Levels

Levels – German as a Foreign Language

Our curriculum

Our courses are based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL) that distinguishes between basic, independent and proficient user.

There is also the recommendations of the well-known Goethe Institute, to whom we added our own views based on many years of experience, creating a curriculum that offers as much flexibility as possible.

 

The levels discribed by CEFRL and how we deal with it:

How ist the level discribed by the CEFRL?

What the Goethe Institute recommends

 …and IH Cologne Insula?

A1

The learner can:

  • understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type
  • introduce themselves and others an can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people they know and things they have
  • interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

 80-200 lessons, 45 minutes each

 

Lessons in Intensive courses

Lessons in Evening courses

A1.1

 60

 48

A1.2

 60

 48

Total

 120

 96

A2

The learner 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)
  • communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.
  • describe in simple terms aspects of their background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.

 200-350

Lessons, 45  minutes each (from A1 to A2)

 

Lessons in Intensive courses

Lessons in Evening courses

A2.1

 60

 48

A2.2

 60

 48

A2.3 

40

36

Total

120 (A1)

160 (A2)

280 lessons

 

96 (A1)

132 (A2)

228 lessons

 

B1

The learner can:

  • understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. 
  • deal with most situations likely to arise while travelling in an area where the language is spoken.
  • produce simple connected text on topics that are familiar or of personal interest.
  • describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

350-650 lessons, 45 minutes each (from A1 to B1)

 

Lessons in Intensive courses

Lessons in Evening courses

B1.1

 60

 48

B1.2

 60

 48

B1.3

60

48

Total

120 (A1)

160 (A2)

180 (B1)

460 lessons

96 (A1)

132 (A2)

144 (B1)

372 lessons

B2

The learner can:

  • understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialization.
  • interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.
  • produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options

 

 

 

600-800 lessons, 45 minutes each (from A1 to B2)

 

Lessons in Intensive courses

Lessons in Evening courses

B2.1

 60

 48

B2.2

 60

 48

B2.3 

60

48

Total

120 (A1)

160 (A2)

180 (B1)

180 (B2)

640 lessons

96 (A1)

132 (A2)

144 (B1)

144 (B2)

516 lessons

C1

The learner can:

  • understand a wide range of demanding, longer clauses, and recognize implicit meaning
  • express ideas fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions
  • use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes
  • produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organizational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices

 800-1000 lessons, 45 minutes each (from A1 to C1)

 

Lessons in Intensive courses

Lessons in Evening courses

C1.1

 60

 48

C1.2

 60

 48

C1.3

60

48

Total

120 (A1)

160 (A2)

180 (B1)

180 (B2)

180 (C1)

820 lessons

96 (A1)

132 (A2)

144 (B1)

144 (B2)

144 (C1)

660 lessons

 

Frequently asked questions…

How many hours do I need to finish a level?

That is really the most difficult question to answer. In only one course there can be an immense difference between learners, depending on different aspects, such as: the language background, the experiences learning other languages or just on how easy the learner can connect to the German language. We only dare to make a more reliable prognosis as the table below after we have met the student in class. What we can assure you is: we had students that visited one intensive course after another at our school and passed e.g. the acceptance test at the Academy of Music or the C1 exam from telc or Goethe. On the other hand, we also had students that had troubles with our fast progression and to whom it would have been better to advance a little bit slower, with more hours of practice in each level.

 

How do I know, which course and level is the right one for me?

In this case, we offer a counseling interview before you start a course. And then there is the possibility to do trial lessons. Further, during the course there will be continouus assessment of your progress and after the test at the end of the course there will be a last counseling with recommendations for what you should do next.

Every Tuesday we offer a consultation-hour (please inform in advance via e-mail: leitung@insulakoeln.com), where you can talk to an experienced teacher about your troubles concerning the language learning process.

One thing is elementary: the levels A1 - C1 are artificial categories. The process of learning does not proceed in a sequential manner, like a straight line that constantly goes up. Unfortunately, many learners expect that after they have finished a A2 course it is only logical that they can continue with a B1 course.

A main goal of our consultation offers is to break away from these categories. Having a B1 certificate does not automatically mean that a student can tell something about his/her last weekand without any problems. At the same time, finishing the A1.1 level does not necessarily mean that the only option is visiting a A1.2 course. Maybe a A2.1 course could work as well? Or something completely different?

Time is also a crucial factor. Sometimes it is more efficient to have a break from learning than doing one course after another. Sometimes it is more effective to switch from an Intensive course to an „tailormade“ course or an course in the evening, where you can give yourself more time to process what you have learned so far.

We try our best to answer all these questions in a counseling interview and to find the best course model for each learner.

Do I get an official certificate after a course?

No. We prepare students for official exams like Test DaF or telc, but we don’t offer these kind of exams at our school. However, you can do an internal school exam that takes approx. 3 lessons (2 hours for the exam and approx. 1 hour for the evaluation). Please assure yourself first about which kind of certificate you need.