Grl reading level

How To Determine Your Child’s Reading Level And Choose The Best Books

When you sit down to read a book, you want to enjoy the story in front of you. The same is true for your child. That’s why uncovering your child’s reading level is an important step in fostering their love of words from a young age!

Consider the different factors that allow kids to enjoy the books they read. For example, does it tie into their interests, and is it slated as an appropriate option for their level? By answering these questions, you can make sure they’re reading books that are just right for them!

If your child is in school, you’re probably no stranger to jargon like “reading level.” But what exactly does Lexile Framework, Guided Reading Levels (GRL), or Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) actually mean?

Additionally, if your child is just starting to read on their own (or already reading independently) and is learning from home, how can you figure out what reading level is right for them? If any of these thoughts have crossed your mind, you’ve come to the right place.

We’re here to answer your questions so you and your child can sit down and enjoy a good book together!

What Is A Reading Level?

A reading level is simply a measure of your child’s ability to read text. It reflects how well your little one can read independently. Importantly, reading levels help you choose books that are a good match for your child while still presenting a challenge.

Keep in mind these levels are meant to be helpful, not stressful. They don’t limit your child, but, rather, help them blossom into a fluent, excited reader.

When your child reads books that are appropriate for their current reading level, it boosts their confidence so they can truly enjoy reading! Also, knowing what level your child is at allows you to work with them to improve their skills.

That being said, it’s important to remember that children are unique and develop differently. Comparing your child to their peers isn’t necessarily the best approach when trying to assess their reading ability.

Why Is Determining Reading Level Important?

It’s helpful to determine your child’s reading level so you can find books that are appropriate for them to read on their own: not too difficult but challenging enough to encourage growth.

Reading level classification is a convenient tool you can use when searching online or at the library. And when you provide books that are on your child’s level, you create excitement and build their confidence, which can lead to a lifetime love of learning and reading!

If you’re looking for ways to help your little one read at the best level for them, Our new app HOMER Learn & Grow has a Stories section that gives age-appropriate story recommendations!

This is a great resource that takes your child’s specific interests and recommends stories just for them. What’s more, your child can choose to read along or read on their own.

How Is Your Child’s Reading Level Measured?

Your child’s reading level is usually measured at their school in first or second grade, and we’ll show you how that’s done. Here’s a tip: since your child’s teacher knows their reading level, consider asking the teacher (or the school librarian) for books your child can read at home.

Don’t worry if your child isn’t in school yet or if they’re homeschooled. We’ll show you how you can measure their reading level at home, too!

Before we dive in, it’s important to note that we think of books for kids at three levels: independent reading, instructional reading, and frustrating to read.

As the names indicate, independent reading books are ones a child can read with ease and without support from an adult.

Instructional ones are the books just above independent that teachers might use to stretch a child’s reading as they offer support while the child makes that next step. Finally, frustrating books are too hard for a child to read even with adult guidance.

Now that you have an idea of how to think of the different books your child might encounter, let’s talk about the tools used for determining or describing reading levels.

Lexile Framework For Reading

Lexile Framework For Reading is an educational tool that ranks books by order of their difficulty using a scale called a Lexile. Usually, your child’s teacher will determine their Lexile reading level and then choose books that have a matching score.

The Lexile score, or measure, describes your child’s reading ability and matches them with books and other reading materials. This measure ranges anywhere from 0L to 2000L.

Kids are encouraged to read within their Lexile “range” — 50L above to 100L below their actual level. For instance, if your little one is reading with a Lexile measure of 500L, they would read books ranging anywhere from 400L to 550L.

Using standardized assessments, schools will often measure a child’s reading level several times a year to help them select books that are appropriate for independent reading.

Guided Reading Levels (GRL)

GRL is a guided reading system used in some schools.

To determine reading levels using GRL, children sit one-on-one with their teacher and read from a book that’s considered standard for their grade level — a “benchmark” book. GRL books range from A to Z with A being the easiest.

