ERLI Proficiency Scale

The ERLI program is divided into 5 levels:

  • Level 1: Beginner level
  • Level 2: High-Beginner level
  • Level 3: Intermediate level
  • Level 4: High-Intermediate level
  • Level 5: Advanced level

Note: In any class at any level, a student must earn a 70% or higher [C, B, or A] before they can progress to the next level in that class.

For example: Student A passes level three reading with a C. This student will next go to level four reading.

Interpretation of the ERLI Proficiency Scale

Level 1:

Reading – A student completing Level 1 Reading should be able to…

  • demonstrate an understanding and application of vocabulary recognition and application strategies.
  1. using picture dictionaries to introduce new vocabulary by matching words with pictures
  2. using realia: associating vocabulary words with real life objects around them
  3. recognizing basic parts of speech including nouns, verbs, and adjectives
  4. grouping vocabulary words into larger domains. For example, classroom items, types of animals....
  • be able to make predictions about specific content they will read in basic-level sentences. For example, using pictures, or words within the sentence to predict content.
  • be able to use reading comprehension skills at a basic level such as sequencing, recognizing facts, recognizing obvious opinions…

Writing – A student completing Level 1 Writing should be able to…

  • demonstrate an ability to understand and apply beginning-level, non-abstract vocabulary
  • demonstrate an ability to understand and apply basic parts of speech including nouns, verbs, adjectives, and basic adverbs
  • demonstrate an ability to understand and apply Subject-Verb-Object order
  • demonstrate an ability to understand and apply negative statements
  • demonstrate an ability to understand and apply questions structure including Y/N and WH question forms in both affirmative and negative formats
  • demonstrate an ability to understand and apply conjunctions [and, or, but]
  • demonstrate an ability to understand and apply simple adverb clauses such as time (when, before, after) and reason (because)
  • demonstrate an ability to understand and apply simple common prepositions
  • demonstrate an ability to write sentences without serious errors in spelling and mechanics that interfere with comprehension
  • demonstrate an ability to spell common words correctly through the use of common spelling and pronunciation rules
  • demonstrate an ability to use legible handwriting

Grammar – A student completing Level 1 Grammar should be able to…

  • demonstrate an understanding and application of basic parts of speech including nouns, verbs, and adjectives
  • demonstrate an understanding and application of the simple past, present, and future
  • demonstrate an understanding and application of Subject-Verb-Object order
  • demonstrate an understanding and application of negative statements
  • demonstrate an understanding and application of questions structure including Y/N and WH question forms in both affirmative and negative formats
  • demonstrate an understanding and application of conjunctions [and, or, but]
  • demonstrate an understanding and application of simple adverb clauses such as time (when, before, after) reason (because)
  • demonstrate an understanding and application of simple common prepositions

Listening/Speaking – A student completing Level 1 Listening/Speaking should be able to…

Listening:

  • demonstrate an ability to listen for details in a beginning-level listening sample beginning with TPR, and progressing to methods not only requiring pictures or physically present items. Details can include content…
  1. Such as when, where, who, what,
  2. Such as key vocabulary for understanding the meaning in a listening sample
  3. Such as numbers, letters, and spelling
  • demonstrate an ability to recognize words in context.
  • demonstrate an ability to answer questions from oral prompts both in contexts such as listening passages, and in TPR style contexts such as from a story told by the teacher, or regarding activities in a picture.
  • demonstrate an ability to recognize topics of short listening passages.
  • demonstrate an ability to make predictions about specific content they will hear in short listening passages.

Speaking:

  • demonstrate an ability to use beginning-level-appropriate language in classroom and conversational contexts leading to an ability to do basic informal presentations on non-academic topics within a group context.
  • demonstrate an ability to use basic-level language in the context of informal classroom discussions.
  • demonstrate an ability to utilize grammar and pronunciation in a beginning-level context with a focus on comprehensibility not accuracy.

