Level 1


Level 2


Level 3

Level 1

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At this level, readers can understand key words and cognates, as well as formulaic phrases that are highly contextualized.

At this level, readers are able to get a limited amount of information from highly predictable texts in which the topic or context is very familiar, such as a hotel bill, a credit card receipt or a weather map. Readers at this level may rely heavily on their own background knowledge and extra linguistic support (such as the imagery on the weather map or the format of a credit card bill) to derive meaning.

Readers at this level are best able to understand a text when they are able to anticipate the information in the text. At this level, recognition of key words, cognates, and formulaic phrases makes comprehension possible.


Writers are characterized by the ability to produce lists and notes, primarily by writing words and phrases. They can provide limited formulaic information on simple forms and documents. These writers can reproduce practiced material to convey the most simple messages. In addition, they can transcribe familiar words or phrases, copy letters of the alphabet or syllables of a syllabary, or reproduce basic characters with some accuracy.


At this level, listeners can understand key words, true aural cognates, and formulaic expressions that are highly contextualized and highly predictable, such as those found in introductions and basic courtesies.

At this level, listeners understand words and phrases from simple questions, statements, and high- frequency commands. They typically require repetition, rephrasing, and/or a slowed rate of speech for comprehension. They rely heavily on extra linguistic support to derive meaning.

At this level, listeners are most accurate when they are able to recognize speech that they can anticipate. In this way, these listeners tend to recognize rather than truly comprehend. Their listening is largely dependent on factors other than the message itself.


At this level, speakers can communicate short messages on highly predictable, everyday topics that affect them directly. They do so primarily through the use of isolated words and phrases that have been encountered, memorized, and recalled. Speakers at this level may be difficult to understand even by the most sympathetic interlocutors accustomed to non-native speech.


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