While reading these books, the teacher will take notes on any missed words and ask comprehension questions, such as, “When did the story take place?” or, “What was the problem in the story?”.

Through guided instruction, the teacher will gradually move children into more difficult books.

Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA)

DRA is a standardized reading test given by teachers or reading specialists. As with GRL, children sit individually with the test administrator and read a book.

Several factors are taken into consideration to determine reading level, including:

  • Reading comprehension
  • Phonemic awareness
  • Fluency

DRA books are labeled with an A for the easiest books and then move into a numerical grading system. The levels range from 1 to 80 with 1-3 representing a kindergarten reading level and 80 representing an eighth-grade reading level.

Once a child has a DRA or a GRL level, a teacher or parent can search for the reading level of any particular book and can usually discover either the Lexile, DRA, or GRL of that particular text. Here’s a chart for your reference.

At-Home Reading Levels

If you’re looking for a way to find out your child’s reading level without using any of the methods listed above, you might try the five-finger rule.

For the five-finger rule, choose a book and flip to any page. If your child seems to have trouble reading more than five words on the page, it’s a good indicator that the book is too advanced for them.

To be sure, though, you can have your child try another page, especially if they seem eager to read a particular book.

This can be a helpful strategy, but it’s OK to let your child try a book and see how the reading goes. If a book is too hard, most kids will figure that out — and there is nothing wrong with reading books that are too easy!

Sometimes a child may be interested in a book that’s a little too hard for them. If this happens, we encourage you to read aloud to your child. You can also read together by alternating pages, paragraphs, or sentences.

It’s important not to completely avoid books that may be a little above your child’s reading level.

Even if your child struggles a bit to read them without assistance, these books can still be beneficial in helping build their vocabulary, improve comprehension, and increase general knowledge — not to mention, encourage their love of reading!

When your emerging reader seems overwhelmed by one book, you can always give the five-finger rule a try with other books until you find the right match. And if your child is particularly interested in a topic, you can always read the book to them and stop on words you know they can read.

Also remember that when a child is really enjoying a book and highly motivated to read it, they will read at a higher level than if the material is not as interesting to them.

Tip: Most libraries and bookstores have books arranged by reading level so you can easily choose the best one for your emerging reader!

Feel free to ask librarians and knowledgeable staff at bookstores to offer suggestions. You could even say something like, “My child happily read a Clifford book; can you suggest others at the same level?”

How To Help Your Child Become A Stronger Reader

As we mentioned earlier, you can easily determine your child’s reading level at home so that you can help them choose books that are just right! We suggest incorporating some of the tips below to help your child become a stronger reader.

Start With Clues

  • Is your child using “sounding out” techniques to figure out unknown words?
  • When your child reads, are they getting tripped up by sight words — common words that are hard to sound out?
  • Is your child using pictures to help them understand what is written on the page?
  • Is your child using context clues to figure out what word makes sense to come next as they read sentences?

Check Vocabulary

  • Play games with your child to see what words they know. For example, say a sentence and point out one word in the sentence. Then ask them if they can come up with a different word (synonym).
  • Play synonym games to see what words your child knows. For example, challenge yourselves to think of 10 or more ways to describe speaking (shout, whisper, mumble).

While you’re talking with your child, describe something specific from your day. Make sure to use interesting adjectives, and don’t hold back from using sophisticated vocabulary when talking with your child.

You can help your child’s vocabulary grow through day-to-day conversations and activities!

Ask Comprehension Questions

Understanding what they read is an important part of your child’s reading journey.

  • To check for reading comprehension, we suggest pausing every other page to talk about what you’ve just read. Make this a natural reaction to the story, like you’re thinking aloud about the story or characters, so that it doesn’t feel like a test.
  • Consider encouraging your child to act out and retell the story (for younger children).
  • Try discussing themes/lessons with your child (for older children). Remember: this isn’t a test, but a conversation between book lovers!

