Believe it or not, anyone can easily evaluate their own level in a foreign language, without recourse to tests or gimmicks. It costs nothing and just takes a few seconds!
How to Evaluate your Level in Italian with the Council of Europe Framework of Reference
Most professional language schools and university langugage departments now use the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) level descriptors when talking about the rather artificial concept of “level”. Modern text books use the same system.
You too can use this tool to understand Italian levels, to self-evaluate, and so decide which of our free online Italian courses to study (or double check the level evaluation made when you join a “real life” language course, as these are often done poorly and it’s all too easy to waste your time and money!)
Evaluate your level right now!
This is what you have to do to evaluate your level in Italian, or indeed any other foreign language.
There are three bands of Italian levels: Basic User (A), Independent User (B) and Proficient User (C). It should immediately be obvious to you which one would apply to your foreign language skills – it’s as easy as deciding if a stranger that you meet for the first time is “young”, “middle-aged” or “old”.
So first, just ask yourself which of the 3 adejectives applies to your abilities in Italian: “basic”, “independent” or “proficient”.
That places you in band A, B, or C. Got that?
Next, each band is then divided into lower and higher “levels”: A1 and A2, B1 and B2, C1 and C2.
So, the second thing you have to do is decide if you’d classify yourself in the upper or lower part of each “band”. Which is a bit like deciding if your new friend is “middle-aged but nearer to young” or “middle aged but nearer to old”. Shouldn’t be hard, should it?
For instance, if you have decided that you are “independent” in Italian (i.e. not “basic” and not “proficient”), would you then further describe yourself as a “weaker independent”, or a “stronger independent”, that is to say closer to “basic” or closer to “proficient”?
That’s it! You understand Italian levels and have evaluated your level in Italian.
CEFR Level Descriptors
Just to be sure, check your result against these descriptions of Italian levels. Don’t worry if not everything in each level description applies to you – it’s common to be “between” bands, or better at some skills than at others.
A1 Beginner or Elementary
Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.
Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations.
Why not try our Italian Level Test?