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Beginning Level

Beginning English Curriculum 

Skills associated with each level refer to skills that are mastered, not merely introduced.  There are 3 major categories of skill levels: Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced.  Within each level there is a lower and higher level such that there is a Low Beginning level and a High Beginning level, and so on.  These six levels are described here in terms of the language skills associated with each level such as Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing.   And each of these six levels will have two parts to them.   Thus there are twelve total levels.  These levels were developed with input from Conversa’s English teachers as well as the Council of Europe’s Language Policy Division.  

Low Beginning 

This is a “False Beginner Level”. A student in this level has had English in elementary school or junior high school or its equivalent.  A “True Beginner” has had no exposure to English and must start with the material here but cannot master the material stated in the following paragraph. 


The student can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help formulate what I’m trying to say. Can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics.  Can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues.  Can write a short, simple postcard or email, for example sending holiday greetings. Can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form or website.


Level 1


Grammar:      Alphabet


Numbers, days of the week, telling time

Simple present tense (regular)

Prepositions of place and movement

There is/are

Singular vs. plural nouns

Subject & object pronouns


Level 2


Grammar:      Simple present tense (irregular)

Present progressive tense

Present simple for routines

‘Wh-’ and ‘How’ questions

 So’ and ‘because’

Direct and indirect objects

Possessive ’s

Possessive adjectives & pronouns

‘Like’ as a preposition

‘Do’ as an auxiliary verb

Adverbs of frequency

Prepositions of time

High Beginning


At this level, the student can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can handle very short social exchanges, even though they can’t usually understand enough to keep the conversation going by themselves.  Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.  Can use a series of phrases and sentences to describe in simple terms their family and other people, living conditions, educational background and their  present or most recent job. Can read very short, simple texts such as instructions and explanations in public places like bus/train stations, museums. Can find specific, predictable information in simple everyday material such as advertisements, prospectuses, menus and timetables, bus or train schedules and  can understand short simple personal letters and email and text messages.  Can write short, simple notes and messages relating to matters in areas of immediate needs. Can write a very simple personal letter or email, for example thanking someone for something or telling someone they will meet them somewhere or ask them if they want to do a certain activity.


Level 3


Grammar:      Definite vs. indefinite articles

Conjunctions ‘and,’ ‘but,’ and ‘or’

Count vs. non-count nouns (including ‘there is’ vs. ‘there are’)

Simple future tense

Past simple affirmative (regular)


Adverbs of time

Zero conditional

Reflexive pronouns

‘Would’ to make offers

Quantifiers (‘little / a little’ and ‘few / a few’)

Level 4


Grammar:      Past simple (irregular)

Past simple negative

Interrogative past simple

Past progressive

Differences between future, present progressive, and ‘going to’

Object and possessive pronouns

Verbs followed by –ing forms

Determiners & quantifiers

Tag questions

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