Talk To Your Child

When most people implement strategies to help their children improve their reading skills, they often forget about the importance of verbal communication. It’s essential to talk to your child frequently in short and simple sentences.

This includes singing songs, telling them wonderful stories, reciting fun nursery rhymes, and describing the world around them. All of this exposes children to lots of different words. It also helps them learn that language is a powerful tool for communication.

Discover Your Child’s Favorite Books

  • Children often choose books that are a little below their actual reading level. At home, this is a good thing. It keeps reading fun and exciting!
  • We recommend choosing books that interest your child — with a certain character or activity they like — so they’re curious and excited about reading.

Reading books your child enjoys together can encourage their love of reading. And letting them read those same books to you can boost their confidence over time.

Together, these two activities increase your child’s fluency and reading enjoyment!

Create A Reading Corner

Establishing a reading corner in your house can benefit your child. The setup doesn’t need to be elaborate. This can be a simple, quiet, private area where your child can confidently read independently or with you. 

It’s also great for the spot to be well-lit and filled with lots of books your child enjoys reading. 

Is Reading The Same Book Over And Over OK?

Just like you might pick up an old favorite book to read, your child may do the same, and that’s OK! At least you know they’re enjoying a good book and the process of reading!

Rereading books can have many benefits for a child, including:

It allows children to get more from the text. Have you ever developed a deeper understanding of a story after rereading it? That’s because the more you engage with a story, the more you can take away from it.

You can pick up on new information, establish connections between yourself and some of the characters, and even improve your understanding of the overall story.

Similarly, allowing your child to read their favorite books for the second, third, fourth (or more) time will enable them to get more from the story.

It also allows for bonding. Did you know that rereading books can help bring your family closer together?

Many of us remember a couple of books that our family read together regularly. This can be a holiday book or a favorite story. Rereading is a great way to get the whole family involved, as everyone can take turns reading and connecting on the same story.

What’s more, reading familiar books can actually help develop a young reader’s fluency. It allows them to learn the words and helps them become familiar with narrative structure or storylines (i.e. beginning, middle, and end), which builds reading comprehension later on.

So feel free to let your child choose the same book over and over!

FAQs About Reading Levels

What Reading Level Should My Child Be In Each Grade?

It’s challenging to answer this question because each child is different and will naturally develop at their own pace. For example, just because your child’s friend has started reading fluently doesn’t mean your child will be able to do that yet.

While no parent wants their own child to be a little behind compared to their peers, putting too much pressure on them to “catch up” might actually have an adverse effect. In fact, they might feel overwhelmed by the pressure and develop a negative attitude toward reading.

It’s also important to note that there’s no direct link between a certain Lexile measure and a specific grade level. When using any of the reading level measures we mentioned, remember that they are an estimate of a child’s performance and shouldn’t be interpreted literally.

Also, if you’re really concerned about your young learner’s development, you can always address those concerns with their teacher or another professional. They can offer tips and advice on how to best work with your child.

Finally, remember to be patient and positive no matter what. With lots of time and effort, your child will develop a lifetime love of reading!

Who Can Help Me Choose Books That Match My Child’s Reading Level?

The best place to start is to consult your child’s teacher. They will have the expertise to guide you in buying the right books for your child.

It’s also possible for you to look up most books online and find their reading levels. Furthermore, for beginner readers, there are publishers who label books in stages with age and/or grade suggestions attached.

If you’re homeschooling, you can also reach out to your local librarian or bookstores. As people who spend each day surrounded by books, they often have knowledge on this topic and may be able to recommend a few relevant books in your child’s reading level.

What If My Child Is Reading At A Lower Level?

The last thing a parent wants to hear is that their child’s reading level isn’t on par with their peers. But what can you do if, from the assessment used at your child’s school, you find out that your young learner is reading below the average grade level?

Firstly, it’s important not to panic. As mentioned earlier, kids develop reading skills at different stages of their development. Some children might be early readers, while others may take time to get there.

