In language teaching, different European countries used many different syllabuses and examinations. So in 2001, the Council of Europe decided to create a common framework of reference for languages teaching and learning: these were descriptions of ability in a language.

Rather than use number of hours, or qualifications, it describes what people can actually do in the language. These abilities would range from knowing just some words, to knowing and using the language almost perfectly.

The “Global scales” have three levels, and each level is divided into two.

Of course, progresses are made differently depending on many factors, but here is a rough guide of estimated guided learning hours needed to move from a level to the next one.

Level A:  Basic User

A1 Beginner – 60-100 hours
A2 Elementary – 160-200 hours

Level B:  Independent User

B1 Intermediate – 360-400 hours
B2 Upper intermediate – 560-650 hours

Level C:  Proficient User

C1 Advanced – 810-950 hours
C2 Master or proficient – 1060-1200 hours