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The CELS ®competency scale comprises five proficiency levels. These levels come with verbal explanations of the abilities expected from students based on their test results. Level one signifies minimal proficiency, whereas level 5 denotes a strong proficiency. Students achieving levels 4 and 5 usually excel in English-instructed courses with minimal or no need for English language assistance.

CELS® Proficiency Levels

A1 / ≤164

At the A1 level of proficiency, individuals can comprehend spoken communication if delivered slowly and distinctly, allowing time for understanding. This applies to everyday topics. They possess the ability to recognize common basic words, phrases, names, and shared international vocabulary pertaining to themselves, their family, and immediate environment. They can also follow carefully and slowly presented instructions and short, simple directions.

Readers at the A1 level possess the ability to understand very short and simple texts by focusing on one phrase at a time. They can identify familiar names, words, and basic phrases, although this might require repeated reading. Extracting basic information from simple greetings, messages, advertisements, web pages, timetables, and catalogues is feasible. While they can comprehend short descriptions about people and follow simple instructions, misunderstandings can still arise.

A2 / 165-179

Listeners operating at the A2 level can understand straightforward information and queries about personal aspects such as family, homes, work, and hobbies. Clear and deliberate speech is required for proper comprehension. This group can also grasp short and basic conversations that contain frequently used words, phrases, names, and shared vocabulary. Furthermore, they are capable of understanding brief and routine telephone conversations and messages.

Those with an A2 proficiency can understand short and basic texts that incorporate frequently used words, phrases, names, and shared vocabulary. They are capable of comprehending short emails and letters from acquaintances and colleagues, locating specific details in straightforward materials like advertisements and brochures. Furthermore, they can grasp the main points in simple directions pertaining to familiar individuals, places, and objects.

A2+ / 180-211

For those with an A2+ proficiency, understanding key information in short messages and narratives is achievable, particularly if the content pertains to current, past, or future facts. They also have the ability to follow TV news headlines and documentaries, school discussions that are presented in a clear and deliberate manner using standard language. Even when speakers address broader audiences on familiar subjects, these individuals can understand using succinct and simple sentences.

At the A2+ level, readers can understand short and simple texts, picking out specific information presented in everyday language found in sources like ads, leaflets, menus, and timetables. Their comprehension extends to multi-step directions and some academic terminology when presented within context. During reading, they can discern the main ideas and details of most simple texts and understand key elements in longer, more intricate passages.

B1 / 212-227

Listeners demonstrating a B1 proficiency can comprehend factual information concerning common topics, everyday situations, and school-related matters. Clear enunciation is essential for their understanding. Furthermore, they can grasp the main points of clear and standard speech on familiar matters that are regularly encountered in daily life. This includes short narratives. Their strength lies in understanding speech that predominantly employs high-frequency everyday vocabulary. Additionally, they can interpret basic technical instructions and directions at school.

Proficient readers at the B1 level can capture the principal points of straightforward factual texts linked to personal and professional interests. Their understanding is strongest when these texts employ high-frequency everyday vocabulary. This group can also comprehend descriptions of events, emotions, and desires in personal letters, and are capable of understanding the main aspects of concise newspaper articles on familiar topics. Simplified versions of novels and short stories with clear structures are also within their grasp.

B1+ / 228+

Individuals with a B1+ proficiency level have the capability to comprehend standard spoken language, whether in live situations or through broadcasts. This applies to both familiar and unfamiliar subjects encountered in personal, social, academic, or vocational contexts. They can effectively take notes during listening activities and extract crucial information from phone conversations on familiar topics.

Readers demonstrating a B1+ proficiency can understand the meaning of intricate academic terms and expressions, as well as complex sentence structures, across various contexts. Their understanding extends to classroom discussions, presentations, and detailed instructions, allowing them to capture nuanced meanings. When reading, they are capable of comprehending the content of grade-level appropriate literary and informational texts, including implicit meanings.