The most effective way to help your child improve their reading level is by continuing to encourage reading at home. While reading, remember to discuss the content to ensure comprehension.

Reading For Fun

From assessments to the five-finger rule, determining reading levels varies across the board. No matter which method you choose, remember these measurements are meant to be helpful and encouraging, not stressful and limiting.

Keep this in mind when assessing your young learner. You don’t want your child to sense any stress about their abilities, as this might overwhelm them and have an adverse effect on how they view reading.

While reading is an essential early learning (and lifelong) skill, you want your child to LOVE reading and not only view it as a test of their intelligence.

At the end of the day, the way reading makes your child feel is more important than their reading level. Each child learns in a way that’s special and unique to them.

The HOMER Road To Reading

The road to discovering how to read can be a fun ride, but sometimes it’s bumpy. This is why we’re more than a learning program. We’re your learning partner.

If you’re looking for a resource to help develop your child’s love of reading and learning, consider taking a look at the HOMER Learn & Grow app. It’s full of stories curated based on your child’s interests!

When your child develops a love for reading, they’ll move up to the next level before you can say “Developmental Reading Assessment”!


Reading Levels Explained: What They Are & How They Are Assessed

When your child is first learning to read, reading levels are an important tool for helping them move forward without the struggle. But did you know even older readers can benefit from being matched with the appropriate reading level?

In this article, we’ll discuss how reading levels are used and how your child’s level is determined. With the right reading materials, your child can master reading and enjoy it for years to come!

What are reading levels?

Reading levels are a detailed way to pair your child’s reading ability with books they can successfully read and understand

Reading levels are an effective way to measure a child’s reading progress. If your child is primarily reading books at or just above their determined reading level, they are more likely to find reading enjoyable. 

As parents, we’ve all seen how reading can become frustrating. If a beginner reader tries to read a book that is far beyond their abilities, they may simply decide that reading is just too hard. And this frustration can create an overall dislike of reading and books. This is what leveled reading strives to avoid.

How is your child’s reading level assessed? 

There are several different methods for measuring your child’s reading skills and classifying the books they will read.  

We’ll be discussing the four most popular leveling systems in the next sections. Read on for the details on the GRL, DRA, AR and Lexile reading level measurements.

Guided reading levels (GRL) explained

Guided reading levels, or GRL, are based on the reading levels system developed by Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. For this reason, you’ll also often see GRL called Fountas & Pinnell. 

This system classifies reading levels alphabetically from A to Z, with A corresponding to the earliest readers and Z falling in line with texts at or above an eighth grade level. 

Books are grouped into the appropriate level based on the following considerations:

  • Word repetition
  • Sentence length
  • Total word count
  • Sentence complexity
  • Number of different words
  • Inclusion of supportive illustrations
  • Amount of high-frequency (or most common) words

Because several GRL levels fall into each grade level, this is a precise way to classify reading materials. Not all second graders read at one level. But when second grade is split between levels I, J, K, L and M, more children will be able to find the right books to keep their motivation and confidence high.

Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA)

The DRA, or Developmental Reading Assessment, helps identify how well students are reading independently. 

This system matches the child with books on a numbered reading scale from 1 to 80 (it actually starts with A, but then all other levels are numbered. Confusing — yes, but unless your child is at the very beginning of reading, look for a number).

Your child’s score on the assessment is based on how well they perform against grade-level standards. The DRA looks at your child’s reading ability in three areas.

  • Reading fluency
  • Reading accuracy
  • Reading comprehension

Like GRL, the different grade levels contain several DRA levels. For example, second grade includes DRA levels 18 to 28. Once your child’s reading level is determined, they will be paired with leveled books to help them progress and improve.

Lexile measurement 

The Lexile framework for reading is a measurement system that includes two different measures — both a student assessment and a system for measuring book levels. Your child’s Lexile reading measure is determined from a school or state-wide test that checks for reading comprehension.

A Lexile reader measurement can fall between BR for beginning readers (which is below 0L), to above 2000L. Your child’s reading level can then be paired with books using their Lexile text measurement. 

