Language proficiency

In general, proficiency level B1 is the best proficiency target for technical documentation.

  • Some of the intended readers may have a different mother tongue in which case B1 is the most likely proficience level.

  • Readers with proficiency levels up to C2 indicate that the readability is better, resulting in faster reading.

Language proficiency grouping
Level group Level group
name
Level Level name Description
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 themselves and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people they know and things they have.
  • Can interact in a simple way provided the other
    person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to
    help.
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 their
    background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
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 while
    travelling in an area where the 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 Vantage or
upper intermediate
  • 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 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.
C Proficient user C1 Effective
operational proficiency or advanced
  • Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer
    clauses, and recognize implicit meaning.
  • Can express ideas 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 organizational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.
C2 Mastery or
proficiency
  • 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.
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