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English Level C1

At this level you can understand:

  • Lengthy speech on abstract topics with relative ease

  • Longer texts and their implicit meaning

  • Details in complex texts, even if not relating to your own specialty

What can you do with a C1 level in English?

A C1 level of English allows for a full range of functionality at work or in an academic setting. The C1 level would allow for full autonomy in a native English-speaking country.

According to the official CEFR guidelines, someone at the C1 level in English:

  1. Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognize implicit meaning.

  2. Can express ideas fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions.

  3. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.

  4. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organizational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.

C1 level English skills in detail

The official can-do statements are broken down into smaller chunks for teaching purposes. This more detailed skill breakdown can help you assess your own English level, or help a teacher assess a student’s level. For example, a student at the C1 level in English will be able to do all the things that a student in level B2 can do, and in addition he will be able to:

  • discuss in detail issues related to success, including building a motivated, successful team.

  • talk in some detail about your favorite paintings and the architecture of buildings that you like.

  • discuss societal problems, possible solutions for problems and what role corporations can play.

  • participate in discussions about conservation, sustainability and habitat protection.

  • talk about events and issues in the news and how they affect people and companies.

  • talk about risks in life, including changing jobs and doing dangerous sports.

  • compare and contrast various forms of education and individual schools.

  • discuss various types of humor, including subtle forms like sarcasm.

  • understand various communication styles, including direct, indirect, formal and informal.

  • discuss issues related to your quality of life, including work-life balance and home environment.

  • understand and discuss issues related to ethics, like civil disobedience.

Although progress will depend on the type of course and the individual student, students can expect to reach the C1 level in English with 800 hours of cumulative instruction.