Language levels & teaching methods

Language levels

Language Levels

Each language school has its own method for assessing your language ability. Some schools will test your ability on your first day at the school with a written test and a short oral assessment. You will then be placed in the correct level of class for your ability. Other schools like you to complete a written test prior to your arrival at the school and then will give you a spoken assessment on your first day.

Making sure you are enrolled on a course at the correct level for your language ability is of the up most importance in giving you the best language learning experience possible. All of our schools use the CEFR – Common Eurpoean Framework of Reference for Languages as a guide when setting their language levels and assessing your language ability. The six reference levels (as shown below) are widely accepted as the European standard for grading an individuals language ability.

If you are unsure of your language level, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss this with you.



  • No knowledge of the language at all.
  • Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type.
  • Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has.
  • Can interact in a simple way if the other person talks slowly, clearly and is prepared to help.
Elementary A2
  • Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography).
  • Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.
  • Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
Low Intermediate B1
  • Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
  • Can deal with most situations arising whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken.
  • Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest.
  • Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
Intermediate B2
  • Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation.
  • Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.
  • Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
High Intermediate C1
  • Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning.
  • Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions.
  • Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.
  • Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices
Advanced C2
  • Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read.
  • Can summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation.
  • Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations.

For more detailed information on the Common European Framework of References for Languages please click here.

Teaching methods

Teaching methods

The main objective of our language courses abroad is to improve the students’ communicative skills. The emphasis of classroom activities is therefore the development of the students’ abilities to speak and understand spoken language. For this reason, classes are conducted entirely in the target language and students are given plenty of opportunity to practise the sort of language they are likely to need outside the classroom. We don’t just want our students to know their target language, we want them to be able to use it!

The schools pay due attention to grammar, vocabulary, reading and writing skills, and a wide variety of materials are used, including published materials from many different sources. Sometimes schools will use material which have been written by their own teachers.

Students who attend private classes will have course materials designed specifically to meet their particular needs. The teaching and the course programme are carefully supervised by the Director of Studies, who is also responsible for ensuring that students are placed in the appropriate level and that their progress is satisfactory. While the atmosphere in the classroom is generally relaxed and informal, students should be prepared to work hard and participate fully.

On the first day of the course, each student with any prior knowledge of the target language is given both an oral and a written test to assess their level of ability and ensure they are be placed in the most appropriate class for their level. The test normally takes around 40-60 minutes (depending on the student’s level).

Students who study at the schools for a number of weeks are asked to take a test to demonstrate how much they have learned. The results of these tests are then combined with the teacher’s continuous assessment report in order to determine whether or not students can move up to the next level of ability.

At the end of their course, students will be given a certificate of attendance which indicates the number of hours they have studied at the school and the level of ability they have reached.

For more information on the teaching methods employed by our schools so not hesitate to contact us.


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