Lesson 13

What You Can Do at Your Level

The next day at school, I tell my teacher about my experience with my boss and the two ladies who didn’t speak English very well.

Our teacher says, “Great, your boss must be a very clever young lady. It is true that you can communicate with everybody. Even people who speak English very well can have a conversation with those who are just at the beginning of their journey. Today, we will speak about different levels of English and what you should be able to do at these levels. Let’s start with the lowest level of 1000 words. At this level, students can speak about some basic things from everyday life. The speaking is very limited, but it is already possible to communicate slowly for a short time with people who want to speak with you. Your sentences are short. They have usually 4 words. If the others also speak in short sentences, you can have a basic conversation.

When students move to a higher level, which is 2000 words, the conversations are easier and the sentences are longer. This is the level most of you in this class are at right now. You should be able to speak about many things from your life. You can speak about your family, hobbies, job and travelling. Sometimes you can have a problem when you want to go into a deeper conversation on some topics. However, this level is usually sufficient enough for everyday use of English.

If you want to be able to have a deeper conversation on many topics, it is good to know 3000 words. Your goal, as a student of English who wants to be able to speak English well, should be to learn 3000 words. Of course, you can learn more than 3000 words. The more words you know, the easier it will be for you to communicate in English, but 3000 words is the level which is usually enough for communicating in English about almost everything.

I think that the two ladies at your café knew about 1000 words. Your boss went to their level, and she had a basic conversation with them.”

After my school, I go to my work. The two ladies come to our café again. They also bring two of their friends. It is my turn to serve them. I speak to them in simple short sentences. They understand me. This is great.

They tell me that they are tourists from Japan. They tell me that they like our café because people understand them here.

When you want to be able to communicate in English, learn 3000 words.