Choosing the correct level

We offer all of our language classes at Beginners level and some at Fast-Track Beginners. With our more popular language classes, we offer a range of levels including Post-Beginners, Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate and Advanced. We also offer shorter 'Introduction to...' courses for some languages.

For guidance in choosing the best level for you, please see the descriptions below.

Part 1

These courses are intended for complete Beginners, who wish to explore an alternative language and are only offered in certain languages. They either run for only one term or two terms (in the case of an October start), i.e. rather than starting with a twenty-week Beginners course over two terms, these are offered in two parts as short ten-week courses. If the group wishes to continue, part two will have to be booked before the end of term one.

Part 2

These are designed for those of you who have completed part 1 and want to continue with your learning. By the end of this course you will be at the same level as a completed standard Beginner.

Little or no previous experience of the language is necessary for this course. You may have some words or basic phrases which you can recognise and use in a limited manner. By the end of this level, you should be able to interact in basic situations, such as introducing yourself and others and asking / answering questions about personal details.

This course is broadly equivalent to A1 Basic User or Breakthrough level of the Common European Framework.

This course will cover more material and language than our standard Beginners. It is ideal for people who have studied or speak another foreign language or languages of the same family (e.g. French / Spanish / Italian/ Portuguese) and who understand basic grammatical terminology and how structures work. By the end of this level, you should be able to progress to our Intermediate course or in the case of a one term Fast-Track Beginners to a Post-Beginners Course.

The two-term course is broadly equivalent to A2 Basic User or Waystage level of the Common European Framework.

You may have had some previous exposure to the language i.e. a few years at school, a GCSE pass a few years ago and/or a Beginners level course. You can get by in simple everyday situations and give basic personal and family information. By the end of this course, you should be able to communicate on familiar and routine matters and your level will be broadly equivalent to A2 Basic User or Waystage level of the Common European Framework.



You may have a recent pass at GCSE and/or have completed a Beginners / Post-Beginners course (or equivalent). You can deal with everyday situations with reasonable confidence, e.g. making travel arrangements or finding your way around. By the end of this level, you should be able to describe experiences and events, and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

This course is broadly equivalent to B1 - Independent User, Threshold level of the Common European Framework.

You may have a recent pass at AS level and/or have completed an Intermediate course (or equivalent). You can express feelings and opinions and discuss topics of personal interest. You can manipulate tenses at a more complex level.

This course is between B1 - Independent User, Threshold and B2 - Independent User, Vantage level of the Common European Framework.

Advanced: You may have a recent pass at 'A' level (or equivalent) in the language and/or have spent some time living or studying in a country where the language is spoken. Classes will focus on developing oral skills, extending vocabulary and consolidating advanced grammar. The course will cover a range of topics, from either a published coursebook and/or as various authentic sources, such as newspapers, magazines, TV and the Internet.

This course is between B2 - Independent User, Vantage and C1.1 – Proficient User, Effective Operational Proficiency level of the Common European Framework for languages

British Sign Language - levels of study

British Sign Language (BSL) is available at two levels.

  • Level 1 (Beginners) leads to the Signature Level 1 Award in British Sign Language.
  • Level 2 (Intermediate) leads to the Signature Level 2 Certificate in British Sign Language.