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A Guide to English Language Levels

All our activities are suitable to non-native English speakers of one ability level or another. Even those activities primarily targeted at UK students are suitable for proficient English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students, although in some cases they may be quite challenging!

We can, in many cases, offer a fully translated option for younger students or those with very limited English, without making the puzzles themselves too childlike. Please enquire if you believe your group requires this facility.

Our grading system for activities follows the Common European Framework for language teaching and examination. We've simplified the many possible levels by classifying our games as 'Advanced', Intermediate' and 'Elementary'; the following table illustrates the proficiency level expected from each of these classifications to help teachers and organisers choose the right game and level for their group.

   Level Description
Advanced

C1 - Proficiency

C2 - Advanced

  • Understanding of written English is fluent with ability to understand complex structures and nuance. Activities we have classified as Advanced are written for an English speaking audience with little or no accommodation for EFL speakers. All instructions are in English. Obscure dialect is avoided, and grammar and spelling are correct, however activities and puzzles may include the use of linguistic devices such as metaphor, idiom, slang, codes and wordplay which may challenge those with extensive knowledge of the English language.
  • Organiser's instructions are provided in English.
Intermediate

B2 - Upper Intermediate

B1 - Intermediate & pre-intermediate

  • At this level, students understand a range of topics and sentence structures. Shorter and simpler sentences are used throughout the activity.
  • Idioms, colloquial language, slang and other phrases may be included but are provided as ‘extra’ info rather than integral to solving the puzzle.
  • All clues and directions are in clear, simplified English, and picture clues are used where possible. Supporting stories, local facts and other instructions may be given in native language or in simple English.
  • A vocabulary section is provided for help with some unusual words and turns of phrase.
  • All health and safety instructions are given in native language.
  • Organiser's instructions are given in native language.
Elementary

A2 - Pre-intermediate & Elementary

A1 - Beginner

  • Elementary students of English can understand very basic vocabulary and short sentences only. In Discovery Games' activities, instructions and back stories may be provided in English but will be suitably simplified and illustrated, and a glossary incorporated into the activity booklet.
  • Main instructions are translated into native language, or translations are provided on the page.
  • We make extensive use of picture-based clues and numerical puzzles. Use of anagrams and letter-codes is very limited. Simple directions are supported by a clear map. Directions are kept to single phrases and may be illustrated.
  • Organisers' instructions are provided in native language.

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