Spanish fluency levels allow you to accurately determine the degree of language proficiency that a person possesses. Find out what Spanish fluency levels are and how you can improve them.
Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world and for those who do not speak it natively, interacting in a simple way is often complicated without adequate preparation.
Speaking a second language is similar to learning a first one in that you must be guided by someone most experienced, in this case, a qualified teacher; and put into practice not only the pronunciation but also the correct use of new vocabulary in context.
You must also learn how to approach day-to-day, real-life situations in that new language; how to ask and answer questions, relate everything you hear or read, and start thinking in the language in order to have a natural interaction with native speakers about both concrete and abstract topics.
As we’re going to show you in this article, there are many Spanish fluency levels, but they only reflect the extent of our abilities. Speaking Spanish fluently does not, then, require flawless knowledge of the language or having learned thousands of words.
Obtaining a prominent level of proficiency and fluency is a process in which we must nurture a vocabulary and as far as possible try to understand the main ideas and expressions related to the most common areas of communication.
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is the international standard that defines linguistic competence in the Spanish language and considers that there are six (6) levels of fluency and spontaneity that a person whose mother tongue is not Spanish can attain.
In this article, we will go a little deeper into each of them.
What is the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages?
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is a globally recognized standard for defining language proficiency. This framework represents a way of testing a person’s proficiency in a foreign language and its influence is becoming more and more common in all countries of the world.
It is this framework that divides proficiency into six levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2. It was implemented by the Council of Europe in the 1990s to be used as a reference in both teaching and evaluation of competencies.
In many countries, it has replaced the native system of teaching a foreign language. To accurately determine language proficiency, it is necessary to take a test corresponding to the level to be validated.
The DELE exam, which stands for Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera (Spanish as a Foreign Language Diploma), is commonly aimed at people over 16 years of age who wish to validate their knowledge of the Spanish language.
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What are the Spanish Fluency Levels?
Fluency is about a person’s ability to communicate effectively without any hitches and long pauses between words. A person’s language fluency should generate a perception of confidence and spontaneity, expressing ideas simply and quickly, even if in the process you may make some mistakes.
The CEFR has guidelines that judge your level of proficiency in different skills, such as:
- Extensive vocabulary.
- Ability to listen and understand.
- Good Spanish pronunciation.
- Excellent grammar.
- Produce a clear and detailed text.
- Debate with topics including technical discussions.
- Wide range of topics to interact in a simple or complex context.
- Master a wide range of subjects.
- Achieve a spontaneity that makes regular conversation possible.
- You can speak without strain for either party.
Spanish fluency is established at various levels, according to the CEFR. Starting at a basic level and ending in expert, although technically these levels are defined as A1 (lowest), A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2 (highest).
Let us explain next, what is expected for the student to achieve at each level.
A1: Breakthrough Or Beginner
This is the most basic level of Spanish. The person has very little previous knowledge of the Spanish language and begins to understand and use basic phrases of frequent use that allow him/her to use the language to interact and only express basic personal information.
You can easily greet and/or say farewell to someone in any conversation or text.
- Can interact in a simple way.
- Introduce him/herself by name and ask for others’ names.
- Ask for or give an address.
- Identify and understand the pronunciation of the name of some objects, professions, or belongings.
The expressions they use at this level are very basic and try to answer familiar or introductory questions. Those who take online Spanish courses tend to pass the tests at this level more easily.
A2: Way Stage Or Elementary
This level of Spanish is where the student begins to gain more personal interest in their language learning journey. Can understand the main ideas of basic conversations with simple terms and maintain regular interaction with native speakers in everyday contexts.
- Can express the hours on the clock.
- Somewhat more varied vocabulary.
- Formulate and answer simple questions
- Understands expressions related to everyday areas of a conversation.
- Can learn more subjects and explain in spoken and written form.
- Seeks to improve his degree of fluency.
- Understand with ease everyday expressions.
- Explain a viewpoint on a topical.
- Can talk to people in the street and use simple language.
At this level, the individual can develop independently in a setting where everything heard or read is not too complex and is based primarily on fundamental concepts frequently used on an everyday basis.
