Language levels

Italian language levels

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is a European Union structure aimed at standardising the assessment of language levels. It has been more-or-less adopted internationally within the world of language education. A1 and A2 are roughly termed “beginners”, B1 and B2 “intermediate”, C1 and C2 “advanced”.

An official CILS exam at level B2 will satisfy the language entry requirements of Italian universities.

Levels Description
A1 Learners have grasped the basics of the language and can introduce themselves, answering questions about basic personal details about family and interests. Simple interaction is possible if the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
A2 Learners can understand frequently used expressions related to very basic personal details, family information, employment, local geography and so on. Communication is possible in basic routine tasks requiring a direct exchange of information on routine matters. Learners can describe in basic terms details of their backgrounds, local environment. Learners can express needs.
B1 Learners can understand the main points basic conversation regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can function when travelling in an area where the language is spoken Can produce simple written work on familiar topics. Can describe experiences, dreams, hopes, ambitions and opinions.
B2 Learners grasp the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics. This can include technical discussions in their fields of specialisation. Interaction with native speakers is possible without strain for speaker or listener. Learners can produce clear, detailed text on a variety of subjects and explain an opinion on a topical issue giving the pros and cons.
C1 Learners can understand a wide range of challenging, longer texts and read between the lines as intended by the writer. Can express themselves fluently without much searching for expressions. Can use the language effectively in social, academic and professional spheres. Can write well-structured, clear, detailed text on a variety of complex subjects, including connectors and cohesive devices to make the text flow.
C2 Learners can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read, summarise information from a variety of sources, reconstructing arguments in a coherent and cohesive way. Can express themselves spontaneously, fluently and precisely, with the ability to read between the lines when necessary.