Over one million books, websites and other texts have received a Lexile text measure. Lexile recommends choosing books or texts for your child that fall between 100L below to 50L above their reading measure. This is deemed your child’s reading comprehension sweet spot. 

Don’t know where your child falls? Talk to their teacher to see if their school uses the Lexile assessment. If so, they can provide you with your child’s most current measure.

The Lexile framework is great for pairing more advanced readers with books that are still age-appropriate. If your child is reading above their level in the third grade, you don’t necessarily want them reading books with themes meant for seventh graders. Ask their teacher or use the Lexile website to discover age-appropriate books that will still hold their interest.

Accelerated Reader (AR) Levels

Your child’s Accelerated Reader (or AR) level is determined from a computerized test. After reading a book of their choosing, your child takes an online test on the book to measure their reading comprehension and earn points.

Based on the test score, your child’s teacher or librarian can help recommend more books to match your child’s level. If they struggled with their last book, easier options will be given. If they had zero trouble understanding the book, they’ll be encouraged to choose more difficult texts moving forward.  

The AR reading levels fall on a numeric scale that closely correspond with expected grade levels. A second grader in the fourth month of the school year will, on average, be reading books at level 2.4. A fourth grader in the first month of the year will average level 4.1, and so on.

Reading level correlation chart 

We’ve discussed several different reading measures, but how do they correspond with expected grade levels? And how does each measure relate to the others? 

Use this handy chart from Reading A-Z to see how your child’s reading level fits into the different systems. Or check out the one below from Traci Clausen.

Reading level FAQs

1. How can I find level-appropriate books for my child? 

First, ask their teacher or the school’s librarian for recommendations. They know your child’s interest and reading ability better than any computer resource. They will also be up to date on children’s books, including what is on level but also age-appropriate for your child.

There are some great resources online for finding leveled readers your child will love:

  • Find the right books that match your child’s Lexile measure.
  • Check out the Accelerated Reader Book Finder if your child uses Accelerated Reading.
  • Use the Scholastic Book Wizard to discover a book’s level or to find leveled recommendations. 

2. How can I help my child improve their reading?

The short answer — encourage them to keep reading, whether they’re using books or online programs. 

The more exposure they have to books, the better. Just be sure to choose book topics that lineup with their interests. Does your second grader love dragons? Try a simple fantasy chapter book. Does your fourth grader adore lemurs? Look for children’s non-fiction books about the creatures of Madagascar. If it’s something they’re interested in, they’ll be excited to read and learn.

If it’s a struggle to get your child to pick up a book, don’t stress! There’s reading to be found everywhere. Instead of arguing over reading time, invite your child to play an online game. Role-playing games (and even those online mini-games) require a good amount of reading. Or choose educational language arts games like Prodigy English. Games keep learning fun, and when your child loves learning and reading, they’ll be set for life!  

3. What should I do if my child is struggling with reading?

First off, take a deep breath. There is so much pressure on both kids and parents to be reading earlier and earlier. It’s okay if your kindergartener isn’t reading yet. If your third grader is reading at a second grade level, they’ll catch up. Your primary role as a parent is to encourage them to keep trying, and keep their confidence and joy of reading top of mind.

To help encourage young or struggling readers, match them with books they are excited to read. Take them to your local library and let them choose the books that call to them.

If a book is beyond their level, but they just have to have it, let them enjoy it. It may be just the challenge they need, or they may simply enjoy the pictures. If it’s too tricky, let them know that you’re available to help. Your child is never too old to enjoy a read-aloud.

And don’t forget the reading that happens every day. Have them help you read the recipe for tonight’s dinner. Or ask them to show you their newest video game. Listen as they explain the characters and stories. Reading comprehension presents itself in a variety of ways outside of books and standardized testing. 

Above all, remember your child is learning so much more than their reading level score can show. Reading levels can be a great tool, but they are not the only measure of your child’s reading ability. Follow your child’s lead, take the pressure off and watch them grow into reading in their own way. 

