At this level, the learner can interact in a simple way, ask and answer simple questions about themselves, where they live, people they know, and things they have, initiate and respond to simple statements in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics, rather than relying purely on a very finite rehearsed, lexically organised repertoire of situation-specific phrases.
At this level, the learner is better able to communicate, albeit in a very simple way and is progressively building up a repertoire of rudimentary words and phrases increasingly relevant to their everyday experience both personally and/or professionally. The learner is able to ask simple questions about simple work routines, get basic information about people relating to family, friends, occupations, hobbies or addresses; can understand simple written or spoken texts or understand where the meaning is relevant to their immediate experience or in a context where visual cues can help to extract meaning.
It is at this level that the majority of descriptors stating social functions are to be found, like use simple everyday polite forms of greeting and address; ask how people are and react to news; handle very short social exchanges; ask and answer questions about what they do at work and in free time; discuss what to do, where to go and make arrangements to meet; make and accept offers. Other skills that are taught here are: how to make simple transactions in shops, post offices or banks; get simple information about travel; use public transport: buses, trains, and taxis, ask for basic information, ask and give directions.
What is noticeable here is more active participation in conversation given some assistance and certain limitations, for example: initiate, maintain and close simple, restricted face-to-face conversation; understand enough to manage simple, routine exchanges without undue effort; make him or herself understood and exchange ideas and information on familiar topics in predictable everyday situations, provided the other person helps if necessary.
At this level, the learner has incorporated almost all of of the skills necessary to make him or herself understood in range of situations while remaining limited by the subject matter and the amount of help given e.g. can understand most of the points in a long conversation provided that the points are clear and the language is standard; he or she is able to give their opinion but must frequently stop to look for the appropriate word or expression; he or she can hold a conversation but will have difficulty expressing his or her ideas with precision and will need help from their interlocutor; he or she is able to read simple, relatively long texts on familiar subjects and understand the main points.
At this level, the learner has the ability to maintain interaction and get across what they want to, in a range of contexts, for example: generally follow the main points of extended discussion around him or her, provided speech is clearly articulated in standard dialect; give or seek personal views and opinions in an informal discussion with friends; express the main point he or she wants to make comprehensibly; exploit a wide range of simple language flexibly to express much of what he or she wants to; maintain a conversation or discussion but may sometimes be difficult to follow when trying to say exactly what he or she would like to; keep going comprehensibly, even though pausing for grammatical and lexical planning and repair is very evident, especially in longer stretches of free production.
At this level the learner is able to work at the level B1 but is now also able to give and accept a more substantial amount of information, for example: take messages or explain a problem, provide information during a meeting or interview (e.g., describe symptoms to a doctor); give an opinion about a short story, an article, a discussion, an interview, a documentary and ask follow-up questions about extra details; he or she will sometimes need to ask their interlocutor to repeat themselves particularly when their answer is long or delivered rapidly; can describe how to do something or give detailed instructions, can exchange information (written or spoken) about frequent issues related to their work or private life.
At this level, the learner is not yet able to express themselves naturally, fluently and easily but is increasingly confident in a large variety of situations in which he or she must listen to or give long or complicated texts; he or she is able to have exchanges without too much difficulty with native speakers but native speakers still cannot speak with learner at this level as they would with another native speaker.
At this level, the learner can converse naturally, fluently and effectively; understand in detail what is said to him or her in the standard spoken language even in a noisy environment; initiate discourse, take his or her turn when appropriate and end conversation when he or she needs to, though he or she may not always do this elegantly; use stock phrases (e.g. ‘That’s a difficult question to answer’) to gain time and keep the turn whilst formulating what to say; interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without imposing strain on either party; adjust to the changes of direction, style and emphasis normally found in conversation; sustain relationships with native speakers without unintentionally amusing or irritating them or requiring them to behave other than they would with a native speaker.
At this level, the learner is able to use a limited number of connectors to link sentences or phrases in clear and fluent speech, he or she can use a variety of words to efficiently link ideas, support an argument highlighting key and secondary points. This level contains skills linked to negotiation, e.g. argue for compensation, explain the limits of a financial or business agreement, give feedback after a discussion and in doing so, develop the conversation and adeptly summarize his or her contributions as those of their interlocutors.
At this level, the learner has much less difficulty in following presentations or conversations in his or her area, even if the subject matter is complex or nuanced; he or she is able to rapidly get the gist of news articles or other texts and determine if a closer reading is necessary; he or she is able to write clear and detailed texts (reports, presentations) on different subjects related to his or her interests; he or she understands the main points of a wide variety of abstract or complex subjects in standard language especially if they on familiar subjects; he or she is able to develop a line of argument in a report or presentation and knows how to highlight the key points and illustrate them in an increasingly sophisticated manner.
Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning; can express him or 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 organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.
At this level, the learner has acquired an understanding of wide variety of texts both written and spoken even when they are sophisticated and highly nuanced; he or she has almost completely mastered grammar and errors are difficult to detect; he or she has much less difficulty in following long spoken presentations, even when they are unstructured or contain certain implicit details; he or she can recognize different stylistic devices (word play, symbols, connotations, ambiguity; he or she an understand technical documents and contracts even in unfamiliar areas and will sometimes need to consult a dictionary
At this level, the learner does not have native-speaker or near native- speaker competence. What is intended is to characterize the degree of precision, appropriateness and ease with the language which typifies the speech of those who have been highly successful learners. Descriptors calibrated here include: convey finer shades of meaning precisely by using, with reasonable accuracy, a wide range of modification devices; has a good command of idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms with awareness of connotative level of meaning; backtrack and restructure around a difficulty so smoothly the interlocutor is hardly aware of it.