The Spanish levels: what do you learn in each level?
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL) is a well-known international standard which establishes a guideline of the achievements of foreign language learners at different stages of their learning process (basic, intermediate, advance).
This standard was developed by the European Council in the last years of the 20th century. This system sets a series of global achievements that should be obtained during each different level, but it does not dictate which contents exactly have to be taught on each level. It is a common global frame that works for all different languages. For example, an upper intermediate speaker “can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in their field of specialization.”
This guideline works for a Spanish, French, English…speaker. There are six levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2; A1 being a total beginner and C2 a proficient user who can speak the language almost at a native level. The relevant language institutions of each language then make themselves a guideline for the proposed contents at each level. For example, the Instituto Cervantes for the Spanish language.
There are certain contents and topics that are clearly assigned to one of the six levels, other contents can be introduced in different levels. Thus, there isn’t a 100% strict rule about when to teach each concept. Every Spanish book, every Spanish school, every Spanish teacher has still some flexibility to decide what to teach at each level.
However, there is a clear consensus on most of the topics which make it possible and easy to learn different levels in different schools. If you learned A1 level in Sevilla, normally you will be just fine starting an A2 level in Germany and continuing with a B1 level afterwards in Gran Canaria. That is why we have designed a level test (link al test de nivel en pestaña nueva) that complies with the common shared standards of Instituto Cervantes so that we assign you the perfect course when you sign up for a course in our school.
Here you find a summary of what you will learn on each level:
After you finish an A1 level you will be able to find your way around a city in a Spanish speaking country, to understand touristic or leisure information, to gather your daily/weekly food and beverages supply or to go shopping, or to order in a restaurant. You can also introduce yourself and others and can ask and answer questions about your profession, your hobbies, your character and things you like or don’t like. All in all, you will be able to interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
A2 is the level where you start learning about different past tenses in Spanish. Thus, you an speak about your past experiences, what you have done in your life and how your life used to be in different stages. Your vocabulary also improves so that you can start speaking about new topics such as work and abilities.
In B1 you consolidate your knowledge about the different past tenses and learn about a new and complex grammar topic: el subjuntivo. Your richer vocabulary and your ability with grammar help you start producing simple connected texts on topics that are familiar or of personal interest. You can also describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans. After B1 you already have a large understanding about the Spanish language. Even though you might still not speak in a highly sophisticated way you have already a very good level to start functioning in Spanish, also in a professional level.
After a B2 level you master the last grammar contents and enrich extremely your vocabulary. You also start understanding figurative speech and learn many Spanish expressions. You can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in their field of specialization. You can also interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. You can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
Learning a C1 level is about reaching the highest level a non-native speaker can achieve. You can understand a wide range of demanding, longer clauses, and recognize implicit meaning; express ideas fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions; use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. You can also produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organizational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.
At C2 level you can use the language almost as a native speaker. You can express yourself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations.