Carefully read the following descriptions and determine which category best
describes your skills. Keep in mind that you will be given a placement test
once you arrive at the school.
AmeriSpan's Language Levels vs. CEF Levels
AmeriSpan's language levels are different than CEFs language levels.
AmeriSpan's Levels are based on ACTFL's OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview) as
most language immersion programs are focused on developing Speaking &
Listening skills. The CEF (Common European Framework) Levels were developed
by the Council of Europe in order to try and set clear, attainable standards
at different levels of language learning for European languages. CEF's scale
incorporates reading, writing, speaking and listening skills, and are used
by universities, corporations and other organizations when evaluating
foreign applicants. Click here to
get a chart that compares AmeriSpan and CEF levels.
Low Beginner (CEF level: A1)
No real functional ability in the language. Speech is characterized by a few
memorized words or phrases. Unable to handle a typical "survival situation".
Utterances rarely consist of more than two or three words with frequent long
pauses. Understanding limited to occasional words, cognates, and short
slowly spoken utterances. No practical communicative writing skills.
IN OTHER WORDS: You know a few words and phrases, but
would not be able to hold a basic survival situation type conversation
(ordering food, asking for bus information, getting a hotel room price,
etc.). You have no writing skills in the language, but can recognize some
Mid Beginner (CEF level: A1)
Speaking ability still limited to memorized words and phrases,
although quantity is increased. Vocabulary is limited to expressing very
basic needs and courtesies. Utterances are limited to a few words at a time
with frequent pauses. Can understand simple commonly used phrases and
questions. Requires native speaker to speak slowly and often repeat phrase
before comprehension is achieved.
IN OTHER WORDS: You can introduce yourself and ask
someone's name. You can ask and answer the questions, "How are you? Where
are you from?". You can handle some basic survival situations such as
ordering a meal. You know the alphabet and some numbers.
High Beginner (CEF level: A2)
Limited to simple conversation dealing with common everyday themes.
Ability to operate in only a very limited capacity with difficulty
constructing sentences properly in the present tense. Can ask and answer
questions based on memorized utterances. Vocabulary is sufficient only for
handing simple, elementary needs and expressing basic courtesies. Frequent
repetition and slower speech is required for comprehension. Can read
standardized messages, phrases, expressions, schedules, menus, and signs.
Can supply information on simple forms and documents.
IN OTHER WORDS: You can have a basic conversation in
the present tense. You can handle a basic survival situation such as making
hotel reservations. Your speech is slow with frequent pauses. You can
understand what is said if it is said slowly and repeated a few times. You
can ask and tell time and the date. You can ask basic what and when
questions. You can use possessive adjectives. You can talk about the
weather. You are aware of when to use formal and informal 2nd person. You
still sometimes require slow and repeated speech in order to understand what
is being said.
Low Intermediate (CEF level: A2)
Able to handle successfully only a limited number of interactive,
task-oriented, and social situations. Capable of using simple structures and
a general, limited vocabulary. Speaks with general ease in the present tense
and can give simple commands. Can get by in restaurants, banks, asking
directions, and discussing familiar topics. Can initiate and respond to
simple statements. Able to understand sentence length utterances.
Misunderstandings frequently arise but with repetition and slower speech can
understand and be understood. Able to understand main ideas or some facts
from simple texts. Capable of writing short messages.
IN OTHER WORDS: You feel comfortable speaking in the
present tense. Your vocabulary is extended to include such topics as
clothing, colors, foods, recreational activities, professions. You can
express likes and dislikes. You can ask and understand directions. You can
talk about clothing. Ask about cost. For Spanish, you are familiar with when
to use "ser" and "estar". You know some irregular verbs like "tener" and "dar".
You can use expressions with "tener".
Mid Intermediate (CEF level: B1)
Able to handle basic communicative tasks and social situations. Can
ask and answer questions and participate in simple conversations on topics
beyond basic needs such as leisure activities and personal history. Sentence
length is increased, but still characterized by frequent pauses. Can
understand sentence length utterances in face to face conversation as well
as over the phone.
IN OTHER WORDS: You can identify most places in a town
and give directions to them. You can request information, express opinions.
Can ask and tell where someone is going, how they are getting there, what
they will do and when. You have limited use of simple future tense and
present progressive tenses.
High Intermediate (CEF level: B1)
Can understand and use tenses such as the simple present, present
progressive, preterit and simple future. Have knowledge of the subjunctive
in a limited capacity. Can talk easily about self and others. Ability to
converse on topics beyond immediate needs such as personal history, leisure
interests and work. Has frequent errors in grammar and vocabulary but uses
more irregular verbs and has increased vocabulary.
IN OTHER WORDS: You can express surprise, emotion,
certainty, and doubt. You can say what one can and can't do. You can give
reasons for something. You can hold a telephone conversation. Can discuss
simple health problems. You can ask and tell how long something lasts. You
feel comfortable in most conversational contexts, but are still limited in
how well you can express yourself.
Low Advanced (CEF: B2)
Mid Advanced (CEF: C1)
High Advanced/Superior (CEF: C2)
Rate yourself according to your skill in performing the following tasks
Ability to speak the language with sufficient structural accuracy and
vocabulary to participate effectively in most formal and informal contexts.
Can handle unknown topics and situations, give supported opinions,
hypothesize, provide complicated explanations, and can describe in detail
with a great deal of precision any practical, social, professional, or
abstract topic. Ability to use all tenses and usual idioms.