Level 2:

Reading – A student completing Level 2 Reading should be able to…

  • demonstrate an understanding and application of limited critical thinking skills including basic inferences and analysis.
  • demonstrate an understanding and application of high-beginner level fiction and non-fiction material in a variety of styles/formats such as non-authentic articles, reports, essays, and abridged novels and short stories.
  • successfully identify the stated main idea and supporting details of high-beginner-level paragraphs and/or high-beginner-level longer texts.
  • demonstrate an understanding and application of vocabulary recognition strategies such as context clues; and roots, prefixes, and suffixes as they arise.

Writing – A student completing Level 2 Writing should be able to…

  • demonstrate an ability to employ a range of sentence structures using simple, compound and complex grammatical structures.
  • write sentences without serious errors in spelling and mechanics that interfere with comprehension.
  • brainstorm and outline a paragraph.
  • organize a paragraph to include a topic sentence, supporting details and concluding sentence along with appropriate transitions.
  • employ supporting details such as relevant examples and explanations.
  • write cohesive and coherent paragraphs.
  • write a variety of paragraph formats such as narrative, classification, process, opinion, and descriptive.
  • correctly use beginning-level vocabulary in their paragraphs.

Grammar – A student completing Level 2 Grammar should be able to…

  • demonstrate applications basic grammar parts of speech including nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs [frequency, degree, and those that modify verbs], and prepositions.
  • demonstrate an understanding and application of the simple past, present, and future tenses as well as the past, present, and future progressive (continuous).
  • demonstrate an understanding and application of imperatives
  • demonstrate an understanding and application of sentence word order in both statement and question forms
  • demonstrate an understanding and application of subject-verb agreement, and capitalization and punctuation rules
  • demonstrate a beginning understanding and application of articles and count/non-count nouns.
  • demonstrate an understanding and application of simple & continuous present modals.

Listening/Speaking – A student completing Level 2 Listening/Speaking should be able to…

Listening:

  • demonstrate an ability to use short-hand techniques such as some abbreviations, symbols, and acronyms at a high-beginning-level.
  • demonstrate an ability to organize notes from a high-beginner-level lecture by identifying and writing down main ideas and supporting details, employing the use of some key words from a beginner-level lecture
  • demonstrate an ability to pass quizzes/tests based on notes from a high-beginner-level lecture.
  • demonstrate an ability to recognize topics of high-beginning-level listening passages.
  • demonstrate an ability to identify facts directly expressed in beginning-level listening passages.
  • demonstrate an ability to identify opinions directly expressed in high-beginning-level listening passages.
  • demonstrate an ability to make predictions about specific content they will hear in high-beginning-level listening passages. For example, using pictures to predict content.
  • demonstrate an ability to make inferences about specific content they hear in high-beginning-level listening passages.

Speaking:

  • demonstrate an ability to use high-beginning-level-appropriate language in the context of organized presentations that include presentation techniques , and can include technological aids
  • demonstrate an ability to use high-beginning-level-appropriate language in the context of formal classroom discussions such as found in debates, as well as informal classroom conversations.
  • demonstrate an ability to utilize correct grammar and pronunciation in a high-beginning-level context with fewer errors than level one.
  • demonstrate an ability to utilize idiomatic language in high-beginning level speaking activities.

Level 3:

Reading – A student completing Level 2 Reading should be able to…

  • demonstrate an understanding and application of critical thinking skills including inferences and basic analysis from an intermediate-level passage
  • demonstrate an understanding and application of intermediate-level fiction and non-fiction material in a variety of styles/formats such as non-authentic articles, reports, essays, novels, and short stories.
  • successfully identify the stated and implied main idea and supporting details of intermediate-level paragraphs and/or intermediate-level longer texts
  • successfully employ skimming and scanning techniques to find details and main ideas in an intermediate-level text.
  • demonstrate an understanding of vocabulary recognition strategies such as context clues; and roots, prefixes, and suffixes and apply them in determining the meanings of new terms found in intermediate-level texts.
  • demonstrate an understanding and application of literary devices such as figurative and idiomatic language found in intermediate-level literary passages.