Reading games and activities can help supplement coursework

Reading can be so much fun! It’s too easy to get caught up in grade levels, whether your child is “ahead” or “behind”. All of this can make us lose track of the magic a good story holds.

Bring some of that magic back with fun reading games and activities your kids will love. There are so many ways to read, explore and learn together. 

Explore a fun, game-based learning adventure with Prodigy English. While kids play, they'll explore a world of their very own, gathering resources and earning rewards. Every skill-building question they answer gives them more energy to get creative and keep learning!

Sign up for a free parent account today to track and motivate their learning.

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RF BC Article 199. Subject of the first reading of the draft federal law on the federal budget for the next financial year and planning period as amended by Federal Law No. 63-FZ of April 26, 2007)

(see the text in the previous edition)

concept, forecast of the socio-economic development of the Russian Federation, including the forecasted volume of gross domestic product and the level of inflation specified in the federal law on the federal budget, which form the basis for the formation of the main characteristics of the federal budget, and the main directions of the budget, tax and customs tariff policy of the Russian Federation Federation.

(as amended by Federal Laws No. 104-FZ of 07.05.2013, No. 283-FZ of 04.10.2014, No. 48-FZ of 28.03.2017)

(see the text in the previous edition)

2. Subject consideration of the draft federal law on the federal budget for the next financial year and planning period in the first reading are the main characteristics of the federal budget, which include:

(as amended by Federal Law No. 268-FZ of December 25, 2012)

(see the text in the previous edition)

Annex to the federal law on the federal budget for the next financial year and planning period, establishing standards for the distribution of income between budgets the budgetary system of the Russian Federation for the next financial year and planning period, if they are not approved by this Code;

total amount of expenses in the next financial year and planning period;

conditionally approved expenditures in the amount of at least 2.5 percent of the total volume of federal budget expenditures for the first year of the planning period and at least 5 percent of the total volume of federal budget expenditures for the second year of the planning period;

the paragraph is no longer valid. - Federal Law No. 268-FZ of December 25, 2012;

(see the text in the previous edition)

the upper limit of the state internal debt of the Russian Federation as of January 1 of the year following the next financial year and each year of the planning period, and the upper limit of the state external debt of the Russian Federation as of January 1 of the year following the next financial year and each year of the planning period;

(as amended by Federal Law No. 104-FZ of May 7, 2013)

(see the text in the previous edition)

the paragraph is no longer valid. - Federal Law of July 29, 2017 N 262-FZ;

(see the text in the previous edition)

deficit (surplus) of the federal budget.

When approving the main characteristics of the federal budget for the next financial year and planning period, the volume of gross domestic product forecast for the corresponding financial year and the level of inflation (consumer prices) (December to December of the previous year) are indicated.

Consultant Plus: note.

P. 3 Art. 199 (as amended by the Federal Law of November 21, 2022 N 448-FZ) applies to legal relations arising in the preparation and execution of the federal budget, starting with the federal budget for 2025 and for the planning period of 2026 and 2027.

3. The total volume of federal budget expenditures in the next financial year and planning period cannot exceed the sum of basic oil and gas revenues, the projected volume of expenditures on servicing the state debt and federal budget revenues minus oil and gas revenues, as well as the difference between the funds received from the return of provided from the federal budget of budget credits, and the amount of budget credits granted from the federal budget.

(Clause 3 as amended by Federal Law No. 448-FZ of November 21, 2022)

(see the text in the previous edition)

4 - 7. No longer valid. - Federal Law of July 29, 2017 N 262-FZ.

(see text in previous edition)

How to improve English to Upper-Intermediate and Advanced

There are not many advanced learning materials on the Russian Internet. Unfortunately. Probably because it is not so in demand, because most people are looking for English for beginners or for an intermediate level. So let at least this article help you find the right training materials and methods.

