As a great ESL teacher you need to be able to adapt your teaching style and presentation of material to suit the student’s level.
The six reference levels used by the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for grading an individual’s language proficiency are A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2.
Our suggested levels are just an indication. Teachers should evaluate the suitability of a handout before it is taught in a class. Often, a handout is included in two levels. This is based on variations in the way it can be taught in a lesson. A Handout may be suitable as an introductory lesson for one level and a review for a higher level. The teaching notes may include suggestions on how to teach handouts to mixed level students.
BASIC USER A1
Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type.
Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has.
Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment).
Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.
Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
INDEPENDENT USER B1
Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken.
Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest.
Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation.
Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.
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.
PROFICIENT USER C1
Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning.
Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions.
Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.
Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.
Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read.
Can summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation.
Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in more complex situations.
Talking about shopping at a department store. Example Questions in this Handout What is the woman with the child thinking about? What is on sale in the Ladies Wear department? How do you feel about sales people following you and helping you when you shop?
Talking about movies and movie theaters. Example Questions in this Handout How much does a ticket for a 64 year old person cost? What is the woman carrying on a tray? How much does a large popcorn and drink cost?
Talking about parks and outdoor leisure activities. Example Questions in this Handout What was your favorite thing to do in the park when you were a child? Have parks changed since you were young? How? Is there a famous park in your city or country? Do dogs need to be…
Talking about banks, banking, and money. Example Questions in this Handout What are the bank’s opening hours? What is customer 015 doing at the teller? How much is 1 US dollar worth in Canadian dollars?
Talking about food and restaurants. Example Questions in this Handout What kind of fast food restaurant is it? How do you know? How much is a burger combo? Is it cheap? Do you prefer to eat at your parents’ house or a restaurant? What is the worst restaurant you have…
Talking about airports and traveling. Example Questions in this Handout Where can travelers catch a bus or taxi? Which airline is the elderly couple flying with? What is the maximum weight for a carry-on bag?
Talking about animals and zoos. Example Questions in this Handout What animals are symbols of your country? What animals or insects are you afraid of? What are the most popular pets in your country? Do you know any endangered species?
Talking about museums, art, and exhibitions. Example Questions in this Handout Who are some famous artists in your country? What kind of art do they do? Most museums don’t allow recording devices. Do you agree or disagree with this? How do you think museums could be more interesting for young…
Students are introduced to different common phrases to discuss their daily routines as well as adverbs of frequency to talk about how often and when they do different things. Emphasis is given to forming object questions using auxiliary verb ‘do’. Adverbs of Frequency introduced in this Handout Never, hardly ever,…
Students are introduced to common phrases and collocations for hobbies and interests as well as using gerunds to talk about things they like, dislike, love, and hate. This handout would be great as a Valentines Day themed lesson.
Students are introduced to ‘any’ and ‘some’ used when the speaker cannot specify or does not need/want to specify an amount of something as well as a review of using articles ‘a/an’. Students also practice using ‘there is/isn’t’ and ‘there are/aren’t’. Students are introduced to affirmative and negative sentences as…
Students build their vocabulary by learning how to describe food taste and texture using adjectives as well talking about their food likes and dislikes and the reasons why. Students complete a matching activity as well as building sentences to describe foods and finish with conversation practice. Adjectives introduced in this…
Students practice asking object questions through a series of activities based on a conversation with a tour guide/operator. Particular attention is given to expressions that help students check and confirm information when they didn’t hear or understand. Expressions introduced in this Handout I’m sorry, could you speak more slowly please?…
There are three verbs that English speakers commonly use when talking about sports and other activities: go, play, and do. Students practice talking about sports and activities using go, play, and do in the past and present tense. Collocations about sport introduced in this Handout go jogging, go swimming, go…
Review the structure of statements and questions using ‘used to’ and ‘didn’t use to’. Students can use ‘used to’ and ‘didn’t use to’ to talk about habits or customs they did in the past but no longer do. This also gives students the opportunity to explain how they have changed…
Students are introduced to how + adjective questions used to describe things. Made in/by/of are also introduced using the passive voice so students can talk about an object’s maker, country of original, and material. A conversation activity has students asking about and describing lost property.