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Self-assess your level

Find the right course for you

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Not sure which level is suitable for you? This guide will help you assess your current level of knowledge so that you understand your learning pathway.

Use the self-assessment section below to decide where to start.  Alternatively, if you're still not sure, contact our Languages Team for some friendly advice.

How to use the self-assessment

This self-assessment will help you choose the right course for you in three easy steps.

  1. 1. Self-assess your level.
  2. 2. Choose the right module as your starting point.
  3. 3. Choose a pace or class option to suit your preferred style of learning.

All this is reflected in our course names, for example, French 1 fast-track: module 1.

French 1 module 1 French 1 module 1
An example of a course name you will see on our website.

Self-assess your Level

Our language courses are designed to progress you from a complete beginner to a fluent speaker.

Each language is divided into 4 or more levels.

  • Level 1 – for complete Beginners
  • Level 2 lower & Level 2 upper – Intermediate level
  • Level 3 lower & Lever 3 upper – Upper-intermediate level
  • Level 4 and above– Advanced level

Note that Level 2 and Level 3 are further divided into sub-levels which we call lower and upper.

Which level are you? Learn more about each level below.

Level: Beginners

I have no prior knowledge of the language.

Courses at this level are equivalent to CEFR: A1.

We recommend that you start with a module 1 course if you are a complete beginner.

Start with module 2 if:

  • you have completed module 1 here at City Lit, or
  • you have previously studied the language for about 20 hours, or
  • you can say and write short simple phrases such as greeting people and stating your name, nationality, and where you live.

Jump straight into module 3 if:

  • you have completed module 2 at City Lit, or
  • you have previously studied for about 40 hours, or
  • you can answer simple questions and give basic information such as place of work/study, job, family, and interests.

Note: For fast-paced Rapidamente courses, you must be fluent in another Romance language.

Level: 2 lower

I have studied the language for about one year

Courses at this level are equivalent to CEFR: A2.

Choose a level 2 course if you can:

  • hold a simple conversation,
  • ask and answer simple questions on a variety of everyday topics (i.e., personal details, shopping, directions, time, and numbers),
  • follow short, simple written directions and instructions (e.g., go from X to Y)
  • read and write short sentences on a variety of everyday topics (e.g., personal introduction, shopping lists, directions, timetables, numbers, etc)
  • use basic verbal forms to talk about the present and the past.

Level: 2 upper

I have studied the language for about two years

Students at this level are working towards CEFR B1.

Choose a level 3 course if you can:

  • carry out simple transactions (e.g., in shops, bars, post offices, railway stations),
  • make simple plans with people (e.g., what to do, where to go and when to meet),
  • express your likes, dislikes, and simple opinions,
  • handle simple phone calls (e.g., answer a call, take a simple message, ask to speak to someone, give your number),
  • understand a piece of formal or informal writing (e.g., a short letter, note, or summary),
  • use a directory to find a service, find the prices of items in classified newspaper adverts, and use a menu in a restaurant,
  • write short, basic descriptions of events and activities, and write basic letters requesting information (e.g., about hotels),
  • use a range of verbal forms to talk about the present, past, and future.

Level: 3 lower

I have studied the language for about three years

Courses at this level are equivalent to CEFR: B1.

Choose a level 3 lower course if you can:

  • take part in a simple conversation on a variety of everyday topics (e.g., weather, family, interests, times of working day, location of company departments),
  • give and justify your opinions and ideas,
  • write a letter with a good degree of accuracy (e.g., giving an account of educational background, job, interests, etc),
  • express hypothetical sentences and doubt in the language.

Level: 3 upper

I have studied the language for about four years

Students at this level are working towards CEFR B2.

Choose a level 3 course if you can:

  • understand details of authentic conversations of moderate length and complexity (e.g., interviews, adverts, news)
  • understand specific details and general information from routine telephone calls,
  • follow routine instructions (e.g., for a game, recipe, using equipment or installing computer software),
  • understand articles from the press or other authentic sources and produce a written summary covering the main points.

Level: 4

I have studied the language for about five years

Courses at this level are equivalent to CEFR: B2.

Choose a level 4 course if you can:

  • understand authentic, long passages of some complexity (e.g., interviews, adverts, news broadcasts, etc),
  • participate in authentic conversation with native speakers using a good range of generally accurate language,
  • argue a viewpoint convincingly,
  • understand authentic texts with ease (e.g., articles from the press, literary extracts, etc).

Level: 5 and above

I am a confident speaker and/or have spent time in a foreign country

Courses at this level are equivalent to CEFR: C1 - CEFR: C2.

Choose a level 5 course if you can:

  • easily follow and take part in complex conversations between native speakers in group discussion and debates, including those on abstract and unfamiliar topics,
  • understand a wide range of recorded and broadcast audio material, including some non-standard usage,
  • identify finer points of detail including implicit attitudes and relationships between native speakers.
  • give a clear, well-structured presentation on a complex subject in your area of work, study, or special interest.

Choose Your Module

Each Level is formed of 3 modules. A module is a 10-to-12-week course at a normal pace.

Learn more about the different paces we offer further down this page.

You can start by taking a module 1 course and then work your way up – or you can skip ahead if you have prior experience.

Choose Your Pace or Class option

Each course typically covers one module.

At a normal pace, the course is:

  • 10 – 12 weeks long with
  • 1 hour 30-minute classes in groups of
  • 12 students on average (up to 16 max)

However, we offer a variety of options to suit different learning styles. This is reflected in the title of the course.

Here definitions of the different paces and class options you can choose:

Class Options

Small group – taught at a normal pace but in a smaller group (max 8 pupils).

Early Bird – taught at a normal pace but with early morning classes instead.

Weekend – taught at a normal pace with classes on weekends only.

Paces

Intensive / Fast-track – if you’re up for a challenge, these courses offer you more classes/hours per week allowing you to learn at a faster pace.

Rapidamente (for Romance languages only) – offers intensive learning for beginners who can fluently speak another Romance language already (i.e., French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Romanian).

At a gentle pace – in a few languages, we offer courses at a slower pace.

That’s a lot! We hope you are now able to choose the right course for your starting point. However, if you are still unsure, please feel free to email us at languages@citylit.ac.uk for some friendly advice.

Email classics@citylit.ac.uk if you want information on Ancient languages.