Level A1

  • I can understand everyday expressions dealing with simple and concrete everyday needs, in clear, slow and repeated speech.

  • I can follow speech which is very slow and carefully articulated, with long pauses for me to get the meaning

  • I can understand questions and instructions and follow short, simple directions

  • I can understand numbers, prices and times

Level A2

  • I can understand enough to manage simple, routine exchanges without too much effort

  • I can generally identify the topic of discussion around me which is conducted slowly and clearly

  • I can generally understand clear, standard speech on familiar matters, although in a real life situation I might have to ask for repetition or reformulation

  • I can understand enough to be able to meet concrete needs in everyday life provided speech is clear and slow

  • I can understand phrases and expressions related to immediate needs

  • I can handle simple business in shops, post offices or banks

  • I can understand simple directions relating to how to get from X to Y, by foot or public transport

  • I can understand the essential information from short recorded passages dealing with predictable everyday matters which are spoken slowly and clearly

  • I can identify the main point of TV news items reporting events, accidents, etc, where the visual material supports the commentary

  • I can catch the main point in short, clear, simple messages and announcements

Level B1

  • I can guess the meaning of occasional unknown words from the context and understand sentence meaning if the topic discussed is familiar

  • I can generally follow the main points of extended discussion around me, provided speech is clear and in standard language

  • I can follow clear speech in everyday conversation, though in a real life situation I will sometimes have to ask for repetition of particular words and phrases

  • I can understand straightforward factual information about common everyday or job related topics, identifying both general messages and specific details, provided speech is clear and generally familiar accent is used

  • I can understand the main points of clear standard speech on familiar matters which occur regularly

  • I can follow a lecture or a talk within my own field, provided the subject matter is familiar and the presentation straightforward and clearly organised

  • I can understand simple technical information, such as operation instructions for everyday equipment

  • I can understand the information content of the majority of recorded or broadcast audio material about familiar subjects spoken relatively slowly and clearly

  • I can follow many films in which visuals and action carry much of the storyline, and in which the story is straightforward and the language clear

  • I can catch the main points in broadcasts on familiar topics and topics of personal interest when the language is relatively slow and clear

Level B2

  • I can understand in detail what is said to me in the standard spoken language. I can do this even when there is some noise in the background

  • I can understand standard spoken language, live or broadcast, on both familiar and unfamiliar topics normally encountered in personal, academic or vocational life. Only extreme background noise, unclear structure and/or idiomatic usage causes some problems

  • I can understand the main ideas of complex speech on both concrete and abstract topics delivered in a standard language including technical discussions in my field of specialisatization

  • I can follow extended speech and complex lines of argument provided the topic is reasonably familiar, and the direction of the talk is clearly stated by the speaker

  • I can follow the essentials of lectures, talks and reports and other forms of presentation which use complex ideas and language

  • I can understand announcements and messages on concrete and abstract topics spoken in standard language at normal speed

  • I can understand most radio documentaries and most other recorded or broadcast audio material delivered in standard language and can identify the speaker's mood, tone, etc

  • I can understand most TV news and current affairs programmes such as documentaries, live interviews, talk shows, plays and the majority of films in standard language

  • I can follow a lecture or talk within my own field, provided the presentation is clear

Level C1

  • I can keep up with an animated conversation between native speakers
  • I can understand enough to follow extended speech on abstract and complex topics beyond my own field, though I may need to confirm occasional details, especially if the accent is unfamiliar
  • I can recognise a wide range of idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms and recognise changes in style.
  • I can follow extended speech even when it is not clearly structured and when relationships between ideas are only implied and not stated explicitly
  • I can follow most lectures, discussions and debates with relative ease.
  • I can extract specific information from poor quality public announcements.
  • I can understand complex technical information, such as operating instructions, specifications for familiar products and services
  • I can understand a wide range of recorded audio material, including some non-standard language, and identify finer points of detail, including implicit attitudes and relationships between speakers.
  • I can follow films which contain a considerable degree of slang and idiomatic usage

Level C2

  • I have no difficulty in understanding any kind of spoken language, whether live or broadcast, delivered at fast native speed
  • I can follow specialised lectures and presentations which use a high degree of colloquialism, regional usage or unfamiliar terminology