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.
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 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 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 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 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 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…
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 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 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?
Students review adjectives to describe holidays and practice asking questions with the auxiliary verb ‘do.’ Do questions are usually answered with ‘Yes, I do’ or ‘No, I don’t.’ Sometimes the question asks about a choice. Students will be able to construct, ask, and answer the different ‘do’ question patterns to…
Students identify the basic difference between the simple past and present perfect tenses. Students will practice and be able to use the present perfect tense to talk about their experiences as well as practice asking and answering present perfect questions. A past participle review is included.
Students are introduced to different types of transportation, ones that are similar yet different. They also practice using ‘go’, ‘went’, and ‘be going to’ to discuss how they traveled in the past, how they usually travel to places, and how to discuss future trips and holidays/vacations. Vocabulary reviewed in this…
Students practice asking and answering present simple questions focusing on the second person ‘you’ and the third person singular ‘he and she.’ A reading comprehension activity about Japanese tennis star Nishikori Kei is included. Questions using the auxiliary verb ‘do’ are also introduced and students will practice using them.
Your students can reference and compare verb tenses and aspects in English. Examples include appropriate time expressions to use with each verb tense. This chart includes simple illustrations for clarity. Every student should have one handy.
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.
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…
Choosing something off a menu without pictures can be difficult. Students learn and practice vocabulary, in particular adjectives, used on restaurant menus. Students will be able to visualize the dish ingredients, preparation, cooking method, and presentation of menu items and discuss them. If you slice cheese in a slicer it is…