in the U.S., but your school uses CEFR levels for its own system, so you do, and then you describe your English level using that test’s system.

Depending on your goals and location, you are likely to be more familiar with one system of English levels than another. For example, if you’re applying to a university in the USA, you probably know what a TOEFL score of 100 means, whereas if you’re trying to get a visa to move to the UK, you’re more likely to be familiar with the CEFR level B1.

That’s not true who asks, is English hard to learn? Well actually, English is easy and is highly needed anywhere.

How to improve your proficiency level in English

This image talks about language proficiency levels.
This image talks about language proficiency levels.

Improving your language proficiency levels in English requires consistent effort and practice. One of the best ways to improve your English skills is to immerse yourself in the language by reading, writing, listening, and speaking in English as much as possible. You can also enroll in English language courses or hire a tutor to help you learn and practice specific skills.

Additionally, using online resources, such as language learning apps and websites, can be a great way to supplement your learning and practice on your own time. Consistency and dedication to improving your skills are key to becoming proficient in English.

Developing language proficiency is basically improving your ability to communicate in the foreign language, which covers various aspects of the language, or language skills. 2

Advanced English Tests

The best way to assess your level in English is to take a reliable standardized test. See below for a list of major recognized tests and their corresponding C1/C2 scores:

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CEFR ¹                                                           EF SET
* < A1                                                                     1 – 10
* A1 Beginner                                                     11 – 30
* A2 Elementary                                               31 – 40
* B1 Intermediate                                             41 – 50
* B2 Upper                                                         51 – 60
* C1 Advanced                                                   61 – 70
* C2 Proficient                                                 71 – 100

ESL Proficiency

It is one of the four levels of proficiency used in the Common European Framework for Language Learning. It represents a learner’s ability to use and understand oral and written language for purposes of social communication.

An ESL proficiency level of A2, which is an intermediate-level proficiency, is the most commonly used in English language teaching, although A2 is often misinterpreted as beginner’s level or primary skill. In reality, there are no levels beyond C1 – this means it isn’t a reliable measure of overall proficiency.

Note: The CEFR encompasses all three languages ​- English, French, and German. Therefore it includes learners of other languages ​​who study in English (e.g. Chinese, Turkish) at an “intermediate” level.

TOEFL Certification

It is a program that is accredited by the United States Department of Education. Each year, thousands of American students take TOEFL tests and receive their designation as International Students who have satisfied a set of criteria including high scores on multiple sections from both Sections 1 & 2.

TOEFL test takers may then exchange their TOEFL scores for various degrees in colleges or universities that accept the tests.

Strategies for Continuing your English Practice

Here are some strategies for continuing your English practice even as you reach the upper intermediate level:

  1. Change the settings to English on your email and social media accounts as well as other devices such as your phone or smartwatch. This will be helpful for writing better emails, resumes, and engaging in conversations on social media (strengthening your grammar).
    At this point, you can begin to write reports or choose appropriate data points about the product/service that you are selling or advocating.
  2. Read as much as possible in English especially about subjects you’re interested in.
    In my opinion, reading in English is a more efficient way of learning as you will learn better visually and this means phonetically. Reading allows your mind to acquire new vocabulary which enables you to communicate effectively with an increasing number of people around the world.
  3. Listen to audiobooks and podcasts. If you use a smartphone or device, listening to English radio stations or audio lessons here in the States is also a great resource. Keep in mind that good listeners are not only at ease with listening but they will enjoy doing so and this can be seen when they answer questions about what was heard.
  4. Take the EF SET—and take it again as you continue to improve your English. The test is adaptive, which means that with practice, the test will adjust to your capabilities.
  5. Follow a daily or weekly schedule of speaking and listening as well as reviewing the material you recently studied.

Finally, to summarize what has been said about English study:

A- Engage in daily conversation and practice writing at least 90 minutes each day, but preferably 2 to 3 times per day. No matter how much fluency you achieve, always stay in practice. Remember that this is a lifetime pursuit and never stop learning English or trying to improve your speaking/writing skillswhatever your age may be!

B- Continuing education such as taking supplementary courses such as workshops, seminars, and classes can aid in excellent and promote more successful communication with native English speakers and around the world.

C- Study whenever possible with people who speak the same language as you do or learn from YouTube videos and other resources that can be found online—it can even be beneficial to work on your spoken skills via Skype, Face Time or even Google Hangout if possible.

D- Learn from someone who speaks multiple languages—others have been there and done that, so why not learn from them?

