Common reference levels

The Common European Framework divides learners into three broad divisions which can be divided into six levels.

The CEFR describes what a learner is supposed to be able to do in reading, listening, speaking and writing at each level.

A - Basic User

A1 - Breakthrough or beginner


  • 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.


Goethe Institute: Start Deutsch 1 (Allgemein), FIT in Deutsch 1 (Jugendliche)

Telc: telc Deutsch A1, telc Deutsch A1 für Zuwanderer, telc Deutsch A1 Junior

A2 - Waystage or elementary


  • 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.


Goethe-Institute: Start Deutsch 2 (Allgemein), FIT in Deutsch 2 (Jugendliche)

Telc: telc Deutsch A2, telc Deutsch A2 + Beruf, telc Deutsch A2 Schule

B - Independent User

B1 - Threshold or intermediate


  • 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.


Goethe-Institute: Goethe-Zertifikat B1, DSD I

Telc: Zertifikat Deutsch/ telc Deutsch B1, telc Deutsch B1 + Beruf, Deutsch B1 Schule, Deutsch B1 – B2 Pflege

B2 - Vantage or upper intermediate


  • 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.


Goethe-Institute: Goethe-Zertifikat B2: Zertifikat Deutsch für den Beruf;  Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang Stufe 1 (DSH-1);Europa-Zertifikat B2, Zertifikat Deutsch für den Beruf (ZDfB)

Telc: telc Deutsch B2, telc Deutsch B2 + Beruf, Deutsch B2 Medizin Zugangsprüfung, telc Deutsch B2-C1 Medizin

C - Proficient User

C1 - Effective Operational Proficiency or advanced


  • 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.


Goethe-Institute: Goethe-Zertifikat C1, Zertifikat des Goethe-Instituts in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Deutschen Industrie- und Handelskammertag (DIHK) und den Carl Duisberg Centren (CDC): Prüfung Wirtschaftsdeutsch International,  UNIcert III, DSD II. 5, Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang Stufe 2 (DSH-2)

Telc: telc Deutsch C1, telc Deutsch C1 + Beruf, telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule

C2 - Mastery or proficiency


  • 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.


Goethe-Institute: Goethe-Zertifikat C2:  Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom (GDS), UNIcert IV; Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang Stufe 3 (DSH-3)

Telc: telc Deutsch C2

All courses online available

Many courses online available

Dear customers,

The Covid-19 pandemic is a major challenge for all of us. Our school is open but we are still offering some of our courses online until further notice. Most courses take place at regular times. If you are interested in one of the courses, please do not hesitate to contact us and arrange a free online trial lesson.
We look forward to seeing you soon.

Yvonne Herrmann-Teubel