Dutch Proficiency Scale, self evaluation
The proficiency scale below allows you to determine yours or your bosses, colleagues, friends or partners Dutch language skills and needs according to the common European framework for languages.
The basic idea of this European framework is to compare your proficiency in your mother tongue with your foreign language competence. Along with growing mastery of syntax and grammar, vocabulary generally develops from communication about observable things, wants and needs. Language skills an conscience grow through the integration of words you need for collaboration towards common goals, sharing about free time, hobbies, experience and feelings, ... ideals, ideas, study, interests, job, career, community and society, ... . Proficiency and conscience progress and maturate through common life experiences as commitments, founding a family, raising children, ... illness, suffering, getting older and death. Language skills develop together with our more general development of social skills.
Six levels of proficiency. Evaluate yourself, set your goals.
A0. Complete beginner level : You don't speak Dutch at all . Your goal may be to get up to A2 level of fluency in 5, 7 or 9 days.
A1. Elementary level : Your understand and speak some Dutch but your language skills in Dutch are elementary. You learned to understand simple standard pronunciation and speak Dutch using simple Dutch expressions and sentences about concrete things and needs. You're able to introduce yourself and others in Dutch. Able to put and answer questions about personal matters and topics as where you live, people you know and things you have.
You're able to correctly use the present tense and use the right word order in simple 'one idea, one sentence' affirmative sentences and questions.
However you need your conversation partner to speak slowly and clearly and he or she should be willing to help you learning.
A2. Basic level : You're already speaking some Dutch. You understand sentences and common Dutch expressions about daily life matters. You're able to put and answer questions about self and family, grocery, shopping, work, hobbies etc. In daily life you're able to share about familiar and every-day subjects, ... to tell about your background, daily routines and needs in simple but correct Dutch.
You're able to correctly use present and both past tenses. Your sentences are well build and you correctly use subordinate clause.
This level is called basic because at this level you master everything you need to be able to progress on your own: You understand standard pronunciation as well as main regional accents, your pronunciation is standard, you're using correct syntax when using subordinate clause too, you can talk about, present past and future in everyday situations. In a Dutch speaking environment you're thinking in Dutch.
If necessary your goal may be to be able to discuss at the more intellectual B1 level.
B1. Independent level : You are an independent Dutch-speaker. You learned to understand most common every-day Dutch and you are able to share in Dutch about familiar subjects as work, school and leisure activities. You learned to cope with most situations occurring on a trip trough Flanders and the Netherlands speaking Dutch. Writing simple Dutch text about familiar subjects and topics you're interested in, is no problem. You still learning but already able to talk in Dutch about events, share your experience, dreams, expectations and desires, briefly explain your reasons, opinions and plans.
You're able to understand and use longer more ideas sentences with complex coordinate and/or subordinate clause as used in newspapers, TV-news and professional texts and discussion.
Once you're an independent Dutch speaker the most efficient way to progress is intensive daily interaction with native Dutch speakers along with reading Dutch newspapers and magazines, watching TV and surfing the web on topics you're interested in.
B2. More independent level : You are a more independent Dutch-speaker. You understand basic ideas of complex Dutch texts about as well concrete as abstract subjects and technical discussions about your business. You're speaking Dutch quite spontaneously: although you're still learning, your daily interaction with native Dutch-speakers is already easy for both.
You're able to write clear and detailed Dutch texts about various subjects. You're able to explain your views and indicate advantages, disadvantages and alternatives.
C1. proficiency level : You're speaking Dutch easily and rather proficient. You don't have problems anymore to understand long articles from newspapers or magazines, you are aware of implicit meanings, humor and wit. Although still learning your Dutch is fluent and spontaneous: you don't need much looking for words anymore. You're speaking Dutch well, flexibly and efficiently in your private, social, academic or professional life. Your Dutch writings are clear, well structured and detailed even about complex subjects.
C2. Bilingual level : You are speaking Dutch fluently. You learned Dutch as well as our ways of being. You have no problem understanding anything you hear or read. You're able summarize verbal or written information in Dutch. Your speaking is very fluent: you're able to argue coherently and to reconstruct explanations and argumentations. You're expressing yourself spontaneously and very fluently, precisely and subtly in Dutch even in more complex situations.