How to get your English to B2 level

How to get your English to B2 level

Do you want to get to B2 level? Read on to find out what skills you need to develop to reach your goal.

B2 is the fourth of six levels in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). B2 level means that you are an 'independent user' of English.

Below, we break down the skills of a B2-level user of English, as described by the CEFR, together with our tips for learning.

1. Understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation.

Reading and listening are essential to help you to reach B2 level. You should read and listen to English regularly, including texts that are long, detailed and challenging.

Go for texts that are authentic – that is, books, articles, podcasts, videos and other texts from the real world, rather than ones made for English learning – as these will expose you to a wide range of realistic language and usage.

If you have a specialist area in your work, studies or interests, find English-language texts connected to it. If you work in business, for example, choose articles or videos about economic policies, concepts and news. You'll not only find them professionally interesting and useful but you'll also pick up technical vocabulary in your field.

And while you read and listen, try to identify the main ideas across the whole of the text. It's good to notice small details too, but think about the bigger picture: what does the writer or speaker want to say overall? Is there a central idea that connects all the small details? Is there a repeated idea, or one that's developed throughout the text? Such ideas are probably the most important ones.

2. Interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.

Fluency and spontaneity mean that you can express your ideas smoothly and without needing to prepare much, and you can talk comfortably with other people.

It's fine to prepare some things to say, but use them flexibly in your conversation, not as a script. Try to avoid saying all your ideas at once and speaking by yourself for a long time. Instead, see how other people respond to what you say – they might want to add something or interject – and build up interaction with them by asking questions or inviting them to join in.

It's not easy to interact naturally and comfortably in a second or foreign language. But the more of it you do, the easier it will become. As you gain more experience, some of your ways of talking and expressing yourself will become more automatic. So, take every opportunity to speak in English, whether in or outside class, online or offline.

3. Produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

This is about writing and speaking. For B2 level, you should develop your ability to write and speak clearly and knowledgeably on various topics. Look for opportunities to do this in your place of work or study, online or elsewhere.

Practise expressing your thoughts and opinions. It's a good idea to read the news so that you're in touch with current events. Try to form your own viewpoint on an issue, and think it through by asking yourself: why do I think that? What support is there for my view? Then, practise explaining it. Some good ways to do this are by keeping a blog, journal or video diary, using social media in English, joining an English discussion group, playing games in English or having frequent conversations.

At the same time, you should consider different views. You don't necessarily have to agree with them, but you should be able to recognise and comment on viewpoints besides your own or on the different aspects of an issue.

All the best on your journey to B2!

Discussion

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Average: 5 (5 votes)
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Submitted by Ercivia on Tue, 11/06/2024 - 19:47

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Watch videos, reads articles that helps to improve my English level. 

Submitted by Philippe29 on Tue, 11/06/2024 - 13:42

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I appreciate this article : so many precious advices! Thank You ! I have an FCE but I want to get a TEFL or a Profeciency. 

Submitted by 一尺雨 on Tue, 04/06/2024 - 03:05

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Nice to meet you!