Test of Interactive English, A2 Level

Qualification Structure

The Test of Interactive English consists of two units:

Unit Name
Spoken Test of Interactive English
Written Test of Interactive English
Unit Name Examination Title
Spoken Test of Interactive English Spoken Test of Interactive English A1-B1
Written Test of Interactive English Written Test of Interactive English A1-B1

Candidates must achieve a grade of at least A2 level in each examination in order to achieve the overall qualification at A2 Level.

Overview of Candidate Knowledge, Skills and Understanding at A2 Level

Unit: Spoken Test of Interactive English
The Candidate can:
Understand a native speaker interlocutor speaking clearly and slowly on familiar matters, given opportunities for reformulation or repetition from time to time.
Understand and extract the main point and essential information from short spoken passages, which are delivered slowly and clearly.
Participate in short conversations in routine contexts on topics of interest.
Discuss everyday practical issues in a simple way in both formal and informal contexts
Follow slow and carefully articulated speech
Use transactional language to obtain information, goods and services
Participate in a simple, direct exchange of information, including asking and answering straightforward questions.
Show only limited control of a few simple grammatical structures and sentence patterns in a learnt repertoire
Describe people, places, events, activities and experiences in simple terms
Use some simple structures correctly.
Use sufficient vocabulary to conduct routine, every day transactions involving familiar situations and topics.
Pronounce language in manner which is clear and generally understood despite a noticeable foreign accent.
Make him/herself understood in short utterances, even though pauses, false starts and reformulation are evident.
Unit: Written Test of Interactive English
The Candidate can:
Write a series of simple phrases and sentences about their family, living conditions, educational background, present or most recent job.
Write short, basic descriptions of people, events, past activities and personal experiences in linked sentences.
Write very simple personal letters, notes and messages.
Use simple grammatical structures correctly, but still systematically makes basic mistakes; nevertheless it is usually clear what they are trying to say
Have sufficient range and control of vocabulary to deal with routine, everyday situations involving familiar subjects and topics
write text in complete sentences, organise it appropriately for the text and use mostly correct punctuation

Topics and Text Types at A2 Level

Details of the general topics and text types that Candidates are expected to be familiar with and may be examined upon as part of their assessment for the qualification at this level.

At A2 Level, Candidates will encounter topics which are both familiar and relevant to them as learners of English. These will include:

  • Family Life
  • Hobbies and Pastimes
  • Personal details / experiences
  • Holidays and Leisure Activities
  • Shopping
  • Work and Jobs
  • Health
  • Education and Training
  • Services
  • Weather and the Environment
  • Transport

At this level, Candidates are expected to read and understand short texts with repeated language patterns on these familiar topics, and read and obtain information from common signs and symbols in texts such as:

  • Public signs and notices
  • Lists
  • Simple forms
  • Notes
  • Records
  • Emails
  • Letters
  • Diagrams
  • Simple narratives

The words Candidates need to read will depend on their reasons for reading, e.g. employment, college course, childcare, enjoyment. The following are examples of words a Candidate would typically be expected to be able to read at this level:

High-Frequency Words

Thing, could, will, was, were, tell, wish, time, soon, saw, think, said, her, his, our, their, that, what, gave, went, black, white, after, before, because, under, over, here, once, him, who, where, how.

Written Work

In written work at this level, Candidates are expected to write to communicate information to an intended audience in documents such as:

  • Forms
  • Lists
  • Records
  • Notes and simple messages
  • Emails & Simple letters


It is important for ESOL learners to be able to recognise the sound–symbol relationship and common letter patterns in words that are of real interest to them as individuals, working from a context. The order in which these sounds and patterns will be taught will depend on the words learners want and need to write.

Learners whose first language does not have the same phonemes as English will have difficulty in recognising the sound and therefore the associated symbol. Building on the sound-symbol relationships already learned, common letter combinations correlating to the phonics below should be practised in spelling, paying attention to the initial and final positions of common letter combinations in the spelling of the words.

Phonics (sound–letter correspondence)

At this level, learners should recognise and use a wider range of phonics:

  • Initial common clusters: bl (black), br (brown), cl (close), cr (cream), dr (drink), fl (fly), fr (friend), gl (glass), gr (grill), pl (place), pr (Prime Minister), scr (scream), sk (skin), sl (sleep), sm (smile), sp (spell), squ (squash), st (stop), str (street), tr (train), tw (twins), thr (through)
  • Common final clusters: ct (fact), ft (lift), ld (build), lt (melt), nch (lunch), lth (health), nd (second), nt (sent), lk (milk), lp (help), mp (lamp), nk (think), rd (heard), sk (task), sp (crisp), st (first) xt (next)
  • Vowel digraphs: ee (feet), ea (seat), oo (moon), u–e (tune), ew (flew), ue (blue)  Diphthongs: ie (lie), ai (train), a–e (name), ay (play), i–e (bite), igh (high), y (fly), ow (cow), ou (sound)

Word Structures

At this level, learners should recognise and use:

