What can a typical beginner do when they reach the start of the A1 level?

I can understand familiar words and very basic phrases concerning myself, my family and my immediate surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly. I can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues.

I can interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase things at a slower rate of speech and help me formulate what I am trying to say.

I can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics. I can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where I live and people I know. I can write a short, simple postcard, for example, in sending holiday greetings. I can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering my name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form.


Some examples of ‘can do’ statements at this level. A full syllabus will be given to you at the start of the course.

  • I can talk about different forms of transport. I can buy train tickets at the station or plane tickets online.
  • I can use the verb ‘to be’ with a number of different adjectives.
  • I can use prepositions of place to describe the location of people, objects etc.