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Your English language level​

At ESE we use the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), which is an international standard for describing learners' language ability and skills.

We need to understand your level of English so that you are placed in a classroom at the appropriate level.  You may do your placement test either online at least 7 days before your course start date or alternatively on your first day of school at ESE. 


Looking for the Online placement test? Click Here

ESE Levels


ESE Level

Basic User

CEFR Level


Can understand language at a very basic level around a range of very familiar topics. Can produce language at single word level in response to very basic questions on very familiar topics.

CEFR Level


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.

CEFR Level


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.

ESE Level

Independent User

CEFR Level


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.

CEFR Level


Can understand factual information about common, everyday or job related matters and topics, idetifying both general messages and specific details provided that speech is clearly articulated in a generally familiar accent. Can develop an argument well enough to be followed most of the time. Can produce more detailed connected text and explain main idea/s of text and speech around a range of familiar topics with reasonable precision.

CEFR Level


Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions i 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.

ESE Level

Proficient User

CEFR Level


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.

CEFR Level


Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Van 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 more complex situations.