  • Letter patterns common in English, e.g.: tion (station)
  • Silent letters, e.g. Ight (light), wr (write), ould (could), lk (talk)
  • Prefixes and suffixes, e.g. Un (unhappy), re (return), less (helpless)
  • Structural endings, e.g. Plural s, ed (walked), ing (cooking)
Language Specification at A2 Level
Functions Grammar Discourse markers Topics
  • Asking for and giving directions
  • Giving personal information
  • Giving and obtaining simple information
  • Greetings & farewells
  • Introductions
  • Giving thanks
  • Telling the time
  • Understanding and using numbers
  • Understanding and using prices
  • Describing habits and routines
  • Describing past experiences
  • Describing people
  • Describing places
  • Describing things
  • Expressing obligation and necessity
  • Expressing feelings in simple terms
  • Making and responding to requests
  • Making and responding to suggestions
  • Agreeing and disagreeing
  • Adjectives – comparative – use of than and definite article
  • Adjectives – superlative – use of definite article
  • Adverbial phrases of time, place and frequency – including word order
  • Adverbs of frequency
  • Articles – with countable and uncountable nouns
  • Countable and Uncountable; much/many
  • Future Time (will and going to)
  • Gerunds
  • Going to
  • Imperatives
  • Modals – can/could
  • Modals – have to
  • Modals – should
  • Past Continuous
  • Past Simple
  • Phrasal verbs – common
  • Possessives – use of ‘s; s’ Prepositional phrases (place, time and movement)
  • Prepositions of time: on/in/at
  • Present Continuous
  • Present Continuous for future
  • Present perfect
  • Questions
  • Verb + ing/infinitive: like/ want-would like
  • Wh-questions in past
  • Zero and 1st Conditional
Linkers: sequential – past time
  • Clothes
  • Daily life
  • Entertainment and media
  • Health, medicine and exercise
  • Language
  • People
  • Personal feelings, opinions and experiences
  • Personal identification
  • Places and buildings
  • School and study
  • Services
  • Shopping
  • Social interaction
  • Sport
  • Transport
  • Travel and holidays
  • Weather
  • Work and jobs

Communicative Functions & Notions at A2 Level

  • Greet
  • Respond to greetings
  • Take leave
  • Give personal information
  • Ask for personal details
  • Describe self and others
  • Ask for descriptions of people
  • Describe places and things
  • Ask for descriptions of places and things
  • Compare people, places, things
  • Make comparative questions
  • Describe daily routines and regular activities
  • Ask about regular or daily routines
  • Narrate—talk about past events (1st person narrative)
  • Narrate—talk about past events (3rd person narrative)
  • Ask about past events
  • Talk about future plans, arrangements and intentions
  • Ask about future plans and intentions
  • Express need
  • Make requests—ask for something face-to-face or on the telephone
  • Respond to formal and informal requests for something
  • Make requests—ask someone to do something in formal and informal situations
  • Respond to formal and informal requests to do something
  • Make requests—ask for directions
  • Respond to requests for directions
  • Make requests—ask for permission formally
  • Respond to formal requests for permission
  • Ask about people’s feelings, opinions, interests, wishes, hopes
  • Respond to questions about preference
  • Ask for clarification and explanation
  • Respond to requests for clarification
  • Respond to requests for explanations
  • Respond for requests for directions
  • Check back
  • Express likes and dislikes with reasons, and cause and effect
  • Express views, with reasons, and cause and effect
  • Express wishes and hopes
  • Apologise, and give reason
  • Express thanks gratefully
  • Give warnings
  • Express possession
  • Ask about possession
  • Offer
  • Insist politely
  • Persuade
Key Language Items at A2 Level
Simple & Compound sentences
  • Word order in compound sentences, e.g.: subject – verb –
  • (object) + and/but + subject – verb – (object)
  • There was/were/there is going to be
  • Clauses joined with conjunctions and/but/or
  • A limited range of common verbs + –ing form
  • Verb + infinitive with and without to
  • Wh– questions
  • Comparative questions
  • Alternative questions
  • Question words when, what time, how often, why,
  • How and expressions
Noun phrase
  • Countable and uncountable nouns
  • Simple noun phrases
  • Object and reflexive pronouns
  • Determiners of quantity – any, many
  • Use of articles including: definite article and zero article with uncountable nouns; definite article with superlatives
  • Possessive s and possessive pronouns
Verb forms and time markers in statements, interrogatives, negatives and short forms
  • Simple present tense of: regular transitive and intransitive verbs with frequency adverbs and phrases
  • Simple past tense of regular and common irregular verbs with time markers such as ago
  • Future time using: present continuous; use of time markers
  • Modals and forms with similar meaning: must to express obligation; mustn’t to express prohibition; have to, had to; to express need; could to make requests; couldn’t to express impossibility
  • Use of simple modal adverbs: possibly, probably, perhaps
  • Very common phrasal verbs
  • Adjectives and adjective word order
  • Comparatives, regular and common irregular forms
Adverbs and prepositional phrases
  • Prepositions and prepositional phrases of place and time
  • Adverbs and simple adverbial phrases including: Sequencing: (after that); of time and place (in the morning, at the bus stop); of frequency: (always, sometimes); of manner (carefully, quickly)
  • Word order with adverbs and adverbial phrases
  • Use of intensifiers, e.g. Really, quite, so
  • Adverbs to indicate sequence – first, finally
  • Use of substitution markers to structure spoken discourse