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Rate Yourself:
Highest Language Level:

Language Level
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You are now at the highest language level. Congratulations. Few people stick with their continued learning as they become comfortable in their new tongue. At this stage, you are able to get around smoothly in this second culture, yet there is still work to do. This section takes you to the pinicle of language learning: native competence.

Use this guide to set language goals and to refine your speaking, reading, and writing abilities. The ratings are divided into Distinguished, and Native Competence. Read them to find which description best matches your level.

In each category, use the Goals section to set your broad goals and the Self-Test section to identify specific near-term objectives. Then, regularly rate yourself against the items in the Self-Test for that section.

Note: Are you working your own language learning program? Download the Walkabout Language Learning Action Guide. It includes all of the "Rate Yourself" levels, and provides space for you to track your own progress. This guide walks you through each step of Walkabout Language Learning. You'll see your language skills accelerate as you follow the instructions in this guide. Download it today.

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Highest Language Level: Distinguished


Can use the language fluently and accurately on all levels of professional need. Can tailor language to fit the audience: counsel, persuade, negotiate, represent a point of view, and interpret for dignitaries.

Speaks with only rare pronunciation or grammar errors.

Picks up on most nonverbal cues; understands humor and most allusions.

Behaves in a culturally appropriate manner in a range of social and professional settings.


  • I can carry out any job responsibility in my second language.
  • I can speak appropriately to a professional group, my staff, a government official, a friend, the elderly and children.
  • I can act as an interpreter at a professional meeting or function.
  • I rarely make pronunciation or grammar errors.
  • I always understand native speakers, even when they are talking to each other.
  • I can participate in joking, including puns and word play.
  • I can read cultural gestures, body language and facial expressions accurately.

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Highest Language Level:
Native Competence


Functions as an educated native speaker would.


  • I am equally as fluent in my second language as in English.
  • I have command of idioms, colloquialisms, and historical and literary allusions.
  • I am well-versed on the history, beliefs, customs, politics, and geography of the host country.
  • I am completely at ease culturally in any social or professional setting.

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Sound like a Native

Advanced learners ... polish and refine the skills they have, become increasingly accurate, and use language more and more as a native speaker would.

This is similar to the way in which high school students (or college students or graduate students) continue to develop and refine their first or native language, as compared to primary school students.

[They] use language in more intellectually challenging ways, such as persuading someone or developing an argument.

--Concordia Language Villiages

Multicultural Literature

Take a break from your language self test to check out the latest additions to our multicultural literature section: Multicultural Stories.

This section offers both fictional and non-fictional stories and essays set in regions around the world. You can read them on line for FREE.

The Whole World Guide

Love the ideas and language learning tips here in our website? Want to learn more about the Walkabout method? Buy your own copy of The Whole World Guide to Language Learning: How to live and learn any foreign language.

This book is chock full of ideas on how to use Walkabout language learning. It has sample lesson plans as well as language learning drills and practice tips. Order your copy today.

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