How to reach level B1 in English?
Now that we have passed the beginner levels ( A1 and A2 of the CEFR ), it is time to dive into the intermediate levels in English! This will be an exciting stage in your learning process, as this is where you will start to be more independent and be able to enjoy content in the original version in English! So, let’s go for level B1 in English !
What is the B1 level in English?
This is the level where you will finally become an independent language user! In other words, it will allow you to speak English well enough to communicate with native speakers without difficulty , especially when it comes to familiar topics. This is a super rewarding level to reach as it allows you to start enjoying original content like music , series , newspapers, podcasts , movies , etc.… entirely in English! Sure, you won’t recognize every word, but you’ll get the gist of it, and then it gets really interesting!
What does level B1 in English contain?
According to the CEFR, this is what you must be able to pass this level:
Understand the main points when clear and standard language is used and whether it is about familiar things in the areas of work, school, leisure, etc.
Get by in most situations encountered while traveling in an area where the target language is spoken.
Produce simple and coherent speech on familiar subjects and in one’s own areas of interest.
- Recount an event, experience or dream, describe a hope or goal, and briefly state reasons or explanations for a project or idea.
What is level B1 in English?
Here are the grammatical constructions you need to know to reach level B1. We have gathered for you the best resources to familiarize yourself with all the notions of level B1; everything is just a click away:
|In English||In French|
|Describing places||Describe a place|
|Describing past experiences and storytelling||Describe past experiences, tell a story|
|Describing feelings, emotions, attitudes||Describe feelings, emotions and states of mind|
|Expressing opinions||To express one’s opinion|
|Expressing agreement/disagreement||Expressing agreement/disagreement|
|Talking about movies and books||Talk about a movie or a book|
|Initiating and closing a conversation||Start and end a conversation|
|Checking understanding||Check understanding|
|Managing interaction ( interrupting , changing topic , resuming or continuing)||Leading a conversation: interrupting someone, changing the subject, resuming or continuing an exchange|
|Linkers (sequential, past time)||Link words (logical and temporal connectors)|
|Connecting words expressing cause and effect, contrast, etc.||Linking words expressing cause , consequence, contrast , etc.|
|Markers to structure informal spoken discourse||Elements of the informal register|
|Wh-questions in the past||Questions in wh- in the past tense|
|Complex question tags||Complex recovery questions|
|Not simple||The preterite|
|Past simple (irregular verbs)||The past tense of irregular verbs|
|Past continuous||The past continuous/progressive (in Be + V-ing)|
|Used to||Using used to to describe a past habit|
|Would expressing habit in the past||Expressing a past habit with would|
|Not perfect||Past Perfect|
|Future continuous||The continuous/progressive future|
|Basic use of the present perfect||The basics of the Present Perfect|
|Present perfect vs. Present (single or continuous)||Differences between Present Perfect, Present Simple and Present Continuous|
|Present perfect vs. Not easy||Present Perfect or past?]( https://bilingueanglais.com/blog/15821/preterit-ou-present-perfect/ )|
|Present perfect continuous||The progressive Present Perfect|
|More present perfect examples||More examples of the Present Perfect|
A picture is worth a thousand words :
learn to describe past experiences!
|In English||In French|
|Zero and first conditional||Conditionals of types zero and 1|
|Second and third conditional||Conditionals of types 2 and 3|
|Common phrasal verbs||The most common phrasal verbs|
|Advanced phrasal verbs (Extended/splitting, B1 verbs)||Advanced phrasal verbs (level B1)|
|Single Passive||The passive voice in simple tenses|
|Reported speech (range of tenses)||The indirect style (reported speech)|
|Might, may, will, probably||The modals might, may, will, probably|
|Must/can’t (Deduction)||Express deduction with must and can’t|
|Must/have to||Modals must / have to|
|Should (Deductive/Suppositional)||Expressing an inference or guess with should|
|Ought to||The semi-modal ought to|
|Need to||The semi-modal need to|
|Should have, might have, etc.||Expressing modality in the past tense with should have, might have , etc.|
|possessive pronouns||The possessive pronouns|
|With countable and uncountable nouns||Possessive pronouns with countable and uncountable nouns|
|Broad range (eg all the, most, both)||More quantifiers ( all the, most, both, etc. )|
|Collocation of adjectives||Collocations with adjectives|
|Adverbial phrases of time, place and frequency including word order||Adverbial phrases of time, place and frequency , and word order|
|Adjectives and adverbs (contrasting adjectives and adverbs)||Adjectives and adverbs (differentiating between adjectives and adverbs)|
|Adverbial phrases of degree/extent, probability||Adverbial phrases of intensity, probability|
|Comparative and superlative forms of adverbs||Comparative and superlative forms of adverbs|
|Broader range of intensifiers (too, so, enough, etc.)||More intensifiers ( too, so, enough , etc)|
|Wide range of adverbs (extremely, much too, etc.)||More adverbs ( extremely, much too , etc.)|
The list of grammatical constructions is adapted from the British Council and EAQUALS .