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B1: Threshold Or Intermediate
At this level, you can use more specific language to engage in more varied conversations with native speakers that are very easy for either of you to understand.
Can interact and understand a wide variety of situations or contexts to deal with spontaneous conversations that may come up on the street or in the middle of a trip.
- Describe experiences with greater ease.
- Uses language with a more complex vocabulary.
- Can produce clear and detailed text.
- Master a wide range of everyday conversational topics.
- Can give a point of view on a specific topic.
- Can formulate and answer more complex questions.
- Can interact regularly with native speakers with greater fluency and spontaneity.
- Can express his/her opinion on a specific topic.
- Gives clear information about him/herself and other people or facts.
- Being able to answer questions about your job, tastes or culture is quite possible without strain for those who master this level.
At this level, the person can begin to assume positions within business companies at a less technical and formal level of communication. Can write simple texts, in addition to understanding the main ideas of texts on topics with which he/she is familiar, can also explain a process or personal desire.
B2: Vantage Or Upper-Intermediate
At this level person should perform in a more complex environment in a Spanish-speaking country or with native speakers without any inconvenience.
Those who master this level of fluency have better competitive opportunities in the workplace.
- Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers possible.
- Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects.
- Can explain a viewpoint on a topical issue.
- Can understand the main ideas of complex texts on concrete and abstract topics.
- You can analyze the advantages and disadvantages of simple situations.
If you have a fluent command of level B2 you are fully capable of traveling to Spanish-speaking countries on your own. By immersing yourself in a foreign country’s culture and expressions your language skills will improve greatly.
C1: Effective Operational Proficiency Or Advanced
Communication at the C1 level is clear, precise, and with a large linguistic repertoire of words, expressions, and grammatical rules that will help you perform at a high competitive level in situations of great professional relevance.
- You can speak Spanish for social, academic, professional, or entertainment purposes.
- Those who are at this point can understand and interact with ease in virtually any context or scenario.
- Can express ideas fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions.
- Can understand a wide range of long and demanding texts and recognize implicit meaning.
Can understand implicit meanings and detail complex subjects with great precision, writing is done in a controlled manner and with good command of grammar, using connectors, and conjugated verbs, among others.
C2: Mastery Or Proficiency
This level represents the maximum point of understanding of Spanish as a foreign language, you can live without problems in a Spanish-speaking country since your communicative skills should be very similar to that of a native speaker.
- Expresses himself with great fluency and precision.
- Summarizes and analyzes any information.
- Can discern and argue in Spanish.
- Can express him/herself spontaneously.
- Understands any complex situation.
- Produce clear detailed text
- It has a range of subjects and ideas of complex text.
- Handles abstract topics, including technical ones related to your work.
- Master main ideas of complex words in the speaker
- Can converse without generating strain for either party.
- You can analyze the advantages and disadvantages of various options presented to you in a proposal.
Speaking in any scenario for those who possess this level is not a problem, their linguistic ability is truly prominent and not much different from the proficiency of a native speaker.
Having this level of Spanish gives you the necessary advantages to interact in any scenario at the same level as a native speaker in any context.
How to Improve Fluency in the Spanish language?
As in any other foreign language, increasing language proficiency requires dedication and the completion of a truly effective course, in addition to the correct accompaniment of a tutor specialized in the subject.
However, some complementary practices are able to enhance our speaking ability and considerably improve fluency in Spanish. Some of them are:
- Increasing speaking time in Spanish.
- Constant repetition.
- Learning new words every day.
- Practicing Phrases in Different Contexts.
- Watching Spanish Videos.
It has been proven that putting into practice some of these recommendations in addition to conventional or online Spanish courses, leads to better learning of the language in less time.
When learning Spanish people often feel intimidated or lack confidence in their true skills. But the Spanish language is fascinating and very easy to understand, and with the right tutoring, we guarantee you’ll fall in love with it.
Do not shy away from starting your Spanish language studies with caring professionals who will guide you in every step along the way to achieve your goals. Go ahead and sign up for a free private class or a 7-day free trial of our group classes to practice .
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