Centre for English and World Languages

high quality language and pathway programmes

What is my language level?

This page is designed to help you to self-assess you language proficiency with reference to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)

The CEFR, is a common means of describing the proficiency of language learners across Europe and beyond. The venture was undertaken by the Council of Europe as the principal element of the project "Language Learning for European Citizenship".

This is not a formal means of determining your level but it may be useful if you are trying to decide which of our language courses might suit you and what your current skills equate to.

The bands A1-C2 are also becoming more common when refering to levels of language proficiency.

Further details can be found on the Council of Europe's own website.

A printable copy of the self-assessment grid can also be downloaded here. Please note that for entry onto any of our credit-bearing programmes which requires English-language proficiency, a formal qualification such as IELTS will be needed.

Self-Assessment Grid



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 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 understand the main points of clear standard speech on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. I can understand the main point of many radio or TV programmes on current affairs or topics of personal or professional interest when the delivery is relatively slow and clear.


I can understand extended speech and lectures and follow even complex lines of argument provided the topic is reasonably familiar. I can understand most TV news and current affairs programmes. I can understand the majority of films in standard dialect.


I can understand extended speech even when it is not clearly structured and when relationships are only implied and not signalled explicitly. I can understand television programmes and films without too much effort.


I have no difficulty in understanding any kind of spoken language, whether live or broadcast, even when delivered at fast native speed, provided. I have some time to get familiar with the accent.





Centre for English and World Languages, Chipperfield Building, University of Kent, CT2 7PE

Enquiries: +44 (0)1227 824401 or contact us

Last Updated: 19/03/2015