Language proficiency levels are an essential aspect to consider when hiring for your company. For example, a person’s English 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 English 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. In this article, we will discuss English language levels and their types as well as some tips to improve English level skills.
Types of Proficiency Levels in Learning English
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.
Why it’s important to know your English level?
The English level 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?
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:
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
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 skills—whatever 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?
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.
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.
What are the four levels of English proficiency?
- Basic: can understand and produce very basic sentences and phrases.
- Intermediate: understands and produces the most common vocabulary, but is still learning new words.
- Advanced: understands and produces complex sentences, paragraphs, and conversations; knows more than half of the most commonly used words.
- Proficient: has reached the highest level of English proficiency; can write extremely sophisticated and imaginative pieces.