Your English Level

There are several systems for classifying language proficiency levels. Here is an overview of four common ones that we use at Summertown. Some of the levels (like in ESOL and BEC/CELS) equate directly to exams. Click on the items in the table for more information about the exam. Click on the column headers to get more information about the level systems. Click here to read our detailed information about the BEC.

Generic level Council of Europe Level Cambridge ESOL Level BEC/ Level NQF Level ALTE Level
Elementary A1 Break-through
Pre- Intermediate A2 KET 1
Intermediate B1 PET Preliminary Entry 3 2
Upper- Intermediate B2 FCE Vantage 1 3
Advanced C1 CAE Higher 2 4
Very Advanced C2 CPE 5

See which Summertown products correspond to the individual levels

ALTE CAN DO STATEMENTS

To be able to define the level for a student, the Association of Language Testers in Europe has created so-called "Can Do Statements" for what a student at a certain level can achieve with his language skills.

Use this table to find your ALTE level.

Generic level Listening/Speaking Reading Writing
Elementary

CAN understand basic instructions or take part in a basic factual conversation on a predictable topic.

CAN understand basic notices, instructions or information.

CAN complete basic forms, and write notes including times, dates and places.

 

Pre- Intermediate

CAN express simple opinions or requirements in a familiar context.

CAN understand straightforward information within a known area, such as on products and signs and simple textbooks or reports on familiar matters.

 

CAN complete forms and write short simple letters or postcards related to personal information.

 

Intermediate

CAN express opinions on abstract/cultural matters in a limited way or offer advice within a known area, and understand instructions or public announcements.

 

CAN understand routine information and articles, and the general meaning of non-routine information within a familiar area.

 

CAN write letters or make notes on familiar or predictable matters.

 

Upper- Intermediate

CAN follow or give a talk on a familiar topic or keep up a conversation on a fairly wide range of topics.

CAN scan texts for relevant information, and understand detailed instructions or advice.

CAN make notes while someone is talking or write a letter including non-standard requests.

Advanced

CAN contribute effectively to meetings and seminars within own area of work or keep up a casual conversation with a good degree of fluency, coping with abstract expressions.

CAN read quickly enough to cope with an academic course, to read the media for information or to understand non-standard correspondence.

CAN prepare/draft professional correspondence, take reasonably accurate notes in meetings or write an essay which shows an ability to communicate.

Very Advanced

CAN advise on or talk about complex or sensitive issues, understanding colloquial references and dealing confidently with hostile questions.

CAN understand documents, correspondence and reports, including the finer points of complex texts.

CAN write letters on any subject and full notes of meetings or seminars with good expression and accuracy.

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