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Rate Yourself:
Intermediate Language Level

Language Level
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At the intermediate language level, you have gained some proficiency in your new language – and feel a little more at home with it. It is now time to expand your skills. Remember to define and redefine your goals and objectives. Then you need to rate yourself regularly to celebrate your accomplishments and work on weaknesses. This page will help you do both. Before you go on, take a moment to download this video, "How to sound like a local."

The ratings are divided into Intermediate Language Level 1, 2, and 3. Review both the Goals and Self-Tests below to help figure out your level. In each category below, 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. Be sure to keep the “cluster” idea in mind as you do your self-tests.

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.

Left screenbean two hands up

Intermediate Language Level 1


Able to speak on familiar topics, ask and answer simple questions, initiate and respond to simple statements, and carry on face-to-face discussions. Able to discuss topics beyond basic survival, such as personal history and leisure time activities.

Though I often speak incorrectly, by repeating, generally I am able to be understood by native speakers who regularly deal with foreigners.

Frequently able to understand native speakers if they repeat or speak more slowly. Able to pick out the main idea in a simple conversation.

  • I can handle more complex questions about myself, including marital status, nationality, occupation, and place of birth.
  • I can read a menu, discuss food items with fellow diners, ask the waitperson about some of the dishes, and order a meal from a restaurant menu.
  • I can discuss simple topics with friends and feel comfortable that I can understand and be understood.
  • I am beginning to get the gist of some conversations and feel comfortable immersed in the language.

Screenbean clap feet

Intermediate Language Level 2


Able to participate in more complicated exchanges about some survival needs and social conventions.

Showing improvement in using correct basic grammar constructions such as subject-verb and noun-adjective agreement.

Showing understanding of some common cultural traditions and taboos.


  • I can travel by public transportation, asking simple directions or help as needed.
  • I can respond to simple directions from customs officials, policemen, or other officials.
  • I can handle simple business at the post office, a bank, and the drugstore.
  • I'm beginning to speak more correctly; my subjects and verbs generally agree.
  • I can perform at least one task at the intermediate – high level.
  • I am starting to understand and usually can behave appropriately in interactions that involve men and women, children and adults, and employers and employees.

Screenbean high 5

Intermediate Language Level 3


Able to participate in conversations about most survival needs, limited social conventions, and other topics. Get the gist of most conversations on familiar topics.

Though I speak mostly in short, discrete sentences, I show occasional bursts of spontaneity. Can use most question forms, basic tenses, pronouns, and verb inflections, though I still speak with many errors.

Can be understood by native speakers used to speaking with foreigners. By repeating things, I can frequently be understood by the general public.

In dealing with host country citizens, I’m able to get along in familiar survival situations and with native speakers accustomed to foreigners.


  • I can introduce myself or someone else in some detail.
  • I can buy my basic foodstuffs, rent a hotel room, and bargain when appropriate.
  • I can talk about favorite pastimes or sports.
  • I can give and understand directions how to get to places like the post office, a restaurant, or a local tourist attraction.
  • I can deal with and explain unexpected problems, such as losing my traveler's checks or expiration of my visa.
  • I can carry on more complicated conversations with native speakers who are used to dealing with foreigners.
  • I find myself thinking some words and sentences in my new language and offering them spontaneously.
  • I can perform at least two of the tasks at the advanced level.

Ready to start boost your skills to the next level? This book is packed with ideas to speed your language learning efforts.

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Greater Understanding

Intermediate language learners increase their ability to understand or interpret the language they are hearing. They increase their listening skills from understanding language that is accompanied by lots of pictures, gestures, actions, to understanding language without visual support. This is a gradual process.

--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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