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The French Institute Galway

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Adult courses - Levels

All adult courses at the French Institute focus on developing skills in each of the four key areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening comprehension in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (abbreviated as CEFRL).

The CEFRL is a guideline used to describe achievements of learners of foreign languages across Europe and, increasingly, in other countries. The six reference levels (see below) are becoming widely accepted as the European standard for grading an individual's language proficiency.



 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.


 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.


 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.


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


 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.


 Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can 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 the most complex situations.


Here are the levels at the French Institute based on the CEFRL:

Beginners (A0-A1): A complete introduction to the French language.

Improvers 1 (A1): For those who:

  • have completed the beginners course
  • have a very basic knowledge of French
  • are going back to study French after a number of years

Improvers 2 (A2): For those with a good basic knowledge of the language who wish to improve their communication skills.

Intermediate 1 (B1): For those who have a sound knowledge of french and aim at becoming more fluent in the language.

Intermediate 2 (B1-B2): For those who speak and understand French well and want to improve their mastery of the language.

Advanced 1 (B2-C1): For those who have a very good level of French, can converse comfortably in the language and aim at achieving fluency.

Advanced 2 (C1-C2): For those who are fluent in the French language and wish to refine their skills.


ASSESSMENT :  We advise students who are unsure of their level to take one of the following assessment tests and return it by email at [email protected], or contact us by phone at 085 145 0265

Speaking Test 35 Kb

Test A1 - A2 57.00 Kb

Test B1 - B2 - C1 63.00 Kb


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