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NATO STANAG 6001

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A STANAG, or STANdardisation AGreement, is an international military standard created by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) for regulating equipment, procedures, tactics, training and just about everything that affects how armed forces from different countries work together on operations and exercises.

STANAG 6001 is a language proficiency scale designed to allow comparisons of language ability in different countries. The scale consists of a set of descriptors with proficiency skills broken down into six levels, coded 1 through 6. They are defined as follows:
  • Level 0 No practical proficiency
  • Level 1 Elementary
  • Level 2 Fair (Limited working)
  • Level 3 Good (Minimum professional)
  • Level 4 Very good (Full professional)
  • Level 5 Excellent (Native/Bilingual)
  • Language proficiency is recorded with a profile of 4 digits indicating the specific skills in the following order: Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing

For example, a person with the level SLP 3232 has level 3 in Listening, level 2 in Speaking, level 3 in Reading and level 2 in Writing. This number of four digits is preceded by the code letters SLP which is to indicate that the profile shown is the Standardized Language Profile.

There is no one official exam for the STANAG 6001 levels and countries which use the scale produce their own tests and are responsible validating their tests in terms of the STANAG 6001 levels.

The original version of STANAG 6001 was created in 1976 and this document was modified in 2003.
A full copy of STANAG 6001 can be downloaded from the following website. http://www.dlielc.org/bilc

Summary of STANAG 6001 levels

Level 1  
Listening Can understand common familiar phrases and short simple sentences about everyday personal and survival needs.
Speaking Can maintain simple face-to-face communication in typical everyday situations.
Reading Can read very simple connected written material directly related to everyday survival or workplace situations.
Writing Can write lists, short notes, phone messages to meet immediate personal needs. Can complete forms.



Level 2  
Listening Can follow conversations and talks about everyday topics, including personal news, well-known current events and routine job-related topics and topics in his/her professional field.
Speaking Can communicate in everyday social and routine workplace situations.
Reading Can read simple, straightforward, factual texts on familiar topics.
Writing Can write with some precision simple personal correspondence and routine workplace correspondence and related documents, including brief reports.


Level 3  
Listening Can understand conversations, briefings and telephone calls about complex topics, including economics, science, technology and his/her own professional field.
Speaking Can participate effectively in most formal & informal conversations, including meetings. Can deliver briefings.
Reading Read with almost complete comprehension a variety of authentic written material on general and professional subjects, including unfamiliar subject matter.
Writing Can write effective formal and informal correspondence and other documents on practical, social and professional topics and special fields of competence.


Level 4  
Listening Can understand all forms/styles of speech used for professional purposes including on unfamiliar topics. Can recognise nuances of meaning and irony and humour.
Speaking Can use the language with great precision, accuracy, and fluency for all professional purposes.
Reading Can read all styles and forms of the written language used for professional purposes, including texts from unfamiliar general and professional-specialist areas.
Writing Can write the language precisely and accurately and can draft all levels of prose pertinent to professional needs.

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