Let’s continue our talk about the English levels based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages – CEFR! Now that you know what your English level might be, it is time to see what you should do to be able to reach a higher level!
The first, and most important step to take in order to upgrade and climb the English level scale, is to study! There’s no way around it, there’s no magic in the world that will make you level up without it. But where to begin and what to study? What does someone at the C2 level know that someone at the B1 level hasn’t developed yet?
Today we will talk about the differences and strategies available out there. And, always keep in mind that: motivation is the key to language learning, and that our coaches are here to help you.
Based on our last article regarding the CEFR, there are six different levels of English, A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2. Each level has specific content and tests some areas of knowledge: comprehension, speaking, and writing.
How do you move up levels?
To help you understand the differences and similarities between each standard, and upgrade your skills, I share a table with the characteristics comparing, for instance, levels A1 and A2:
|I can recognise familiar words and very basic phrases concerning myself, my family and immediate concrete surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly.||I can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues.||I can interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase things at a slower rate of speech and help me formulate what I’m trying to say. I can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics.||I can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where I live and the people I know.||I can write a short, simple postcard, for example sending holiday greetings. I can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering my name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form.|
|I can understand phrases and the highest frequency vocabulary related to areas of most immediate personal relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local area, employment).
I can catch the main point in short, clear, simple messages and announcements.
|I can read very short, simple texts. I can find specific, predictable information in simple everyday material such as advertisements, prospectuses, menus and timetables and I can understand short simple personal letters.||I can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar topics and activities. I can handle very short social exchanges, even though I can’t usually understand enough to keep the conversation going myself.||I can use a series of phrases and sentences to describe in simple terms my family and other people, living conditions, my educational background and my present or most recent job.||I can write short, simple notes and messages relating to matters in areas of immediate needs. I can write a very simple personal letter, for example thanking someone for something.|
See, from A1 to A2 I went from filling out forms to messages that say if I need something. I can also simply write a thank you letter.
So, to create a learning strategy: you need to learn how to communicate! But make it simple at first – write short sentences in your native language and translate them, try to use some of the simple sentences in your daily life, such as:
- Good morning, did you sleep well?
- Good night, sleep well.
- How are you today?
As we learned from the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, CEFR, you need to know how to communicate what you know! To upgrade your English Level you need to be able to express yourself in a foreign language!
How soon will I be Fluent in English?
We talked about how different each learning style can be, and we also discussed in previous articles how our tutors are ready to accommodate all of one’s individualities.
Now it is time to get all this information and put them into practice!
Do you know how many hours of dedication it is expected at each of the levels, in order to master it? And are you aware of how much time will take to get from beginner to proficient?
According to many studies, we can have an estimate the number of hours for each of the six levels of English! This metric comes from Cambridge English Language and shows the number of hours a person has to study to reach different language levels.
- A2: 180 – 200 hours
- B1: 350 – 400 hours
- B2: 500 – 600 hours
- C1: 700 – 800 hours
- C2: 1000 – 1200 hours
To better illustrate what I mean by this title, I’ll quote a phrase from Norman Vincent Peale:
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you‘ll land among the stars.”
In other words: keep practising, stay focused, and don’t skip steps.
You should always evolve! No matter what your goal is, focus and develop your skills to grow. Many of our articles are about motivation and we believe that to learn a new language, you have to be motivated.
The second focus point is selecting a goal, a motivation and a focus. Then it is time to design a strategy. Lastly, select a methodology that helps you to leave that starting point of knowledge to achieve a higher one.
Motivation can come from basically two ways: it can be a promotion at the company, a trip, a business meeting or, from within.
And if you already have yours, set yourself a timeframe and make it happen! We have a team, you have the desire and together we can make great things happen.
Finally, as always, keep learnwithscience and until next time!
The CEFR Levels. Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). In: https://www.coe.int/en/web/common-european-framework-reference-languages/level-descriptions
Qualifications and tests for every learner. Cambridge English In: www.cambridgeenglish.org.