Language proficiency refers to the level of mastery a person has in a particular language. Language proficiency is not, in itself, an important thing per se. However, it does become important when applying for jobs and attending interviews, especially when it comes to multinational corporations.
There are different levels of language proficiency that a person can have. There are often considered to be 5 levels, out of which employers generally require their employees to be at least level three, which is a professional or functional working proficiency level.
- Level 0 or No Proficiency – At the lowest level, there is no knowledge of the language at all. The person might know a few words, but cannot form sentences or carry on any type of conversation.
- Level 1 or Elementary Proficiency – At this level, a person will be able to form basic sentences, which include asking and answering simple questions. This is considered the starting stage of the language proficiency levels.
- Level 2 or Limited Working Proficiency – Someone at this level will be able to handle basic work commands and social phrases and can carry out limited casual conversations at the office and discuss their personal life.
- Level 3 or Professional Working Proficiency – At this level, a person can actively take part in and offer their contributions to office meetings, have conversations with clients, and comprehend & carry out most work functions asked of them.
- Level 4 or Full Professional Proficiency – Someone at this level can have discussions on a wide range of topics regarding personal life, current events, and technical topics such as finance or business.
- Level 5 or Bilingual Proficiency – Someone at this level is so skilled that they are either raised speaking the language as their native tongue or have been conversing and writing in it for so long that they are completely fluent.
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