Levels & Classes Explained

ESOL is used to describe English language learning and teaching to learners whose first language isn’t English. The term ESOL is used in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

ESOL - ESOL for Speakers of Other Languages

ESOL is used to describe English language learning and teaching to learners whose first language isn’t English. The term ESOL is used in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

There are 5 different levels of ESOL, from beginner to intermediate. The first 3 Levels are for learners without much prior knowledge of English, and are called Entry 1 (E1), Entry 2 (E2), and Entry 3 (E3). Level 1 and Level 2 ESOL are intermediate ESOL classes, and learners gain the same level of qualification as the General Certificate of Secondary Education or GCSE’s. This is the academic qualification generally taken in a number of subjects by UK students aged between 14–16 years in secondary school.

ESOL learners move up from level to level covering language skills in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening.

For the ESOL core curriculum click on the following link: Adult ESOL Core Curriculum


CEFR - The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is an international standard for describing language ability. It is used around the world to describe learners’ language skills.

The CEFR describes language ability on a scale of levels from A1 for beginners up to C2 for those who have mastered a language. This makes it easy for anyone involved in language teaching and testing, such as teachers or learners, to see the level of different qualifications. It also means that employers and educational institutions can easily compare our qualifications to other exams in their country.

The CEFR describe foreign language proficiency at six levels: A1 and A2, B1 and B2, C1 and C2. It also defines three ‘plus’ levels (A2+, B1+, B2+). To see how your IELTS scores to the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) click on the following links:

    Common European Framework Equivalences

    About the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

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