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E- Read aloud as much as you can in the English language. This improves listening skills at a very deep level, listening is a skill.

F- Watch your favorite TV shows and programs that relate to English learning, whether on DVD or via Netflix—this will improve vocabulary and grammar skills while making you laugh every so often!

You can see levels of language proficiency.

Types of proficiency

  1. Oral proficiency: the ability to speak a language fluently and accurately.
  2. Written proficiency: the ability to write a language correctly and coherently.
  3. Listening proficiency: the ability to understand spoken language in different contexts.
  4. Reading proficiency: the ability to comprehend written language in different formats.

4 levels of language proficiency

  1. Novice: Can understand and use basic phrases and expressions related to familiar topics.
  2. Intermediate: Can communicate effectively in most situations, but may still have difficulty with more complex language and cultural nuances.
  3. Advanced: Can understand and express complex ideas and opinions, and may have a near-native level of fluency.
  4. Expert: Has a mastery of the language, including its subtleties and cultural references, and can use it in a professional or academic setting.

Steps to reach high proficiency in English

  • Consistent and regular practice, such as reading, writing, speaking and listening to English.
  • Immersing oneself in the language, such as watching English movies and TV shows, listening to English music, and interacting with English speakers.
  • Learning and mastering grammar rules and vocabulary.
  • Seeking feedback and guidance from a teacher or tutor to identify areas for improvement and practice specific skills.

Basic proficiency requirements

Basic proficiency requirements refer to the minimum level of knowledge and skills that an individual must possess in order to perform a particular job or task. These requirements may vary depending on the industry or field, but they typically include fundamental skills such as reading, writing, and basic math proficiency.

In addition, basic proficiency requirements may also include specific technical skills or knowledge related to the job or task, such as computer literacy or knowledge of relevant regulations and policies. Meeting these requirements is essential for success in many professions, as they provide a foundation for further learning and development.

Proficient intermediate skills

Proficient intermediate skills refer to a level of competency that falls between basic beginner skills and advanced expert skills. Individuals with proficient intermediate skills have gained a solid understanding of the fundamental concepts and practices within a specific field or skillset, and are able to apply them effectively in a variety of situations.

They may have some experience and expertise in certain areas, but still have room for growth and development. Proficient intermediate skills are often seen as a valuable asset in the job market, as they demonstrate a level of competence and versatility that can be applied to a range of roles and responsibilities.


1. What are the 5 levels of language proficiency?

  1. Novice: limited ability to communicate, with a basic vocabulary and understanding of grammar.
  2. Intermediate: ability to handle simple communication tasks, with a broader vocabulary and more advanced grammar.
  3. Advanced: ability to handle more complex communication tasks, with a wider range of vocabulary and more advanced grammar structures.
  4. Superior: ability to handle complex communication tasks, with a nuanced understanding of language and culture.
  5. Distinguished: native-like proficiency, with a deep understanding of language, culture, and literature.

2. What is language proficiency A1 A2 B1 B2 C1 C2?

  1. Language levels A1 and A2 refer to beginner or elementary proficiency in a language.
  2. Language levels B1 and B2 refer to intermediate proficiency in a language.
  3. Language level C1 refers to advanced proficiency in a language.
  4. Language level C2 refers to mastery or near-native proficiency in a language.

3. What are the language proficiency levels for CV?

The language language proficiency levels for a CV can vary depending on the employer and the job requirements. However, the most commonly used language proficiency levels are:

1. Native or bilingual proficiency: This means that you are fluent in the language and can speak, read, and write it as well as a native speaker.

2. Full professional proficiency: This level means that you are able to use the language with almost the same level of fluency as a native speaker, but there may be some errors or inaccuracies.

3. Professional working proficiency: This level indicates that you are able to use the language in a professional setting and can communicate effectively with native speakers.

4. Limited working proficiency: This level means that you have a basic understanding of the language and can use it in simple situations but may struggle with more complex tasks.

5. Elementary proficiency: This level indicates that you have a basic understanding of the language and can communicate in simple situations but may struggle with more complex tasks.

It is important to accurately assess your language proficiency level to ensure that you are applying for jobs that match your skills and abilities.

4. What are the 6 language proficiency levels?

  1. Pre-Emergent/Novice Low
  2. Emergent/Novice Mid
  3. Basic/Novice High
  4. Intermediate/Low
  5. Advanced/Mid High
  6. Superior/High

5. What are the 5 levels of English language proficiency?

  1. Level 1: Novice – the individual has little to no proficiency in the language.
  2. Level 2: Intermediate – the individual has basic communication skills in the language.
  3. Level 3: Advanced – the individual has a good understanding of the language and can communicate effectively.
  4. Level 4: Superior – the individual has a high level of proficiency in the language and can communicate fluently.
  5. Level 5: Native or Bilingual – the individual is a native speaker or has achieved a level of proficiency that is equivalent to a native speaker.
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6. What is B2 level of language proficiency?

