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. Self-assess your level.
- 2. Choose the right module as your starting point.
- 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.
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: 1 / 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.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for some friendly advice.
Email email@example.com if you want information on Ancient languages.