Do you know all the grammar of our checklist ?
|In English||In French|
|Things in town, shops and shopping||City elements, stores and shopping|
|Travel and services vocabulary||Vocabulary of travel and services|
|Contrasting opinions (on the one hand…)||Compare / contrast opinions ( on the one hand… )|
|Colloquial language||The colloquial language|
|Work and jobs||Work|
|Leisure activities||Leisure activities|
|Books and Literature||books and literature|
|News, lifestyles and current affairs||Information, lifestyles and news|
|The individual||The people|
|Personal particulars||Talking about oneself|
|Inner characteristics||The character|
|Evening-wear||Casual or evening wear|
|Relatives , friends||Family members|
|Acquaintances, neighbors||Acquaintances, neighbors|
|Classmates/schoolmates, colleagues||Classmates, colleagues|
|Family members||About family members|
|Family occasions/celebrations||family celebrations|
|Distribution of tasks in the family||Division of tasks in the family|
|Places of living||Living spaces|
|House/ block house/ flat||The house, the apartment, the neighborhood|
|Flat furnishing/gadgets||Furniture and home accessories|
|Furnishing/ gadgets of the kitchen and the bathroom||Kitchen and bathroom appliances and accessories|
|Rent and bills||rent and bills|
|Transport, means of transport||Methods of transportation|
|public transportation||Public transport|
|Time table/information||Schedules, information|
|Buying tickets/preparing for a journey||Buy a ticket, prepare your trip|
|Traveling abroad/travelling documents||Traveling abroad, travel-related documents|
|Shops / markets||The shops, the market *|
|Department stores/departments||Department stores, shelves|
|Groceries, household goods||groceries, household items|
|electric appliances||electrical appliances|
Be narcissistic: talk about yourself in English !
|Communication, keeping in touch||Communicate, keep in touch|
|Post (letter, telegram, parcel)||Post (letter, parcel)|
|Telephone (traditional, mobile, text messages)||The telephone (wired, mobile, SMS)|
|Internet (email, Skype, chat)||Internet (email, Skype, chat)|
|Financial services (transfer, exchange)||Financial services (transfer, exchange)|
|Restaurant (menu, ordering, paying)||At the restaurant (the menu, order, pay)|
|Hotel (booking, payment)||At the hotel (book, pay)|
|Cinemas||At the movie theater|
|Theaters||At the theatre|
|Museums||At the Museum|
|Library (school, at home, public)||The library (school, home, public|
|Time/weather, seasons||The weather, the seasons|
|Seasons / weather||The seasons and the weather|
|weather forecast||Weather forecast|
|Health/illness||health / disease|
|At the doctor’s||At the doctor’s|
|Common illnesses and their symptoms||Common diseases and their symptoms|
|Prescriptions / medication / pharmacy||Prescriptions, medication; the pharmacy|
|popular sports||popular sports|
|national sports||national sports|
|doing sports||Play sports|
Not only are you being lied to when they tell you that we jog
every morning, but also when they tell you that it’s an English word !
|Newspapers / magazines||Newspapers and magazines|
|Gardening / DIY||Gardening, DIY|
|Reading / listening to music||Reading , listening to music|
|Studying/working||studies and work|
|Types of schools||The different kinds of schools|
|Popular professions/workplaces||Common occupations; work place|
|daily routine||Daily life|
|Colleagues/ bosses/ classmates||Colleagues, bosses, comrades|
|European Union||The European Union|
|Members of the EU||Members of the European Union|
|Travelling/ work/ mobility||Travel, work, mobility|
|Culture and civilizations||Culture and civilizations|
|Basic practical information regarding the home country and the target language ( weather , currency , eating habits , daily routine , celebrations , shopping opportunities, etc.)||Basic practical information on the country of origin and the country of the target language (weather, currency, eating habits, daily life, festivals, local specialties, etc.)|
|tourist attractions||tourist attractions|
The topics are taken from the ECL Examination System site .