  • B2 level of language proficiency is considered an upper-intermediate level.
  • It indicates that the individual can understand and communicate with native speakers with relative ease.
  • At this level, the individual can participate in discussions and debates on a variety of topics.
  • They can also write clear and detailed texts on a wide range of subjects.

7. What are the ranks of language proficiency?

  • Novice: limited ability to communicate in the language
  • Intermediate: can communicate in routine tasks and social situations
  • Advanced: can communicate effectively in most situations, but may still make errors
  • Proficient: can communicate fluently and accurately in any situation, almost like a native speaker.

8. How do I know my English proficiency level?

A number of tools are available to assess your English proficiency level.

• You can use a variety of online tools that provide an assessment of language proficiency, such as the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) or the British Council’s English Language Proficiency Index (ELPI).

• You can also test your English skills by taking a standardized test such as TOEFL, IELTS, and GMAT.

9. What are the four levels of English proficiency?

  1. Basic: can understand and produce very basic sentences and phrases.
  2. Intermediate: understands and produces the most common vocabulary, but is still learning new words.
  3. Advanced: understands and produces complex sentences, paragraphs, and conversations; knows more than half of the most commonly used words.
  4. Proficient: has reached the highest level of English proficiency; can write extremely sophisticated and imaginative pieces.

10. How to know what is your level of proficiency in English?

  • Take a standardized language proficiency test such as TOEFL or IELTS.
  • Have a conversation with a native English speaker who can provide feedback on your speaking and listening skills.
  • Take an online assessment or quiz to test your grammar and vocabulary knowledge.
  • Evaluate your own ability to read and write in English by reading and writing regularly and seeking feedback from others.

11. How to reach high levels of proficiency in English?

  • Practice speaking English regularly with native speakers or language partners.
  • Read books, articles, and news in English to improve vocabulary and comprehension skills.
  • Watch English TV shows, movies, and videos to improve listening and comprehension skills.
  • Take English courses or hire a tutor to receive personalized feedback and guidance on grammar, pronunciation, and writing.

12. What are proficiency level examples?

  1. Beginner proficiency level: able to understand basic vocabulary and phrases, and communicate simple ideas with frequent errors.
  2. Intermediate proficiency level: able to understand more complex language and express ideas with some fluency, but still make errors and struggle with more advanced concepts.
  3. Advanced proficiency level: able to understand and communicate complex ideas with fluency and accuracy, and engage in discussions on a wide range of topics.
  4. Native or near-native proficiency level: able to use language in a natural and nuanced way, with a deep understanding of cultural and linguistic nuances.

13. What is intermediate proficiency meaning?

Intermediate proficiency refers to a level of proficiency or skill that is higher than beginner but not quite advanced. It typically means that a person has a good understanding of the basics and can perform tasks or communicate in the language or skill with some level of ease, but may still struggle with more complex or nuanced aspects of it.

In language learning, intermediate proficiency is often defined as being able to hold a conversation, understand more complex grammar structures, and read and write with some fluency. In other skills, intermediate proficiency may refer to having a good understanding of the fundamentals but still needing to develop more advanced techniques or strategies.

14. What is the highest level of English proficiency?

considered to be native-level fluency, which is the level of proficiency achieved by someone who has grown up speaking English as their first language. However, there are also various proficiency tests that can be taken to assess non-native speakers’ English language skills, such as the TOEFL, IELTS, and Cambridge English exams.

These tests have different levels of proficiency, with the highest being advanced or proficient level. Ultimately, the level of proficiency someone achieves in English depends on their individual language learning journey and dedication to improving their skills.

In conclusion, understanding the different types of proficiency levels in learning English is crucial for both learners and teachers alike. The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) provides a comprehensive framework for measuring language proficiency and can help learners set achievable goals and track their progress.

Additionally, knowledge of proficiency levels can assist teachers in designing effective lesson plans and assessments that cater to the individual needs of their students. With a clear understanding of proficiency levels, learners can improve their English skills and achieve their desired level of fluency.


  1. World Language Proficiency | OSPI. (n.d.).
  2. Beata. (2022). What Is Really Language Proficiency? Langster