Spanish Levels

In facilitating excellent placement matches, it is very important to have a clear understanding of the Spanish language level required by the internship site for the intern so that all are aligned on expectations and abilities.  Since there are many different ways to define one's Spanish level, we are offering the Spanish level guide below to make sure that we are all on the same page.  Please review these Spanish level descriptions carefully when selecting the language level on Puentes forms.  When trying to gauge your own language ability, it is important to be very honest with yourself and choose internship projects which align with your Spanish skillset so that you are setting yourself up for success.  For example, if you have taken an "advanced" level Spanish class in university, this does not necessarily mean that you have an advanced Spanish level outside of the classroom setting.  As always, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to let us know



The intern has had very little to no Spanish education and is unable to communicate basic needs and desires.  She or he would rely heavily on a dictionary in order to transmit what she or he is trying to communicate, and everyday situations such as introductions, asking for directions, or ordering a meal would be difficult.


The intern is able to communicate using the language in a basic way in situations having to do with immediate needs or everyday situations, such as simple information about oneself, family, shopping, places of interest, or hobbies.


The intern can understand the gist of clear texts, in standard language, if they involve well-known topics related to work, studies, or leisure.  He or she is also able to deal with most situations that occur while traveling in areas where Spanish is spoken; to produce simple and coherent texts about familiar topics or topics of personal interest; and lastly to describe experiences, events, wishes, and hopes, as well as to be able to briefly express opinions or explain plans.


Intern has the ability to interact with native speakers with a sufficient degree of fluency and spontaneity to enable easy and natural communication between interlocutors; produce clear and detailed texts about diverse topics, as well as defend an opinion about general topics, expressing the pros and cons for each argument; and lastly, understand the gist of complex texts about both concrete and abstract topics, including technical texts, provided they are within the intern’s area of expertise.


A fluent intern can use the language similarly to a native speaker, and he or she is able to speak and convey their ideas without putting effort into translating them from their native language to Spanish. While the intern may have an accent and grammar may lack in certain areas, she or he has the ability to transmit perfectly what he or she wants to say and can use the language flexibly and effectively for social, academic, and professional purposes, and the listener can understand the intern without any effort.


The intern uses Spanish in their daily life to communicate with family, friends and in the work environment.  The intern is comfortable in all situations and is able to switch between English and Spanish seamlessly and effortlessly.