Funny video: don’t be like the English.
Learn the geography of our continent!
How to reach level B1 in English?
First of all, I must warn you: if you were shy until now and you avoided speaking in English, you will have to quickly break this habit! To reach level B1, you have to open up, start actively using the language on a daily basis and even make a few English-speaking friends. Talking is essential at this stage. The possibilities and advantages that the Internet offers us are enormous, so how not to take advantage of them?! You can find an English correspondent , a site to do a language exchange, contact a native teacher online or English- speaking communities near you !
Here are some other useful tips to help you reach the B1 level :
Spend some time learning vocabulary the smart way or learning to learn , so to speak. Many high-level words in English are actually of Sanskrit origin (there are historical reasons for that), so you already know them! Sometimes there are small differences in spelling and always big differences in pronunciation. Also watch out for fake friends !
Talk to yourself ! It’s only when you speak to each other in a foreign language to practice that you can’t come across as completely crazy! Practice the new subjects in front of your mirror, your computer or record yourself! Move your muscles and help them learn to pronounce English well !
- Start integrating authentic content into your daily life! Dive into the various resources like TV , sitcoms , series , books , podcasts , music , etc. It’s a good idea to start not just using learner materials anymore, otherwise you risk sounding like a book when you speak and failing to understand things that are even slightly out of your comfort zone. So get started!
There is no secret: to learn English, you have to use it!
Method to reach level B1 in English
Are you looking for a method that will take everything we just talked about into consideration and help you reach not only B1, but even an advanced level in English? Discover the Click & Speak method : vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation are organized into digestible and understandable sections!
How long to reach level B1 in English?
Many learners are unaware that it is better to measure time spent learning English in hours rather than years or months . So how long does it take to reach B1? If you are starting from scratch, that is to say that you do not yet have level A1 , you will need 350-400 hours of study . If you already have an A1 level, you will need around 240-300 hours of work and if your current level is A2 , you will need around 170-200 additional hours to reach B1! A piece of cake , right?
Resources for level B1
Listen to practice at B1 level
Here are 6 sample sentences from Click & Speak , to give you a clearer idea of what to expect at this level:
- How did you do on the math test? = Did you pass the math test?
- I found the ad in the newspaper. = I found the advertisement in the newspaper.
- I asked if I could get a copy of it. = I asked if I could have a copy.
- We’ve known about the dangers of smoking for a very long time. = We have known about the dangers of smoking for a very long time.
- He said if he manages to learn Russian, then he will learn Japanese too. = He says that if he manages to learn Russian, he will also learn Japanese.
- Culture is what’s left after everything has been forgotten. = Culture is what remains when everything has been forgotten.
Written comprehension level B1
One of the components of the B1 exam in English is the written comprehension test . Here are some sites that will allow you to practice it:
- British Council
- Exam Français
B1 level test?
What do you think ? Do you already have a B1 level? It’s normal not to know yet: the CEFR system helps us to progress but it is not perfect, so I suggest you take a free mock exam for this level ! Depending on your results, you can start by reviewing level A2 or go directly to level B2!
To conclude, I wanted to share with you what having a B1 level really means, or my personal experience . This is the level in Russian I currently have and I’m quite happy with it: I can enjoy content in the original version, read, watch videos, listen to music and I can still understand the general idea, even though the details sometimes escape me. I know the basics of grammar and can express myself in rather short and simple sentences although I can understand a lot more than I can produce. The main thing is that I can survive in Russian : I can talk about several familiar topics without difficulty and, of course, with some mistakes. I assure you that you will never regret the time, the energy or theinvest in your English learning: it really is a lifetime investment, rather than just an expense! So: what are you waiting for?
And if you feel that B1 is too basic for you, no problem: upgrade to B2 in English !