Learning a new language can be incredibly challenging but highly beneficial.

Many students strive to learn a second language because they know it has the potential of opening multiple doors of opportunities in the future (both for college and professional life).

However, you should know that people don't learn a new language in one day. It takes years of classes and lessons, hard work, and dedication. As a language student, you must learn to let go of perfection and work on other skills —which may include working on your patience, attention to detail, and memory.

Don't forget that you won't fully know a language after a certain amount of time, because choosing to learn a new language means learning about it for the rest of your life.

Learning a language as a foreign student is about immersion in another culture, accents, countries, slang, humor, customs, and much more.

In high school, you will have the opportunity to choose how many years of a language you'd like to do. Usually, students take a language course during the 4 years of high school. However, oftentimes, students have a change of heart and change electives halfway through their high school years.

In this article, we will tell you about Spanish levels referring to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) and what you'd learn during your 4 years in high school. It is estimated that students in high school reach B2 level (depending on the number of years they study the language).

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You can find Spanish courses online but make sure you take advantage of each lesson and include it in your daily life because each lesson is not for free. Photo by Gabriel Benois on Unsplash

If you start learning Spanish before high school you can culminate your high school years with C1 or C2 levels.

Remember that you can always choose to do an international experience and go one year abroad to Spain and learn to speak Spanish surrounded by native speakers. If Spain doesn't sound appealing to you, there are 19 other countries to choose from!

Continue reading about the subject in our guide to Spanish in high school.

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A1 - Beginner

During your first year of learning Spanish (as a freshman), you'll complete the A1 level —which is known as the beginner or breakthrough level.

For any subject, beginner levels are used to introduce the student to the subject or program.

If you're wondering what exactly it is you'll learn as a beginner you should think of how exactly you learned English as a baby. You were taught words that you would say back as you understood and interiorized the meaning, you learned to greet, to count, to say your age, and so on.

A1 will be a lot like that!

You will be asked to learn the basic vocabulary. Stuff like introducing yourself, saying where you're from, how old you are, what are your hobbies, what a day looks like in your life, and so on.

The goal of these lessons is for you to be able to answer questions about your personal life and to be able to have simple interactions with other people in the new language.

The major objective is for students to understand and use everyday expressions and basic phrases.

What do you learn in high school Spanish?

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If you have a hard time learning about a verb you should group the verb with other verbs that you do get, that way when you think of the group you can also remember the hard one. Photo by lilartsy on Unsplash

A2 - Elementary

Once you are done with the beginner part of the course, you move towards more complex lessons.

The important thing to keep in mind during your lessons is that learning Spanish will be a cumulative process. In other words, you need to keep practicing the previous stuff as you learn new things.

If you pass every level forgetting what you learned in the previous one, you won't progress your Spanish skills. You must take the new information and practice it with the previous knowledge.

During A2 —also known as the way stage— students are expected to communicate simple tasks. You will now be able to understand and speak full sentences about basic subjects (family, personal information, job, studies, etc).

You'll be taught basic verbs and adjectives because the goal is for you to be able to describe basic things of your daily life in a more complex matter than A1.

Speaking is a big part of every level, however, during A2 you'll be pushed to formulate bigger phrases and hold longer conversations. You'll also be asked to read basic, but longer, passages, and identify certain elements.

The first two levels are key for positive progress. You must make sure that you answer all of your questions, correct most of your original mistakes and misconceptions, and do your best because what you learn now will be the basis for your progress.

Keep in mind that learning new languages is about messing up, speaking like a fool, being confused, scared, challenged, and giving yourself credit for your hard work.

Find new ways to practice Spanish outside of school.

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B1 - Intermediate

The B1 level —known as intermediate or threshold level— is designed to teach students correct use of grammar, more complex vocabulary (beyond verbs and adjectives), better speaking skills, pose questions, and so on.

The subjects of focus are a school, family, work, leisure, education, entertainment, and more. You'll also be expected to know how to defend yourself if you travel to Latin America or Spain. You'll be taught to say what your needs are as well as to answer other people's questions.

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You can find a Spanish program where you are taught to read, speak, grammar, vocabulary, verb conjugation, and see if you can get college credit for it. Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash

There's also an immersion into the culture during B1 that wasn't a thing before. You'll be taught about native Spanish speakers, foreign Hispanic traditions, and more.

Students in B1 are expected to communicate effectively events, experiences, dreams, plans, ambitions, and opinions on different topics.

The goal of the course is to make sure that the student is now able to fully comprehend —with some exceptions— when someone is speaking to them in Spanish.

If you feel like at B1 you're not able to perform all these tasks then you should consider getting extra help outside of the course.

You can always find a tutor to help and guide you through your classes and obstacles. Look for an online or in-person Spanish tutor right here on Superprof and continue learning Spanish with the best help. Remember that if you choose to learn online you can always reach out to tutors outside your area.

What are the benefits of learning a new language in high school?

B2 - Upper-intermediate

If you make it to B2 in high school it's probably going to be in your senior year. By now, your Spanish classes will be a little more complex and advanced than in previous years and levels.

B2 is also known as upper-intermediate or vantage. During this year you will be busy making sure you study hard and prepare for college, but also you need to make sure you don't neglect or forget to study for your current classes.

During this time you'll be expected to comprehend simple and complex texts in Spanish and interact with a degree of fluency with other people (especially with native speakers).

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There are many online courses where English native speakers can learn Spanish and other languages for free or for a small amount of money. Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

Finally, you'll also be expected to write with a good level of grammar and an extensive knowledge of vocabulary (restraining from basic words). You'll be able to produce clear texts on a wide range of topics or subjects while explaining a point of view.

Keep in mind that this is the level that most students reach during their high school years. However, some students started studying Spanish at an earlier age (maybe elementary or middle school) that can go to C1 or C2 levels during their senior year.

C1 - Advanced & C2 - Proficiency

Last, but not least, there's C1 —also known as advanced or effective operational proficiency— and C2 —also known as proficiency or mastery.

If you complete these levels in high school you can most definitely get college credit for it and try to skip some credits during your college years.

However, keep in mind that these courses are highly demanding and you probably will have many other things to worry about during your senior year.

During these levels, you'll be able to understand a wide range of complex and demanding texts. By now, you would be expected to read and (to an extent) comprehend books by Nobel Prize Winner, Gabriel García Márquez.

During C1 and C2 you are confident and flexible with the language and you can use it during social events, traveling, discussing politics, writing academic papers, and much more.

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