Elementary language use
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 ask other people questions about themselves – e.g., where they live, what kind of people they know, or what kinds of things they have – and can respond to questions of this type. Can communicate in a simple way when interlocutors speak slowly and clearly and are willing to help.
Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. personal and family information, shopping, work, local area). Can communicate in simple, routine situations involving a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms own background and education, immediate environment, and things related to immediate needs.
Independent use of language
Can understand the main points when clear standard language is used and when dealing with familiar matters from work, school, leisure, etc. Can handle most situations encountered while traveling in the language area. Can express him/herself easily and coherently on familiar topics and personal areas of interest. Can report on experiences and events, describe dreams, hopes, and goals, and give brief reasons or explanations for plans and opinions.
Can understand the main ideas of complex texts on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialization. Can communicate so spontaneously and fluently that a normal conversation with native speakers is quite possible without much effort on either side. Can express him/herself clearly and in detail within a wide range of topics, explaining a point of view on a topical issue and giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
Competent use of language
Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, including implicit meanings. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously, without having to search for clearly identifiable words more often. Can use the language effectively and flexibly in social and professional life or in training and study. Can express him/herself clearly, in a structured and detailed way on complex subjects, making appropriate use of a variety of devices to link texts.
Can effortlessly understand virtually everything he/she reads or hears. Can summarize information from a variety of written and oral sources, giving reasons and explanations in a coherent presentation. Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and accurately, and can make clear finer shades of meaning in more complex situations.