Header Bild

Course levels and placement

The courses offered by the Language Center correspond to the language competency levels as described in the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for language learning. The assessment criteria itemised in the CEFR checklists can be used for self-assessment and as a learning guide.

Course phases & placement tests

Comprehensive placement tests ensure that our course participants are assigned to the appropriate course level. These tests are mandatory for new students.

You will receive information about the test procedure and an invitation one week before the course starts, at the latest. The test consists of a written and an oral part.

No placement test is required for beginner students at the A1/1 level or students who have previously attended German courses at the Language Center.
New students who can produce an ÖSD or Goethe certificate issued within the last 12 months are not required to take the placment test. Please note that the certificate must show at least 80% of the points successfully completed in all four parts of the exam.

1 CEFR-course level is subdivided in 2 phases

We recommend to take advantage of our free-of-charge placement tests for foreign language courses.

Placement tests are available for English, French, Russian, Italian and Spanish. 

Please register via our booking system

Booking
(latest booking by 3pm the day before)

1 CEFR-course level is subdivided in 1-3 phases. Number of phases differ according to target language. 

*
 Arabic
 English 
 Russian 
 Schwedish 
 Other Languages
A1
3 2 3 1 2
A2
3 3 3 1 2
from B1
3 3 3 3 3

CEFR and Checklists for self-evaluation

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) represents the bedrock of curriculum development and guidelines, textbook selection and certificate issuance. It is due to CEFR recommendations that language acquisition, language usage and language competency in all its four skills (listening, reading, writing and speaking) become transparent and comparable.

The structure of the courses offered at the Language Center is aligned with the six levels of CEFR. The phase structure – whereby every course level of the German courses includes 2 phases, while most foreign language courses are divided into 3 phases – facilitates an even more precise allocation of participants to their respective levels.

The checklists serve as methodological instruments in the process of language acquisition. Their descriptors provide learners with a clearer synopsis of the skills they already possess in the language and of the goals they have yet to achieve. This conveys transparency to the learning process and puts course participants in charge of their own learning progress.

The checklists can be used by learners for self-evaluation purposes.

A1 Level Description

For participants with no or very little previous knowledge.

Content: reading and listening comprehension of simple texts; giving basic personal information; establishing contacts with others; taking part in simple conversations; acquiring fundamental vocabulary and learning basic grammar structures that enable unsophisticated spoken and written communication in everyday situations.

To achieve this level, one to three course phases (A1-phase 1, A1-phase 2, and A1-phase 3) and extended self-guided learning phases are necessary.

Checklist A1

A2 Level Description

Content: communication in familiar, everyday situations; reading and listening comprehension of the core message of texts involving topics and requirements of everyday life and familiar situations; writing simple texts about familiar topics and personal interests.

To achieve this level, one to three course phases (A2-phase 1, A2-phase 2, and A2-phase 3) and extended self-guided learning phases are necessary.

Checklist A2

B1 Level Description

Content: communication on general topics; means of verbal expression for more complex conversation; writing of unsophisticated official documents; comprehension of core statements of general interest radio or television broadcasts; command of basic vocabulary on general topics.

To achieve this level, one to three course phases (B1-phase 1, B1-phase 2, and B1-phase 3) and extended self-guided learning phases are necessary.

Checklist B1

B2 Level Description

Content: further development of reading and listening strategies for enhanced comprehension of complex texts on abstract and concrete topics; boosting vocabulary for clear and adequate action and reaction in written and spoken communication on a wide spectrum of subject matters.

To achieve this level, one to three course phases (B2-phase 1, B2-phase 2, and B2-phase 3) and extended self-guided learning phases are necessary.

Checklist B2

C1 Level Description

Content: enhancement of written and spoken instruments of communication, thus enabling effective and flexible use of the language within the realm of public/professional life and/or in education and studies. Work with demanding written and audio materials from different media, discussions, drafting detailed and explicit written statements and comments on complex topics.

To achieve this level, up to three course phases (C1-phase 1, C1-phase 2, and C1-phase 3) and extended self-guided learning phases are necessary.

Checklist C1

C2 Level Description

Content: honing of written and spoken expression for spontaneous, fluent and to a large extent correct enunciation in the context of discussions and presentations. Focus on complex literary, scientific and geo-political texts (both written and audio) for enhanced comprehension and expression of fine nuances.

To achieve this level, up to three course phases (C2-phase 1, C2-phase 2, and C2-phase 3) and extended self-guided learning phases are necessary.

Checklist C2

Additionally, we recommend modules treating special topics, i.e. covering Business German or other technical terms.

Self Evaluation Checklists

In order to better clarify the grid of CEFR language competency levels, a project team developed a set of level assessment checklists on behalf of the European Council. These are used for self-assessment and counselling, and build the basis of course curriculum development.

Thus, course curricula do not solely evolve from the associated textbooks, but rather include the objectives set by the checklists for each language skill (listening, reading, writing and speaking), as well.

The checklists serve, furthermore, as methodological instruments in the process of language acquisition. Their descriptors provide learners with a clearer synopsis of the skills they already possess in the language and of the goals they have yet to achieve. This conveys transparency to the learning process and puts course participants in charge of their own learning progress.

Course Phases Foreign Languages

A1 A2 B1 B2 C1 C2
A1/1 (A1/2) (A1/3) A2/1 A2/2 (A2/3) B1/1 B1/2 B1/3 B2/1 B2/2 B2/3 C1/1 C1/2 C1/3 C2/1 C2/2 C2/3
basic user independent user proficient user

1 CEFR-course level is subdivided in 1-3 phases. Number of phases differ according to target language.