Content of the article:

  • How to check your level of English
  • How to raise the level of English
  • Reaching the Upper-Intermediate level
  • On the way from Upper-Intermediate to Advanced
  • What level comes after Advanced
  • How to achieve Proficiency
  • How to keep your level of English
  • Output

How to check your level of English

Let's first see if your level is really as good as you think. Just in case, to be sure. We will consider Upper-Intermediate and Advanced as advanced. And these levels are characterized by such skills:

  • Completely passed all the topics of grammar. You apply the rules of the language on automatism.
  • Speak English fluently and understand 95-99% of native speech, including movies and TV shows. You can convey any idea, occasionally making mistakes.
  • Fluent in written English. Can read and understand any text and write texts such as a formal complaint or summary.
  • Your vocabulary is at least 5-8 thousand words. You can test your vocabulary here.

You can go through the checklist. Or you can take the test to determine the level of English on our website. We use it to find a suitable training program, but you can take it just like that, out of curiosity.

Read also

We analyze in detail all the meanings of make up in English

How to raise the level of English

There is an international scale for assessing the level of English. These are the same A1, B2 and so on. To officially confirm the level, you need to pass the test. Whether it is PET, IELTS, TOEFL or any other international exam, it will consist of several parts: listening, writing, reading and speaking.

So your level depends on your skill set. And you cannot consider your level as "intermediate" if you can only read and write, but you can neither speak nor understand English by ear. Therefore, to climb to the next step, you need to engage in a complex and devote time to each skill.

Reading: Learn new words, read texts at your level to develop vocabulary.
Listening: Listen to the songs and understand their translations. We regularly post translations of songs on the blog. Watch movies and videos on YouTube, at least with subtitles.
Letter: Write dictations, use online simulators to memorize the spelling of words. Meet a foreigner or start chatting in anonymous chats.
Speaking: Participate in speaking clubs. Read aloud to break the language barrier, work on your accent, and get used to your own English voice.

Keep in mind that improving English is a very slow process. You can learn to play a musical instrument, dance or draw in fewer hours.

Experts estimate that if English is your first foreign language, then it will take about 770 hours of work to learn from zero to advanced level. This is about three years of intensive work, or five years of work in a moderate mode.

Many of you studied English at school, so at least half of the way has already been covered. If you already have Intermediate, then it will take about 190 hours, and up to Advanced - plus 220.

Reaching the Upper-Intermediate level

We already talked about how to increase the level of English to Intermediate in this article. Now skip this step and start right away with the middle level. At this stage, students are faced with a problem called Intermediate Plateau. This is when you have already learned the basics, and now you do not feel further progress. It seems that you apply the same efforts, spend the same amount of time, but there is no obvious result.

This is a common phenomenon. The thing is that according to the Pareto principle, with 30% of the effort, you have already learned 70% of the language. And now you have to apply 70% of the effort to cover the remaining 30% of the material. And the further you go, the harder it will be. The more you learn, the less and less noticeable further progress will seem.

You just have to accept it and move on. Stay motivated, keep learning new words and practice your grammar. EnglishDom has a special course with a teacher. It contains vocabulary and grammar of the Upper-Intermediate level. You will study with the teacher, communicate with him in English, and in the process of communication, consolidate new material in practice. The course can be completed in 4-6 months, depending on your workload. Sign up for a free trial lesson.

On the way from Upper-Intermediate to Advanced

At the Upper-Intermediate level, many students hit an invisible wall. There are not so many educational materials for your level, and even teachers for your request are not easy to find. Many courses and teachers specialize in bringing your level to Intermediate / Upper Intermediate, or prepare you for exams.

But you don't have to look for these courses and training programs. Your level already allows you to go free swimming in English. All theory completed. The rest is just practice. Watch movies and memorize new words from them. Read texts and save unfamiliar phrases. In our online simulator, you can create your own sets of words to study. Throw in new vocabulary and gradually reinforce it in a playful way.