Writing – A student completing Level 3 Writing should be able to…

  • demonstrate an ability to write in a variety of essay formats as narrative, persuasive, cause & effect, comparison/contrast, and descriptive.
  • demonstrate an ability to brainstorm and outline an intermediate-level academic essay.
  • demonstrate an ability to organize a multi-paragraph essay that includes an introduction with a thesis, body and conclusion along with appropriate transitions with each paragraph consisting of a minimum of six lines.
  • demonstrate an ability to employ supporting details such as relevant examples, statistics and explanations within an essay.
  • demonstrate an ability to use intermediate-level vocabulary with fewer errors than level two.
  • demonstrate an ability to employ a range of sentence structures using simple, compound and complex grammatical structures with fewer errors than level two.
  • demonstrate an ability to write with fewer errors in spelling and mechanics than found in level two.
  • demonstrate an ability to produce written responses to non-authentic intermediate-level texts.
  • demonstrate an ability to paraphrase non-authentic texts at an intermediate-level and have an understanding of how to apply these skills to avoid plagiarism.
  • demonstrate an ability to summarize non-authentic texts at an intermediate-level while avoiding plagiarism.

Grammar – A student completing Level 3 Grammar should be able to…

  • demonstrate an intermediate understanding and application of the 12 active verb tenses.
  • demonstrate an intermediate understanding and application of common phrasal verbs.
  • demonstrate an intermediate-level understanding and application of gerunds and infinitives as subjects and objects.
  • demonstrate an intermediate-level understanding and application of adverb clauses (time, reason, contrast, and unexpected as well as
  • demonstrate an intermediate-level understanding and application of past and present modals in the simple and continuous forms.

real conditionals – past, present & future real in their active forms.

  • demonstrate an intermediate-level understanding and application adjective clauses in their basic forms for Subject-Subject and Object-Subject clauses
  • demonstrate an intermediate-level understanding and application of prepositions and prepositional phrases.
  • demonstrate an intermediate-level understanding and application of quantifiers, and definite & indefinite articles.

Listening/Speaking – A student completing Level 3 Listening/Speaking should be able to…

Listening:

  • demonstrate an ability to use note-taking techniques such as the Cornell method, Mind Mapping, and /or outlining to take notes from an intermediate-level listening lecture.
  • demonstrate an ability to use short-hand techniques such as a limited number of abbreviations, symbols, and acronyms while building on those used in level 2 to take notes from an intermediate-level lecture.
  • demonstrate an ability to organize notes from an intermediate-level lecture by identifying and writing down main ideas and supporting details and employing the use of some key words.
  • demonstrate an ability to pass quizzes/tests based on notes from an intermediate-level lecture.
  • demonstrate an ability to comprehend intermediate-level non-authentic academic and intermediate-level non-academic discourse such as on topics from current events and popular culture.
  • demonstrate an ability to predict, infer, and recognize the difference between fact and opinion from intermediate-level passages.

Speaking:

  • demonstrate an ability to use intermediate level-appropriate language in the context of organized presentations that include presentation techniques , and can include technological aids.
  • demonstrate an ability to use intermediate level-appropriate language in the context of formal classroom discussions such as found in debates, as well as informal classroom conversations.
  • demonstrate an ability to utilize correct grammar and pronunciation in an intermediate-level context with fewer errors than level two.
  • demonstrate an ability to utilize idiomatic language in intermediate-level speaking activities.

Level 4:

Reading – A student completing Level 4 Reading should be able to…

  • demonstrate an understanding and application of critical thinking skills including inferences, analysis, and bias from a high-intermediate-level passage.
  • demonstrate an understanding and application of high-intermediate-level fiction and non-fiction material in a variety of styles/formats such as articles, reports, essays, abridged novels, and abridged & unabridged short stories.
  • successfully identify the stated and implied main idea and supporting details of high-intermediate-level paragraphs and/or high-intermediate-level longer texts such as an entire article.
  • successfully employ skimming and scanning techniques to find details and main ideas in high-intermediate-level texts.
  • demonstrate an understanding and application of vocabulary recognition strategies such as context clues, roots, prefixes, and suffixes to guess the meanings of new terms found in high-intermediate-level texts.
  • demonstrate an understanding and application of literary devices such as figurative and idiomatic language; and metaphors used in high-intermediate-level literary passages.

