Tandem tips

A guide to our Language Levels and the CEFRL

TandemMay 6, 20192-min read

At Tandem, we believe in productive language exchanges, where two people learn equally from one another. To do this, it helps to find a partner who matches you in terms of the level of language knowledge. That’s why we’re bringing Language Levels to Tandem!

Looking for a way to boost your language skills quickly and effectively? Our Tandem app helps you find a conversation exchange partner to chat with! Whether you want to learn the latest slang phrases, need clarification for a tricky grammar rule or just want to talk to a like-minded language learner, Tandem is the app for you!

green-chameleon-21532-unsplash copy

What’s a Tandem Language Level?

A level shows your partner how far along you are on your language journey, and what your next goal is likely to be. You can choose from three levels on Tandem:


This is for members who are making their first steps in learning a language. You might not know any words at all; or perhaps you just know some basics, such as how to introduce yourself or ask for directions. It’s probably a bit too early for you to have an effective language exchange in a video chat, so we advise you to communicate with your partners with text and audio messages to make progress, using the help of our tools like automatic translations.


This is for members who already have some basic language skills and can speak with some confidence on easier topics. You can go shopping, make plans with others, discuss your travels and describe the plot of your favorite movie, for example. The research of our friends at the Tandem Fundazioa showed that at this stage you are ready for an effective language exchange in a video chat. A good indicator is that you are able to talk about things that happened in the past, for example, using the “perfect tense” in many languages (in English: “I have seen…”).


This is for members who are very confident in their speaking skills. You can have a spontaneous and fluent conversation, understand the news and use the language effectively for work and studies.

See our blog post for a walk-through guide of how to add a language level to your profile.

Where do the levels come from?

We have designed our Tandem Language Levels to correspond with levels in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL), an internationally recognized system for learning languages.

On Tandem, Beginner = A1, Intermediate = A2/B1 and Advanced = B2+.

What is the CEFRL?

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages divides language learners into three broad groups - A, B & C. Here’s a table that shows in detail what the levels mean in the CEFRL:

CEFR levels chart

These levels are designed to be used with European languages - Tandem members come from all around the world and are learning more than 150 different languages, many non-European. Therefore, the CEFRL should be used as a general reference point, rather than a foolproof method for checking language levels.

For more information on the CEFRL, please see this article.

Got feedback on our Language Levels? Please email support@tandem.net.