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Language skills and their development

A tailor-made approach for individual progression according to Jean-Paul Piazzolla.


Developing language skills: an individual approach

As a language teacher, it is crucial to understand the individual needs and progress of my students. Each learner brings unique strengths and weaknesses that require a tailored teaching approach.


Receptive and productive skills

Language skills can be divided into two main categories: receptive (comprehension) and productive (expression) skills.


An individual approach for maximum progress


Experience shows that generally students in my courses are often ranked one level higher than their original ranking. This shows that my differentiated approach is paying off.

Using lower level material does not mean the student will stay at that level. Rather, the material is tailored to provide an appropriate challenge while providing sufficient support for continued progress.


Success-oriented perspective

This individual approach aims not to under-challenge students, but rather to support them sufficiently so that they can ultimately succeed in reaching the best possible level.. The entire learning process will aim to balance and strengthen students’ language skills in all areas.


Please visit www.academia to learn more about my pedagogical approach.


Language proficiency levels: an overview

Language skills assessment is crucial to assess a person’s understanding and ability in a particular language. Various institutions and educational establishments use standardized frameworks to categorize language skills. One such widely used framework is the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages ​​(CEFR).


The CEFR and the levels

TheCommon European Framework of Reference for Languages divides language skills into six levels, ranging from A1 to C2. Each level represents a certain level of language proficiency, ranging from basic knowledge to near-native fluency C1 and absolute mastery C2 (unattainable in my opinion since no one can really speak a language in all of them).


Level A1 and A2: beginners

Levels A1 and A2 are intended for beginners. At level A1, a person can manage basic everyday situations, understand and use simple sentences. A2 goes even further and allows you to express yourself clearly in everyday situations.


Module 1: Level A1


Meeting and greeting

Objective: Introduce yourself, Identify an interlocutor

  • The present tense of regular verbs, the question, the direct object.


Get to know each other

Objective: Discover an interlocutor, professions

  • The present tense of irregular verbs, the question, the indirect object.


Places, times of the day

Objective: Organize your daily life, orient yourself over time

  • Prepositions, inversion.


         Make purchases

Objectives: Make a choice, express your taste

  • The plural of nouns, the negation


Language courses with a general orientation

Description of the skills acquired at the end of the module.


Module 2: Level A1+


 Organize your day

Objective: Understand everyday life

  • The present tense of pronominal verbs, compound verbs


 Making choices


Objective: Capture differences in intention, appearance, describe a person

and an object.

  • Adjectives, possessive pronouns and adverbs of quality.


Objective: Understand instructions, opinions, make an invitation,

make projects

  • The present tense of modal verbs, the affirmative and negative imperative, the future



Objective: Talk about your family, talk about your past, find your way

in the space

  • The imperfect and the past perfect, the prepositions of place and direction


A2: A step towards independence

Reaching level A2 not only marks a point in language development, but also the beginning of the ability to develop independently.

A candidate at level A2 must be able to deepen their language skills independently and continue their learning journey independently.

At this level, the foundations are laid for communicating in most everyday situations. The learner can hold simple dialogues and exchange information.

This level of independence allows for a deeper interest in the language and an active pursuit of additional resources, whether through reading, listening, or interactive learning methods.

The ability to develop independently becomes a key factor in continually increasing language level. A successful candidate at A2 level should be encouraged to use resources such as books, films or language apps to develop their skills and become familiar with the language in different contexts.


REMARK: At A2 level, it is generally assumed that some accent may still be present. However, it is crucial to emphasize that diction and pronunciation at level A1 must already be trained intensively in order to avoid the formation of a permanent accent.

Neglected attention to correct diction at levels A1-A2 can prove detrimental at subsequent levels, particularly at level B1 and B2. Pronunciation habits, once established, are very  difficult to correct.

It is therefore important from the start to recognize the importance of correct pronunciation and to work specifically on it in order to promote clear and understandable expression.


Module 3: Level A2

COMPREHENSION AND ORAL EXPRESSION –Meeting people, every day life

The past

Objective: discover a character/event from the past

  • The past perfect and the imperfect


The press and the media

Objective: understand the media, make a summary

  • The relative phrase and the relative pronoun


Work place

Objective: to give an order/an instruction

  • The use of conditional and imperative.



Objective: describe the human body, a visit to the doctor

  • modal verbs


Language courses with a general orientation

Description of the skills acquired at the end of the module.

Module 4: Level A2+



Go out together

Objective: make plans, make and receive an invitation

  • the COD with personal pronouns and prepositions, the superlative


Daily life

Objective: write a letter, give a gift

  • the COI with personal pronouns and prepositions, adjectives


Build and live

Objective: a home for everyone

  • the passive, modal verbs in the passive


The world of politics

Objective: civic education

  • the past conditional, the indirect story


Level B1 and B2: Advanced knowledge


Level B1 allows independent participation in everyday situations, while level B2 already represents advanced skills. At level B2, a person can understand complex texts and express themselves fluently, both orally and in writing.


At Level B2 oral and written comprehension skills are so advanced that the candidate is able to understand demanding academic texts and follow oral courses. These skills are essential to success in university studies.


A B2 candidate can not only grasp the main content of complex texts, but also understand details and recognize complex connections. Additionally, advanced listening comprehension allows the student to actively participate in academic discussions and absorb complex information orally.

The ability to listen and read academic content at B2 level is therefore a key element not only to survive in academia, but also to actively participate in intellectual discourse.

At level B2, written skills must be developed so that the candidate is able to successfully complete their university studies in the language concerned. This includes the ability to complete written work independently and without outside assistance within the allotted time frame. At this level, not only a basic understanding of the language is expected, but 


also the ability to express complex ideas clearly and precisely in writing. Students are prepared to take on academic challenges and produce written work at a level that meets the demands of university study.


Level C1: The virtuosity of a language artist

Level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages ​​is the pinnacle of language proficiency and is often considered the level of a native speaker. At this level, there should be no discernible difference between a learner and a native speaker. The candidate is fluent in the language to cover a wide range of complex topics. It not only allows you to understand complex texts, but also to express your own thoughts in a fluid and nuanced way, both orally and in writing.


C2: An unattainable ideal?

Level C2 is often defined as the highest language level that can be achieved. It aims for almost perfect mastery of the language, both in terms of grammar and vocabulary. However, the reality is questioned by many experts. The idea of ​​fully mastering all areas of a language may seem utopian, since languages ​​are living systems, constantly evolving.


The liveliness of a language means that even native speakers must constantly learn new words and adapt to changing expressions. Therefore, the C2 level is often seen as a goal that can be achieved but may never be fully achieved. However, the ability to perform at this level demonstrates an exceptional level of language proficiency and cultural understanding.


Field of application

Language proficiency levels are relevant not only for language teaching, but also in various contexts such as work, travel and intercultural communication. For example, employers may expect candidates to have certain language skills at a certain level.


Overall, language proficiency levels provide a clear structure for assessing and improving language skills. They serve as a guide for learners, teachers and employers to ensure a comprehensive understanding of language skills.


This perspective highlights the critical nature of classifications. My goal as a language teacher is not to prepare my students for certificates or diplomas that might simulate superficial skills. 


Rather, it is about preparing them for the real challenges of their daily professional and private lives. The example shows that the ability to understand a text does not necessarily equate to mastering the language at a certain level. Through this critical attitude, I want to ensure that my students not only pass exams, but that they can also use the language confidently in authentic situations.