Lingq language level versus CEFR language levels

Does anyone know if lingq levels are a counterpart of CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) language levels? Therefore, is Intermediate 2 a counterpart of B2? I am studying German and have to get to B2 level and I wonder what my word number aim should be?

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Nope, they are not comparable. The best way to check your level is to take one of the CEFR practice tests. The B1 and B2 tests are much harder that the work on this site. At best the B2 level on Lingq is maybe a B1. Reaching a B1 or B2 in reading and writing is much easier than in speaking.

I am language instructor that works in the USA and Mexico. I spend a great deal of time using and evaluating programs for schools and educators within the US and abroad. Each program has a special areas that it will full-fill. Lingq does a great job with the reading and listening, but only if you have spent time using another program such as Pemsilar or Rosetta Stone for a foundation.

In short I tell educators and students do not focus on what level you want to achieve, but focus on moving forward towards a conversational level. A level that you can enjoy speaking, reading, and communicating with others. With that being said, I am being tested in December of 2021 so that I can evaluate my learning. My test will be used to help me identify what I need to work on.

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There are people on this site that have taken the test and have gotten a high B2 or higher score after reaching advanced levels on lingq. I don’t think it’s exactly the same but it’s close.

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The big thing to understand about CEFR is it’s a holistic look into your mastery of a language so:

  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking

These test both implicit and explicit memory, or recall and recognition.

Looking at what LingQ primarily offers, it’s tools that ease and speed up the process of boosting recognition. LingQ does this by making harder texts more accessible faster, and showing you (literally) words you self-report to not yet recognize.

The LingQ levels are tied exclusively to reading and cannot tell you much about your other skills alone. To estimate a B2 reading level in German I’d guess it is somewhere around 40.000 words and 2.000.000 words read in LingQ. YMMV depending on a variety of factors, like how much time you spend in other activities, how much you knew before using LingQ, how similar it is to your native language, how many other languages you have brought to a high level before, usw, usw.


Three things:

  1. I agree, except for this “Huh?/WTF?”-worthy statement: “Lingq does a great job with the reading and listening, but only if you have spent time using another program such as Pimsleur or Rosetta Stone for a foundation.”

  2. For the OP, it is true for all the reasons that have been stated that teh respective LingQ levels don’t line up with the CEFR levels in the sense that acheive them in LingQ doesn’t necessarily mean you’re at that level overall in the langauge/according to CEFR levels. However, at least for the Romance langauges, achieving Advanced Level 2 at LingQ will give the passive vocabulary required for “potential fluency” (Master Steve’s phrase) in that you will be able to have the words to comprehend normal native speakers and content, but you will need to activate a portion of that vocabularly and practice using it so the words are flowing easily (that’s the “fluency” part).

  3. tbinder, are you being tested with a DELE? I remember someone here was looking to do the DELE, but don’t remember who.

Thank you everyone for your replies.

  1. Of course it’s true that here your practice mostly comprehension and be able to produce you need to have active vocabulary. I agree. (Even if after having seen Stepehn Krashen’s videos on youtube I started to wonder that maybe extensive reading and listening partially activates the language,. However, It’s disputable I agree, and it’s a topic for a separate discussion. )
  2. It’s really interesting as the numbers you give are very high. I read a few articles on the internet which gave numbers actually closer to 12000 - among which a part is active and a part is passive. I am also an English as a foreign languag teacher in Poland and many of my school students take a B2 level exam (Cambridge FCE). I have an impression that their vocabulary knowledge is not 20 000, that it is actually far lower. Many of them have been studying Engllish mostly with me for about 7-8 years since they were 6 or 7., for about 4 hours a week plus homework. They didn’t acquire vocabulary fast as 7-10 year olds , only later the acquisition rate started to grow. I just cannot see where they would know 20 000 words from…However, maybe I am underrating their passive language knowledge, I wonder as they might watch a lot of youtube videos for example.

cute dog

For someone who has no knowledge of a langue Pimsular, Rosetta Stone and a few others helps train the ear before moving over to Lingq. The programs teach you to learn differently and at different times. I have my students start with Rosetta Stone or Pimsular it is their chose how they want to start their learning. I teach students between the ages of 10-16 and adults 35-55. I only teach adults in the middle range because of how I create my lessons. I do not work with people between the ages of 16-35 unless they can convince me that they will do the work.

My observations is from an academic reference. It takes me about 9 months and 2-3 hours of day teaching a student to get them at a basic level (this does not include the work that is required out side of class). After 18 months 2-3 hours a day, my students reach a high B2 level. The only reason why I don’t focus on a C1 level is because that takes years even for a native speaker. There are native speakers that will fail the C1 level. After B2 anyone who wants too really reach the next level will spend years reading, studying, and engaging in a variety of native conversations.

Yes, I am being tested with the DELE at a College in Mexico.

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Gotcha…thanks fort the clarification and the academic context.

I look forward to reading your report of your DELE experiences. Are you taking the C2 test, I presume?

I’ve thought about doing that as well, since if I were going to do DELE and get the credential I don’t really need, why not go for the top? Plus, it seems like a C2 DELE level is a “real” CEFR C2. Otherwse, Benny Lewis and other people I’ve read about the internet wouldn’t have it. Thoughts?

I have met so many people who say they are a B2 or C1 but still lack the ability to have a real conversation.

My reading is at a high B2 level, but my listening and speaking is at a high B1 level. Also keep in mind those levels align with the content area I study and not everything within the language. My topic areas are about teaching, students, families, cooking, traveling, swimming, shopping, and current events. Every time I am interested in a new topic or area I have to study that topic, just like I would in English.

I will be adding whales and fishing in depth this summer along with electrical and building words. I am a former electrician and I teach youth in Mexico how to perform basic electrical work (installation of fans, outlets, and light fixtures)

While I would love to go for the top, the reality is a C1 level takes years of learning and speaking and that is based upon no prior connection to the language with another language. I feel my reading and listening is very important because when I travel I do need to ensure that I am on the right bus and going to the right location. I got on the wrong bus once LOL

I do have a very intense study schedule and plan to keep up the schedule I have created until December 2021. I study about 4-6 hours a day in chunks of time. Everyone has the same time, it is just a matter of what we do with our time. The first 4 hours are based upon my own teaching methods that I use with my students and the last 2 hours are fluid. When you begin to truly study a language and you spend more than 4 hours a day, what you are studying become less important. But I do over lap my content information.

For example: I will read articles on COVID, listen to podcasts, watch news, create flash cards, use Anki, have iTalki conversations, and find resources that focus on the same information. It takes about 2-3 week to exhaust all information that is of interest to me.

Then I rinse and repeat with a different topic area or review an older topic. The review of an older topic always brings back words before I loose them.



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Wow, that’s sounds incredible. I think you’ll do very well with that kind of commitment!

Let me know if you need help creating a plan.

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Someone achieved C2 level in 2 years and three months which I think is not a very long time. At the end of the day, it is all about spending time. If you spend 2 hours a day then the journey will be slow and long. However, I do not know if you spend 6-8 hours a day for 2 years, how quickly you can get to C levels.

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