Dutch language levels explained

You can study Dutch in different places, depending on your language level and your study skills. The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is an international standard for describing language ability. It is used around the world to describe learners’ language skills. The CEFR distinguishes between 6 levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2

Below you can find an overview of the levels the language centres offer:

UT: university language centres

CVO: centres for adult education

What can you do in which level?


You can introduce yourself: who are you, how old are you, do you have children? You can interact in a simple way provided the other person speaks slowly and there is a lot of repetition.



You can communicate in simple and routine situations on familiar, everyday topics. You can describe in simple phrases some aspects of your background, your surroundings, your education. You speak slowly.



You can conduct a simple conversation at the counter, you repeat, you ask questions. You understand the basic idea in a clearly structured presentation. You can give your opinion on a familiar subject, provided you speak slow and thoughtfully.



You can write individual words and short sentences. You can fill out simple forms. You can read a simple, short invitation.



You can write short sentences using easy words. You can write a short thank-you note or a card. You can read a short vacancy, a simple, personal note or a flyer.


You can write a simple letter of application, a structured internship report, etc. … You can read a short newspaper article on a familiar subject or a simple, short text from your field


You can understand the basic idea of a presentation. You can give your opinion on a familiar topic. You can conduct a simple conversation at the counter. The pace is quite fluent.


You can understand the tv news unaided. You can explain a problem at the counter and discuss a solution. You can back up a discussion with arguments. The pace is normal.


You can understand a debate with no clear structure. You can understand a lecture on an unfamiliar topic. You can discuss complex themes. The pace is normal.


You can write a simple application letter or a structured internship report. You can read a longer but structured newspaper article on a familiar subject or a text from your field.


You can write a detailed report. You can formulate your opinion, give arguments and a conclusion. You can read complex articles that are related to your personal experience. You can understand details in a contract and formal business letters.


You can write a well-structured text on complex subjects. You can take detailed notes during a lecture. You can understand long and complex texts on a complicated subject, even if you are unfamiliar with the subject.