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Standard English Course All centres

This is the most popular course in all CES schools. The Standard General English Course takes place every morning from Monday to Friday, leaving you free to join the Social Programme or study on our CES Online e-learning platform and in our Self- Access facilities every afternoon.

Your morning lessons are divided into two parts, usually taught by two different teachers (UK & Ireland). Lessons concentrate on building your knowledge of the language, focusing primarily on helping you increase your vocabulary and improving your grammar so that you attain the levels of accuracy you require. Lessons also work on improving your overall communicative proficiency and fluency, focusing on the four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. In addition to this you will work on specific pronunciation difficulties and expand the range of language you use in real-life situations.
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Learner Levels: A Summary (incl. equivalent exam scores)

The following is a very brief summary of each individual level. It describes a typical English language leaner at each level. For a more detailed description of what students at each level should be able to do, please see the Learner Profiles in the following section.

  • Beginners

    The learner has little or no English. He / she may be able to use a few words or phrases and recognise a very small number of written words.

    Council of Europe 6-Level Scale A1  / IELTS 1

  • Elementary

    The learner uses a very narrow range of language, in short sentences and isolated words for basic needs and simple situations. The learner is able to communicate on concrete matters in predictable survival situations but does not have sufficient language to communicate in most everyday situations.  Communication is dependent on repetition at a slower rate of speech. 

    Council of Europe 6-Level Scale A1+ / IELTS 2-3 / TOEIC 10 - 250

  • Pre-Intermediate

    The learner produces basic language in familiar situations, but has frequent problems with fluency, accuracy and organisation of language. Basic mistakes can obscure the meaning. The learner can interact in structured contexts and short conversations with reasonable ease. Communication is often a great effort.

    Council of Europe 6-Level Scale A2 / IELTS 4.0 / TOEFL 450 / TOEIC 255 - 400

  • Intermediate

    The learner usually understands general meanings and can use language effectively in familiar situations. The learner can interact with some confidence when dealing with familiar topics. Fluency and accuracy are often weak, and language often inappropriate however, the learner can express self reasonably clearly.

    Council of Europe 6-Level Scale B1/ IELTS 4.5 – 5.5 / TOEFL 450-500 / TOEIC 405-600

    Cambridge FCE Grade C

  • Upper Intermediate

    The learner uses the language with confidence in all but very demanding situations, though sometimes the language used is inaccurate or inappropriate. Fluency and comprehension will occasionally be weak, but the general standard of both is good. The learner can interact with a degree of ease and spontaneity and can express self clearly with little sign of having to restrict what he/she wants to convey. 

    Council of Europe 6-Level Scale B2/IELTS 6.0 – 7.0 / TOEFL 500 – 600 / TOEIC 605 – 780 / Cambridge FCE Grade A / B

  • Advanced

    The learner has an excellent command of the language, with occasional minor inaccuracies. Register is mostly appropriate. Complex constructions are usually well handled and errors are infrequent. Where conceptually difficult subjects hinder interaction, the learner has recourse to vagueness strategies.  Misunderstandings may still occur in unfamiliar situations but communication breakdown can always be avoided.

    Council of Europe 6-Level Scale C1/ IELTS 8.0 – 9.0 / TOEFL 600 – 650 / TOEIC 785-900 / Cambridge Advanced Grade A/B/C

  • Proficiency

The learner can take part effortlessly in any conversation or discussion. Can adopt appropriate register and can express self fluently and convey finer shades of meaning precisely by using a broad range of modification devices. The learner can consistently maintain a high degree of grammatical and lexical control. Errors are rare and difficult to spot. 

Council of Europe 6-Level Scale C2.

Level Descrip CFD
Level Profiles

The following pages serve as a guideline for teachers of foreign students at every level from Beginners to Proficiency (including exam courses). The aim is to help teachers understand the linguistic capabilities of students at each level and assist them in the development and execution of appropriate and relevant lessons in accordance with the Weekly Scheme of Work. Please note that the lists given for each category at each level are not exhaustive but they should be used as a benchmark when evaluating the level and progress of a group of students or an individual.

Each level is divided into the following categories:

  • Learner profile
  • Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) Common Reference Level
  • CEFR Linguistic Competencies
  • Learner Outcomes
  • Assessment
  • Communicative Objectives / Functions
  • Linguistic specifications / Grammar
  • Discourse Markers
  • Vocabulary
  • Topics
  • Phonology
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Spoken Interaction
  • Oral work
  • Written work
  • Reading skills
  • Listening skills
  • Socio-cultural focus
  • Juniors
  • Projects
  • Learner Autonomy

Progress Forecast

The average length of time a learner should expect in order to progress fully through a level is 10 to 12 weeks (150 – 270 hours).  Contributing factors which may influence the speed at which a learner progresses through a level are as follows (but are not strictly limited to the below):

  • Attendance and participation in class. Are the learners willing to actively use new language inside and outside of the classroom?
  • Motivation – is it internal or external? Type and strength of motivation is a factor.
  • General learning or cognitive difficulties.
  • Homework and self-study outside of class. 
  • Educational and cultural background. Compatibility of these with TEFL methodologies and approaches.
  • Prior knowledge of and engagement with English in country of origin.
  • L1, including language family and script type.
  • Other issues such as willingness to take risks in class. 
  • Personal issues outside of the classroom could include family difficulties, bullying, affective or financial issues.

Having stated the above, we believe that 10 to 12 weeks is the best possible estimate that can be provided for learners and teachers. Ongoing consultation with the teacher as part of the tutorial and needs analysis system can be used to provide further, regular, individually tailored information for the learner.

Progress Forecast CFD CES


Start Dates: Every Monday
Minimum Level: Beginner (A1)
Lessons per week: IRL: 20 lessons per week
UK: 20 lessons per week
CAN: 20 lessons per week
Lesson duration: IRL: 1 lesson - 55 minutes
UK: 1 lesson - 45 minutes
CAN: 1 lesson - 50 minutes
Class Size: Average 12, Maximum 14
Minimum age: 16+
Available in: All centres


IRELAND: 09:00 – 13:00 Monday to Friday
UK: 09:30 – 13:00 Monday to Friday
CANADA: 09:00 – 12:35 Monday to Friday

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