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Self-assess your level: find the course that's right 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.


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 for some friendly advice.

Email if you want information on Ancient languages.