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 Europe and European countries. Example Questions in this Handout Would you like to live in Europe? Why/why not? Where would you live? What country do you think has the most interesting customs? Do you have any European things in your home? What countries in Europe can you name?…
Talking about seasons, activities, and weather. Example Questions in this Handout What seasons can you see in the pictures? Which months are these seasons in your country? What is the couple doing in spring?
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 working and your work week. Example Questions in this Handout What do you do on public transportation? Do you have to attend a lot of meetings for your job? How old were you when you got your first job? At what age do people usually begin to work…
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 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 hotels and hotel facilities. Example Questions in this Handout When was the last time you stayed in a hotel? Have you heard of or used Airbnb to find a place to stay? Have you ever ordered room service? What did you order?
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…
Help your students gain confidence and fluency when asking questions in the simple present tense by reading and asking about daily routines. This handout focuses on the third person and constructing object questions using the auxiliary verb ‘do’.
Students will learn some common words used at Halloween and practice using them in a variety of fun and interesting activities; a reading activity about the history of Halloween, a crossword activity, and a ‘Who am I?’ quiz activity.
This Level Check Interview is suitable for private English teachers and consists of conversational prompts and open-ended questions to be read by you, the interviewer. Use the Interview Assessment Guidelines to help determine the approximate level of your new student. This document can be used by you if the English…
Students will be able to talk about their health and symptoms in the present simple tense. Students also practice giving advice using sentences with should and shouldn’t. Health symptoms introduced in this Handout I have a headache. I have a sore head. I have a stomachache. I have a sore…
Students focus on constructing questions using the auxiliary verb DO and main verb BE as well as identifying parts of speech: verbs, nouns, and adjectives. Students will learn and practice how to write and respond to these different questions in a variety of question construction activities and an interview.
Students practice asking questions with ‘How much … ?’ to ask about price as well as forming questions and sentences used for making requests, offering, and checking information with focus on ‘would like’ and ‘would like to’ to be polite.
Students focus on ‘be’ and ‘have’ sentence structures for nouns and adjectives used to describe people. Students will learn and practice how to describe the different members of their family. Vocabulary introduced in this Handout mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, granddaughter, sister, brother, daughter, son, husband, wife, cousin.
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…