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Durham University

The Centre for Foreign Language Study

Guide to levels

The table below gives an indication of the entry level in terms of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) (for European languages), previous experience and English educational qualifications. They are a guide, not pre-requisites.

Entry level

Language Development courses

Language Progression courses

Language Accelerator courses/
credit bearing modules

No experience Step 1 Beginners Stage 1
Some basic knowledge Step 2

CEFR A1-
Progression Beginners course
Low GCSE

Step 1 Elementary
Step 2
CEFR A1+
Progression Elementary
Credit-bearing/Accelerator Stage 1
GCSE
Step 1 Lower Intermediate Stage 2
Step 2
CEFR A2-
Progression Lower Intermediate
GCSE + some time abroad
Step 1 Intermediate
Step 2
CEFR A2+
Progression Intermediate
Credit-bearing/Accelerator Stage 2
AS level
Step 1 Higher Intermediate Stage 3
Step 2
CEFR B1-
Progression Higher Intermediate
Low/rusty A level
Step 1 Advanced
Step 2
CEFR B1
Progression Advanced
Credit-bearing/Accelerator Stage 3
A level
Higher Advanced 1 Stage 4
CEFR B1+/B2-
Progression Higher Advanced 1 course
Higher Advanced 2

Summary of course contents

Please click the following links to download our summaries of course contents. They are designed to help you identify the level at which you may wish to join, and to give you an idea of the progress you can expect to make through our courses. (Please note, the actual syllabus may however get adjusted slightly as courses get updated by teachers).

Arabic

Chinese

Dutch

French

German

Greek

Italian

Japanese

Korean

Norwegian

Persian

Portuguese

Russian

Spanish

Swedish