The European Language Description System is a way of assessing the level of foreign language skills adopted by the Council of Europe. It is used, among others, by schools, universities, state institutions, commissions of official language certificates. If you do not know yet, check how you are assessed by specialists.

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Due to the universality, the method is needed both in understanding the language requirements of the candidate for the university and in the interview with the future employer. The unified system allows to create language programs, exams and textbooks across Europe under the same arrangements. In this way, it facilitates the mutual recognition of certificates, diplomas and certificates.

When it comes to a foreign language, each of us has their own secret strategy and learns it in a highly individualized way. The system is not a rigid template. The fact that a student understands a high-level language does not mean that he or she speaks and writes at the same level. Each language activity can be assessed separately.

The European system defines three basic levels of language competence. Below there is the general scale:

Elementary (Basic user)

A1 (Breakthrough) - understands and can use basic colloquial phrases and expressions about everyday life. Is able to present themselves and others and formulate questions about private life, for example about the place where he or she lives, the people he or she knows and the things he or she has. He or she can conduct a simple conversation, assuming that the interlocutor speaks slowly, comprehensibly and is helpful.

A2 (Waystage) - understands statements and frequently used phrases related to everyday life (eg basic information about a person and their family, shopping, environment, work). Can communicate in simple, routine communication situations, on familiar and typical topics. Can easily describe his / her origin, surroundings, and also discuss matters related to the most important needs of everyday life.

Independent user

B1 (Threshold) - understands the importance of the main message threads contained in clear, standard statements that relate to familiar matters and events typical of work, school, leisure time, etc. Can deal with most communication situations that may occur during the trip. Can create simple, consistent statements on topics that are known or of their interest. Can describe experiences, events, dreams, hopes and aspirations, briefly justifying or explaining their opinions and plans.

B2 (Vantage) - understands the importance of the main themes of the message contained in complex texts on specific and abstract topics, including understanding technical discussions in the field of its specialty. Can communicate smoothly and spontaneously enough to have a regular conversation with a native speaker of a given language without causing tension on either side. Can formulate clear oral and written statements on a wide range of topics, as well as explain his position on matters being discussed, considering the advantages and disadvantages of different solutions.

Advanced (Competent user)

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C1 (Effective operational proficiency) - understands a wide range of difficult, longer texts, noticing also hidden meanings. Can speak fluently, spontaneously, without much difficulty finding the right wording. Effectively and freely able to use the language in social and educational, or professional contacts. Can formulate clear, well-structured, detailed statements about complex problems, efficiently and properly using the rules of organization of statements, connectors and indicators of text integration.

C2 (Mastery) - understands virtually everything that hears or reads. Can summarize information from other sources, written or spoken in a consistent manner, reproducing the theses and explanations contained in them. Is able to express their thoughts very smoothly, spontaneously and precisely, subtly differentiating shades of meaning even in more complex statements.

Level rating according to the scale will certainly help in understanding the requirements. It will also help others evaluate your qualifications.