Writing – A student completing Level 4 Writing should be able to…

  • demonstrate an ability to write in a variety of essay formats to include persuasive, cause & effect, comparison/contrast and argumentative.
  • demonstrate an ability to brainstorm and outline a high-intermediate-level academic essay.
  • demonstrate an ability to organize a multi-paragraph essay that includes an introduction with a thesis, body and conclusion along with appropriate transitions with each paragraph consisting of a minimum of seven lines.
  • demonstrate an ability to employ supporting details such as relevant examples, statistics and explanations occasionally paraphrased from controlled high-intermediate sources.
  • demonstrate an ability to use high-intermediate-level vocabulary with errors than level three.
  • demonstrate an ability to employ a range of sentence structures using more complex grammatical structures than taught in level three with fewer errors than level three.
  • demonstrate an ability to write with limited errors in spelling and mechanics than found in level three.
  • demonstrate an ability to produce written responses to authentic and non-authentic texts at a high-intermediate-level.
  • demonstrate an ability to paraphrase authentic and non-authentic texts at a high-intermediate-level and use these skills to avoid plagiarism.
  • demonstrate an ability to summarize authentic and non-authentic texts at a high-intermediate-level while avoiding plagiarism.

Grammar – A student completing Level 4 Grammar should be able to…

  • demonstrate a high-intermediate-level understanding and applications of all 12 active verb tenses
  • demonstrate a high-intermediate-level understanding and application of all 12 passive verb tenses
  • demonstrate a high-intermediate-level understanding and application of the four kinds of adjective clauses [Subject-Subject, Object-Subject, Subject-Object, and Object-Object] in their active and passive forms.
  • demonstrate a high-intermediate-level understanding and application of adverbial clauses [These include reason, time, contrast, unexpected result, and condition clauses] in their active and passive forms.
  • demonstrate a high-intermediate-level understanding and application of the five types of conditional clauses, both real and unreal. [The five types are past, present, and future real, & present and past unreal.]
  • demonstrate a high-intermediate-level understanding and application of subject, direct object, and subject complement noun clauses in their active forms.

Listening/Speaking – A student completing Level 4 Listening/Speaking should be able to…

Listening:

  • demonstrate an ability to use note-taking techniques such as the Cornell method, Mind Mapping, and /or outlining to take notes from a high-intermediate-level lecture.
  • demonstrate an ability to use short-hand techniques such as abbreviations, symbols, and acronyms to take notes from a high-intermediate-level lecture
  • demonstrate an ability to organize notes from a high-intermediate-level lecture by identifying and writing down main ideas and supporting details, and employing the use of key words.
  • demonstrate an ability to pass quizzes/tests based on notes from an academic or non-academic high-intermediate-level lecture
  • demonstrate an ability to comprehend non-authentic and authentic high-intermediate-level academic listening discourse.
  • demonstrate an ability to predict, infer, and recognize the difference between fact and opinion within a high-intermediate-level listening discourse.

Speaking:

  • demonstrate an ability to use high-intermediate-level language in the context of organized presentations that include presentation techniques , and should include technological aids
  • demonstrate an ability to use high-intermediate-level language in the context of formal classroom discussions such as found in debates, as well as informal classroom conversations
  • demonstrate an ability to use high-intermediate-level language to utilize facts, estimates [statistics], and opinions to support an argument.
  • demonstrate an ability to utilize idiomatic language in high-intermediate-level speaking activities.
  • demonstrate an ability to utilize correct grammar and pronunciation in high-intermediate-level contexts with fewer errors than level three

Level 5:

Reading – A student completing Level 5 Reading should be able to…

  • Students should demonstrate an understanding and application of critical thinking skills including inferences, analysis, and bias through the use of authentic, advanced-level literary and academic passages.
  • demonstrate an understanding and application of advanced-level fiction and non-fiction material in a variety of styles/formats such as articles, reports, essays, and unabridged novels and short stories
  • successfully identify the stated and implied main idea and supporting details of advanced-level paragraphs and advanced-level longer academic texts
  • successfully employ skimming and scanning techniques to find details and main ideas in an advanced-level text.
  • demonstrate an understanding and application of vocabulary recognition strategies such as context clues, roots, prefixes, and suffixes to guess the meanings of new terms found in high-advanced-level texts.
  • demonstrate an understanding and application of literary devices such as figurative and idiomatic language; and metaphors used in advanced-level literary passages.

Writing – A student completing Level 5 Writing should be able to…

  • demonstrate an ability to write in a variety of essay formats to include but not limited to argumentative, cause & effect, comparison/contrast, and expository.
  • demonstrate an ability to brainstorm and outline an advanced-level academic essay.
  • demonstrate an ability to organize a multi-paragraph essay that includes an introduction with a thesis, body and conclusion along with appropriate transitions with each paragraph consisting of a minimum of eight lines.
  • demonstrate an ability to employ supporting details such as relevant examples, statistics and explanations paraphrased from other sources.
  • demonstrate an ability to use advanced-level vocabulary with limited errors.
  • demonstrate an ability to employ a range of sentence structures using more complex grammatical structures than taught in level four with limited errors.
  • demonstrate an ability to write with limited errors in spelling and mechanics.
  • demonstrate an ability to produce written responses to advanced-leve lacademic and literary texts
  • demonstrate an ability to paraphrase authentic texts at an advanced-level and advanced-level and use these skills to avoid plagiarism
  • demonstrate an ability to summarize authentic texts at an advanced-level while avoiding plagiarism

Grammar – A student completing Level 5 Grammar should be able to…

  • demonstrate applications of active and passive verb tenses within the grammatical forms described below.
  • demonstrate an advanced-level understanding and application of the four kinds of adjective/relative clauses in their active and passive reduced forms as well as their active and passive fronted forms.
  • demonstrate an advanced-level understanding and application of the five categories of adverbial clauses in both their active and passive reduced forms as well as their fronted forms.
  • demonstrate an advanced-level application of subject, direct object, and subject complement noun clauses in both their active and passive forms.
  • demonstrate an advanced-level understanding and application of the five types of conditional clauses in their active and passive inverted forms.

Listening/Speaking – A student completing Level 5 Listening/Speaking should be able to…

Listening:

  • demonstrate an ability to use note-taking techniques such as the Cornell method, Mind Mapping, and /or outlining to take notes from an advanced-level listening lecture.
  • demonstrate an ability to use short-hand techniques such as extensive use of abbreviations, symbols, and acronyms to take notes from an advanced-level lecture
  • demonstrate an ability to organize notes from an advanced-level academic lecture by identifying and writing down main ideas and supporting details, employing the use of key words
  • demonstrate an ability to pass quizzes/tests based on notes from an advanced-level lecture
  • demonstrate an ability to comprehend advanced-level authentic academic listening discourse such as that commonly found within a university classroom.
  • demonstrate an ability to predict, infer, and recognize the difference between fact and opinion within an advanced-level listening passage

Speaking:

  • demonstrate an ability to use advanced-level language in the context of organized presentations that include presentation techniques and technological aids.
  • demonstrate an ability to use advanced-level language in the context of formal classroom discussions such as found in debates, as well as informal classroom conversations.
  • demonstrate an ability to use advanced-level language to utilize facts, estimates [statistics], and opinions to support an argument.
  • demonstrate an ability utilize correct grammar and pronunciation in an advanced-level context with fewer errors than level four.
  • demonstrate an ability to utilize idiomatic language in advanced-level level speaking activities.