Test of Interactive English, B1 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 B1 level in each examination in order to achieve the overall qualification at B1 Level.

Overview of Candidate Knowledge, Skills and Understanding at B1 Level

Unit: Spoken Test of Interactive English
The Candidate can:
Follow clearly articulated speech directed at him/her in everyday conversation, though will sometimes have to ask for repetition of particular words and phrases
Enter unprepared and maintain a conversation or discussion on familiar topics
Exchange factual information on familiar routine and non-routine matters
Describe own dreams, hopes and ambitions
Describe how to do something, for example by giving instructions or directions
Express a point of view clearly, giving brief reasons and explanations
Give a straightforward descriptive presentation on a variety of familiar topics, including describing events and experiences, narrating a story, and take follow up questions
Express and seek thoughts, views and opinions on topics of interest, and express agreement and disagreement
Compare and contrast alternatives as regards solutions to problems or practical questions
Express their own feelings and reactions
Communicate with reasonable accuracy in familiar contexts; generally good control
Use sufficient vocabulary to express him/herself with some circumlocutions on most topics pertinent to everyday life.
Pronunciation is clearly intelligible even if foreign accent is sometimes evident, and occasional mispronunciations occur
Express him/herself with relative ease; despite some problems with formulation they can keep going effectively without help.
Understand the main points of clear standard speech on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure etc.
Understand straightforward factual information about common everyday or job related topics
Follow the main points of extended discussion around him/her, provided speech is clearly articulated in standard dialect
Follow a lecture or talk within his/her own field, provided the subject matter is familiar and the presentation straightforward and clearly structured.
Understand a description of events, feelings and wishes
Unit: Written Test of Interactive English
The Candidate can:
Understand clearly written, straightforward instructions
Write messages communicating enquiries, explaining problems or conveying simple information, getting across comprehensibly the points he/she feels are important
Write personal letters describing experiences, feelings and events in some detail.
Write a very brief account to a standard conventionalised format, which pass on routine factual information and state reasons for actions
Write straightforward connected texts on a range of familiar subjects within his field of interest, by linking a series of shorter discrete elements into a linear sequence.
Write straightforward, detailed descriptions on a range of familiar subjects within his field of interest.

Topics and Text Types at B1 Level

DDetails 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 B1 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 straightforward texts on familiar topics accurately and independently, and read and obtain information from everyday sources, in texts such as:

  • Forms
  • Notes
  • Records
  • Emails
  • Short reports / accounts
  • Simple instructions
  • Narratives

Written Work

At this level, Candidates are expected to write to communicate information and opinions with some adaptation to the intended audience in documents such as:

  • Forms
  • Notes
  • Records
  • Emails
  • Letters
  • Narratives
  • Short reports / accounts
  • Articles
Language Specification at B1 Level
Functions Grammar Discourse markers Topics
  • Directions
  • Describing habits and routines
  • Giving personal information
  • Greetings
  • Telling the time
  • Understanding and using numbers
  • Understanding and using prices
  • Describing habits and routines
  • Describing past experiences
  • Describing people
  • Describing places
  • Describing things
  • Obligation and necessity
  • Requests
  • Suggestions
  • Checking understanding
  • Describing experiences and events
  • Describing feelings and emotion
  • Describing places
  • Expressing opinions; language of agreeing and disagreeing
  • Initiating and closing conversation
  • Managing interaction (interrupting, changing topic, resuming or continuing)
  • Adverbs
  • Broader range of intensifiers such as too, enough
  • Comparatives and superlatives
  • Complex question tags
  • Conditionals, 2nd and 3rd
  • Connecting words expressing cause and effect, contrast etc
  • Future continuous
  • Modals - must/can’t deduction
  • Modals – might, may, will, probably
  • Modals: can/can’t/could/couldn’t
  • Modals – should have/might have/etc
  • Modals: must/have to
  • Past continuous
  • Past perfect
  • Past simple
  • Past tense responses
  • Phrasal verbs, extended
  • Present perfect continuous
  • Present perfect/past simple
  • Reported speech (range of tenses)
  • Simple passive
  • Wh- questions in the paste
  • Will and going to, for prediction
  • Connecting words and, but, because
  • Linkers: sequential – past time
  • Connecting words expressing cause and effect, contrast etc
  • Books and literature
  • Education
  • Entertainment and media
  • Film
  • Health, medicine and exercise
  • Language
  • Lifestyles
  • News
  • Personal feelings, opinions and experiences
  • Social interaction
  • Sport
  • Transport
  • Travel and holidays
  • Work and jobs

Communicative Functions & Notions at B1 Level

  • Greet
  • Take leave
  • Give personal information
  • Introduce others
  • Ask for personal information
  • Describe self/others
  • Describe places and things
  • Ask for descriptions of people, places and things
  • Compare people, places, things
  • Make comparative questions
  • Narrate events in the past
  • Give factual accounts
  • Ask about past events
  • Express certainty about the future
  • Ask about future events
  • Express opinions about future possibilities
  • Express obligation
  • Offer help
  • Make arrangements
  • Make requests on the phone, in formal and informal situations
  • Make requests—ask someone to do something in formal and informal situations
  • Make requests—ask for directions
  • Respond to request for directions
  • Respond to request for instructions
  • Respond to request for an explanation
  • Make requests—ask for permission formally
  • Express feelings, likes and dislikes, with reasons, cause and effect
  • Ask about people’s feelings, opinions, interests, wishes, hopes
  • Apologise in formal and informal situations
  • Explain and give reasons
  • Show contrast, cause, reason, purpose
  • Ask for clarification and explanation
  • Confirm information
  • Check back and ask for confirmation
  • Ask for advice and suggestions
  • Respond to suggestions
  • Respond to advice
  • Make suggestions and give advice
  • Suggest action with other people
  • Praise and compliment others
  • Complain
  • Warn and prohibit
Key Language Items at B1 Level
Simple sentences & Compound sentences
  • Variations in word order
  • Word order in complex sentences
  • There has / have been
  • There will be / there was going to be
  • Complex sentences with one subordinate clause of either time, reason, result, condition or concession
  • Defining relative clauses using who, which, that
  • A range of verbs + ing form
  • Verbs + infinitive, with and without ‘to’
  • Infinitive of purpose
  • Simple reported statements
  • A wide range of ‘wh-‘ questions
  • Simple embedded questions
  • Statements with question tags using Entry 3 tenses
Noun phrase
  • Noun phrases with pre- and post-modification
  • A range of determiners
  • Use of articles including: definite article with post modification; use of indefinite article to indicate an example of; use of indefinite articles in definitions
Verb forms and time markers in statements, interrogatives, negatives and short forms
  • Present perfect with: since/for; ever/never; yet/already
  • Used to for regular actions in the past
  • Past continuous
  • Future simple verb forms
  • Modals and forms with similar meaning: positive and negative, e.g. You should/shouldn’t (to express obligation); might, may, will, probably (to express possibility and probability in the future); would/should (for advice); need to (for obligation); will definitely (to express certainty in the future); may I? (Asking for permission); I’d rather (stating preference)
  • Common phrasal verbs and position of object
  • Pronouns
  • Comparative and superlative adjectives
  • Comparative structures
Adverbs and prepositional phrases
  • Wider range of prepositions and prepositional phrases
  • A wide range of adverbial uses, e.g. to express possibility and un/certainty – possibly, perhaps, definitely
  • More complex adverbial phrases of time, place,
  • Frequency, manner
  • A range of intensifiers, including too, enough
  • Markers to indicate: addition, sequence, contrast
  • Markers to structure spoken discourse
  • Use of ellipsis in informal situations
  • Use of vague language