How do you know that you have an advanced level of English, without taking an exam?
Here are ten signs that you’ve gone past an intermediate level of English. All these ten signs are important, because they are “proof” of a high level of English and they describe how you feel (your confidence) about English.
You can read and understand English
You can read different types of texts – newspaper or magazine articles, blog posts, work emails and reports – and understand most of them without needing to look up words. After reading the text, you can give a summary of the main points. The words that you don’t know could be either very technical, or very informal, like slang.
You can understand most of what you hear
You can listen to spoken English, such as conversations, podcasts, news on the radio, etc and understand the main points. In addition, you can understand most accents (native English and non-native English speakers) without too much difficulty, although some accents may be difficult at first.
You can speak about different subjects
You can take part in a conversation and exchange your opinion with other people. You don’t need to pause frequently to search for words. You can also talk about lots of different subjects – technical and work-related things as well as everyday subjects of conversation. You don’t get stressed when people start talking to you – even people that you don’t know.
Your pronunciation is good
People can understand you when you speak because your pronunciation is clear. You use advanced features of pronunciation like linking, intonation and word stress naturally. You might have problems with one or two sounds of English, but these don’t cause misunderstandings.
You can write English well
You can write emails which are mainly accurate and you don’t need to always check your grammar or spelling. You have a good knowledge of standard email phrases and you can write in both a formal and an informal style when you need to.
You aren’t embarrassed by your English
In fact, you can stand up in front of other people and give a presentation or speech without worrying about making mistakes. You might not like speaking in public, but you’re quite confident about your English.
Your grammar is good
You have a good control of basic grammar and can also use some more complicated grammar. If you make mistakes, these don’t create confusion for other people. You’re also quite flexible in your English, and you can rephrase when you have to. You use a good range of tenses naturally, without hesitating.
You have a wide vocabulary
When you speak you can use a range of vocabulary, including some phrasal verbs. You don’t need to repeat the same words again and again because you know synonyms. With a wide vocabulary, you can express your ideas and thoughts precisely, without hesitating.
You don’t need to translate all the time
Because you aren’t always translating from your native language into English, conversations are easier and more natural. You can even think in English and you know a lot of “fluency phrases” to help build your sentences.
English feels natural to you
You’re at a stage where English no longer feels illogical or strange to you. In fact, you can use English to make progress in your career and to enjoy your life. It’s a communication tool that you feel confident with. You’re in the “growth” zone!
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