Basic – Elementary level. Knowledge of vocabulary words, ability to speak simple phrases/sentences, have some difficulty understanding native speakers, elementary reading/writing skills.

Conversant - Intermediate level. Speaker is able to handle a variety of uncomplicated, basic, and communicative tasks and social situations. Can ask and answer questions and participate in simple conversations.

Proficient – Advanced level. Very skilled in a language but uses the language less easily and at a less-advanced level than a native or fluent speaker.

Fluent - Highly advanced level. Fluid speech as opposed to halting use. Mastery in the following areas: read/understand texts in the language; formulate texts in the language; follow and understand speech in the language; produce speech in the language and be understood by its speakers.

Native – Primary language. Usually learned during childhood and is considered a person’s “mother-tongue”. More than fluent—correctly and easily uses language, in a proper sense as well as understands and can use colloquialisms, idioms and slang.