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Everything you need to know on your A1 English certificate

A breakdown of all the required skills for you to achieve A1 level in English.

Get Your English A1 Certificate Online

At Lingoda, we issue language certificates in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). This framework separates learners into six levels, the first of which is called Level A1. Each time a student passes a level, they are awarded a new certificate, which proves their ability to that point.

Level A1, also known as ‘Breakthrough’ or ‘Beginner’ level, is the lowest level of basic language use, as recognised by the CEFR. With English students, it can be described as the point at which a user can understand and use very basic English phrases and common expressions, both verbally and in written form.

In particular, Level A1 focuses on the satisfaction of concrete needs. Essentially, this means that someone at this level should be able to ask and answer simple questions on topics like where they live, their possessions, their family, and so on. They should also be able to interact in a simple way, if the other speaker talks slowly and clearly.

Skills Breakdown

Below is a breakdown of the different language components, and the individual skills that a student should have in order to receive an English A1 certificate:

  • Listening
    Students at Level A1 should be able to understand simple, standard English, as long as it is spoken carefully, by someone who is patient and helpful. Specifically, they should be able to recognise common words and phrases, which relate to themselves, their surroundings and those close to them. In addition, they should be able to understand things like numbers, directions and other very basic English instructions.
  • Reading
    At Level A1 standard, an English language student should have the ability to read very short, simple texts and comprehend the basic meaning, even it requires a certain amount of re-reading to do so. Examples of the sort of texts that it should be possible to read include notices, posters or short letters, while examples of the sort of information people should be able to understand include short descriptions, pieces of advice, or job information.
  • Speaking
    In terms of speaking, A1 students should be able to interact with other English speakers on a basic level. Learners should be able to convey basic information, talk to a limited degree about their life circumstances, or ask for help. Moreover, they should have the ability to indicate the timing of events, describing when things happened, or when they are due to take place, using of days, weeks, months, or phrases like “last week,” “last month,” etc.
  • Writing
    Finally, a Level A1 English student should be able to write basic English messages, which are formulated through the use of short, isolated sentences or phrases. Examples of things they should be able to write include a brief description of their interests and routines, short letters, greeting cards and postcards; especially with the assistance of an English dictionary. Furthermore, they should be able to fill out personal details on simple forms.



  • I can understand simple directions to get from one place to another.
  • I can give information about my hobbies and what I like.
  • I can understand numbers (price, time…)


  • I can understand information about jobs.
  • I can understand pieces of advice.
  • I can understand a short description of a house or flat.
  • I can understand short letters.


  • I can indicate when something happens (last week, next month…).
  • I can talk about my course.
  • I can ask for directions.
  • I can say if I am sick and give some details.
  • I can make an appointment with someone.
  • I can talk about my work.


  • I can fill in a questionnaire with my personal details (work, skills, etc.)
  • I can write a short description of my routine and hobbies.
  • I can write a short description of past events.

Tips that will help you at this level:

  • You should be able to say when you don’t understand.
  • You should be able to ask somebody very simply to repeat what they said.
  • You should be able to ask somebody to speak more slowly.

Lingoda Certificates

The Lingoda online language school is structured in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and, as a result, the certificates we issue to students are recognised around the world. Indeed, our certificates are accepted by employers, academic institutions and even immigration services.

Each time you complete an English course at a specific level, you will receive a certificate, which can be used to provide proof of your current ability. Therefore, in order to receive an English A1 certificate, you need to complete an English course at Level A1. Certificates are included in the price of your course.

Due to the fact that the CEFR enjoys international recognition, it will be easy for employers and other institutions to pinpoint exactly what level of competency you have, in terms of speaking, reading, writing and listening. An English A1 Certificate is roughly equivalent to a City and Guilds Preliminary qualification, or a Foundation Tier GCSE.