Assessing Your Level
Targeting a specific class but not sure if it’s a good fit? We have several options for determining your level.
- Check the recommended prerequisites on the class descriptions page
- Call us at (503) 223-8388 to set up a quick and easy interview – over the phone, in-person, or at an Open House event.
Merlin is a quick (about 15 minutes) online interactive test which is then evaluated by our Pedagogy Manager. After we receive your written test electronically, we will connect with you by phone to complete the oral assessment and will make recommendations for appropriate classes.
Understanding Our Levels: The CECR Designations
The designations A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 or C2 are CECR designations (CADRE EUROPEEN COMMUN DE REFERENCE), also known as the Common European Framework. This is a worldwide reference for measuring fluency in a language; the same system is used for the DELF and DALF exams.
- A1: Beginner
- Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases to respond to needs of a concrete type. Can introduce themselves and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people they know and things they own. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person speaks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
- A2: Intermediate
- Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can explain simple and routine tasks requiring direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of their background and immediate environment.
- B1: Independent
- Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered during work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise while traveling in an area where the target language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics that are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
- B2: Proficient
- Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in their field of specialization. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity with native speakers. 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.
- C1: Advanced
- Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer clauses, and recognize implicit meaning. Can express ideas fluently and spontaneously without 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 organizational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.
- C2: Master
- Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can summarize information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express themselves spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations.