Self-Assessment Model for Language Proficiency


S1 Elementary Proficiency

Able to satisfy routine travel needs and minimum courtesy requirements. Has a speaking vocabulary which is inadequate to express anything but the most elementary needs, with frequent grammatical and pronunciation errors. Can understand very basic statements and questions.

S2 Limited Working Proficiency

Can handle with confidence, but not with facility, most social situations including introductions and casual conversations about current events, as well as work, family, and autobiographical information. Can handle limited work requirements. Broadly intelligible accent and accuracy in basic grammar constructions.

S3 Professional Working Proficiency

Has sufficient structural accuracy and vocabulary to participate effectively in most formal and informal conversations on practical, social, and professional topics. Can understand a normal rate of speech, and minor grammatical errors that do not cause distraction or misunderstanding.

S4 Full Professional Proficiency

Can understand and participate in any conversation with a high degree of fluency and precision of vocabulary. Would rarely be taken for a native speaker but can respond appropriately even in unfamiliar situations.

S5 Native or Bilingual Proficiency

Has complete fluency in the language, such that speech on all levels in fully accepted by educated native speakers in all of its features, including breadth of vocabulary and idiom, colloquialisms, and pertinent cultural references.