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Language levels  0-5

© Lingua (UK) Ltd, 2014

These levels provide approximate guidance for the depth of a learner's knowledge. For greater accuracy

use a decimal point (e.g. 1.8 means strong at Level One and also much of Level Two).

Level ZERO  (means you are a complete beginner with no knowledge)

• Hellos and goodbyes; welcoming
• Say who you are: face-to-face

Say who you are: virtually

Introduce a third party
• Order drinks and food
• Ask simple questions
• Pronounce letters of alphabet
• Time and dates
• Survival phrases (I don’t speak …)

Understand basic expressions, heard often and spoken clearly

Be familiar with typical signs and notices. e.g.

• web menus and links
• in the work-place
• at a hotel

• in the street
• in a railway-station


• Give personal
information: online and in forms
• Use basic phrases for
emails or with
compliment slips
Level ONE   (means you can manage the skills above; 0.5 means you're halfway there)
• Hold a hesitant conversation, limited by lack of vocab and idiom, and need to keep grammar simple
• Start and end a presentation
• Hold a basic phone conversation
• Make simple descriptions
• Express views and likes/dislikes
• Give compliments
• Express numbers and amount:
currency, distance and quantity
• Give directions
• Understand questions,
instructions and directions
• Understand short sentences about familiar topics or known situations when spoken clearly and slowly but seldom able
to follow detail of conversation between native speakers
• Read menus
• Navigate around
• Understand routine
emails and short
predictable texts
• Broadly distinguish
formal and informal
• Write basic email responses
• Formal and informal letters
Level TWO   (means you can manage the skills listed above)
• Know most grammatical structures, if not always perfect in their use
• Comfortable in conversation if occasionally lost for a word
• Make/change arrangements politely
• Make a complaint effectively
• Express shades of opinion
• Describe people, places, incidents, processes
• Follow (if imperfectly)
conversations in meetings and conference calls
• Take phone messages
• Translate into own language emails, letters and reports
• Follow articles and reports (with help of dictionary)
• Read newspapers
comfortably enough
Write longer
emails though text
for public consumption
will need checking
Level THREE   (means you can manage the skills listed above)
• Give a presentation, and field  questions
• Can participate in discussions with only minor inaccuracies
• Assert a different point of view tactfully and Idiomatically
• Follow presentations
• Understand technical and other explanations
• Understand nuance and irony.
• Understand TV and radio
Read documents, reports and media articles, and understand finer implications Write emails, business letters and reports, with good control of
grammar, idiom and style
Level FOUR   (means you can manage the skills listed above)
• Deal with sensitive situations with virtually no linguistic impediment
• Persuade and present a case without linguistic defect
• Fully understand native speakers at normal speed, and nuances in stress and intonation; and distinguish subtle shades of meaning
• Identify different accents
• Check accuracy of other people's translations
• Translate newspaper
articles, letters, work-related and other copy
without difficulty
Write detailed and technically accurate reports, letters and other material

Level FIVE   (means you're confident with the above and don't need language training!)


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