Another useful technique for learning English for advanced learners is to communicate with a native speaker. At your level, you need to learn how to think like a native speaker, get rid of the Russian-speaking mother of sentence construction, work out the accent and learn to feel as comfortable in a conversation with a native English speaker as with a native Russian speaker.

We have many teachers from the UK and the USA at EnglishDom. You can buy a training package of 30-50 lessons and study them individually. The first lesson is free. You can sign up for a free lesson with a native speaker here.

What level comes after Advanced

We are used to this scale of levels:

  • Starter (Beginner)
  • Elementary (basic)
  • Pre-Intermediate
  • Intermediate
  • Upper-Intermediate
  • Advanced

You can click on the name of these levels and read a separate article about each of them. But is there anything further? If you already have a verified Advanced, is there any way to go?

Actually, yes. Advanced - the maximum level of proficiency in a non-native language. That is, this is the level when you can say about you "a very good level for a language learner. " But at this level, you still pass yourself off as a foreigner. And there is also the level Proficiency (Fluent) . This is already the level of a native speaker. When you have advanced in learning English so much that you can already consider it a second native. When a native speaker will take you for “their own”, because neither the accent nor the manner of speech betrays you as a foreigner.

How to reach the Proficiency level

It is impossible to achieve the Fluent level in room conditions. It is usually reached by immigrants who have been living abroad for many years. And that's not all. To reach the Fluent level, it is not enough to learn tens of thousands of words, idioms, slang expressions, it is not enough to learn how to build sentences as a native and hone your accent. You need to think in English, and think constantly. You need a complete immersion in the environment.

Until you get abroad, even if you communicate with foreigners eight hours a day at work, the remaining time you still switch to Russian, communicate in it with friends and relatives, with taxi drivers and sellers, which means you think in Russian. To reach the maximum level, you need to think in English at all times.

Yes, this is a very high goal. And difficult to achieve. The good news is that most people don't need it. Even immigrants who have lived in the US and UK for a long time can feel comfortable with a “slightly above average” level.

But if you still want to climb to the top, then language courses abroad are for you. Many Western European countries have special camps for English learners. There you are immersed in an English-speaking environment, you attend lectures and lessons with native speakers, communicate in English with your neighbors (they don’t know Russian) and stuff like that. It is best, of course, to go to the UK, USA or Canada. Many foreign Hollywood actors have been in such camps. In one of our videos, we talked about how actors from Russia learned English.

Accommodation in these camps costs approximately $400-600 per week. To achieve a good result, you should stay at least a month.

Read also: Studying English abroad. Which country to choose?

If it seemed to you that five hundred dollars a week is too expensive, then you can go abroad “just like that”. Choose a ticket for yourself or book a hotel yourself and buy a ticket. Then accommodation in an inexpensive hotel will cost you about $ 200 per week. Provided that your language tourism does not fall on cities such as London, New York or Los Angeles and so on.

How to keep your level of English

You need to think not only about how to improve English, but also about how to keep the material already studied in your head. This is especially true for those who do not live abroad and do not use it at work. Then the brain is tempted to erase part of the studied material as unnecessary. After all, while you were learning the basic vocabulary of the Elementary-Intermediate levels, it was stored in memory for a long time for the reason that you often met it. In texts, in teaching materials, everywhere. Now, when you learn less common words and phrases, they can be erased from memory "as unnecessary."

Save word sets for learning:

TOP-100 Upper-Intermediate words
TOP-100 Advanced words

What should I do to prevent this from happening?

Repeat learned words. At least once a month, run your eyes over the words you have learned over the past year. Language learning apps like ED Words automatically bounce words for you to repeat. You can repeat them at your own pace. By feeling.

Read social media posts and watch videos in English. The more material you pass through yourself, the more you consolidate new information. The learned words will be found in context, and new unfamiliar ones will make you want to learn the translation and save yourself for learning. Plus, you hone your reading skills in the background, develop intuitive literacy, the ability to perceive English by ear.

Learn more