We distinguish between six levels, ranging from beginners to advanced and they are all based on the CEF, or Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, as established by the Council of Europe.
Level: Elementary / A1 – basic user
Description: 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 provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
Approximate number of class hours needed to pass to next level: 60 hours
Level: Pre-intermediate / A2 – basic user
Description: 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, employment). 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.
Approximate number of class hours needed to pass to next level: 90 hours
Level: Intermediate / B1 – independent user
Description: Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise 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.
Approximate number of class hours needed to pass to next level: 120 hours
Level: Upper-intermediate / B2 – independent user
Description: Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialization. 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.
Approximate number of class hours needed to pass to next level: 150 hours
Level: Advanced / C1 – proficiency user
Description: Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognize 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 organizational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.
Approximate number of class hours needed to pass to next level: 180 hours
Level: Proficient/ C2 – proficiency user
Description: Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can summarize 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 more complex situations.
Approximate number of class hours needed to pass to next level: 210 hours.
Depending on the number of students in a particular week there could be more or less levels running. Regardless of the number of classes currently running, students will always be placed in the level to which they most closely correspond. Students who stay for long periods will progress through the level more or less as indicated in the right hand column.
If you would like to check out your own level of Spanish, you can fill in our online level test, and we will let you know within a couple of days what you’re level is!