The table below suggests recommended levels for English language of Deck and Engine personnel, using Marlins online test. 


Level / Department

ISF Marlins Test

(online test)

Minimum acceptable score

Management & Operational Level
Navigational Dept.

Master

85%

Chief Officer

80%

2nd Officer

70%

3rd Officer

70%

Deck cadets

65%

Engineering Dept.
 

Chief Engineer Officer

80%

2nd Engineer Officer or 1st Assistant Engineer Officer

70%

Electrical Technical Officer

70%

3rd Engineer Officer

65%

4th Engineer Officer

65%

Electrical Engineer Officer

65%

Trainee Marine Engineers

65%

 
Support Level

Bosun

65%

AB (watchkeeping)

55%

AB

55%

OS

45%

Fitter / ER CPO

55%

Petty Officer Electrician

65%

ER (watchkeeping ratings)

55%

Pumpman

65%

Wiper

45%

Chief Cook

65%

Galley ratings / Messmen

45%


The table below suggests recommended levels for English language of Deck and Engine personnel, using Test of Spoken English (TOSE).


Level / Department

Test of Spoken English
(TOSE)
Minimum acceptable
TOSE result (overall)
Common European Framework of Reference Equivalent
(CEFR)
Management & Operational Level
Navigational Dept.

Master

Upper Intermediate

C1

Chief Officer

Intermediate

B2

2nd Officer
Lower intermediate

B1
3rd Officer

Lower intermediate
 
B1

Deck cadets

Lower intermediate

B1
Engineering Dept.
 
 

Chief Engineer Officer

Intermediate

B2

2nd Engineer Officer or 1st Assistant Engineer Officer

Lower intermediate

B1
Electrical Technical Officer

Lower intermediate

B1

3rd Engineer Officer

Lower intermediate

B1
4th Engineer Officer

Lower intermediate

B1
Electrical Engineer Officer

Lower intermediate
B1
Trainee Marine Engineers

Lower intermediate
 
B1
 
Support Level


Bosun

Lower intermediate

B1

AB (watchkeeping)

Lower intermediate

B1

AB

Elementary

A2

OS

Elementary

A2

Fitter / ER CPO

Elementary

A2

Petty Officer Electrician

Lower Intermediate

B1
ER (watchkeeping ratings)

Lower intermediate

B1

Pumpman

Lower Intermediate

B1

Wiper

Elementary

A2

Chief Cook

Lower Intermediate

B1

Galley ratings / Messmen

Elementary

A2


Definitions of English Language Levels

When referring to different language levels, Marlins uses the following definitions which are widely recognised in English Language Assessment. These definitions are also used by IMO in IMO Model Course 3.17, Maritime English.

The definitions below are also in the ISF Marlins Test of Spoken English (TOSE) and are accepted by the UK MCA and the Irish Flag Administration.

Language Level:
Definition:
Advanced
Near native-speaker proficiency in all aspects of communication. Has no difficulty with comprehension and can express abstract concepts accurately and fluently. Able to resolve any problems of comprehension effectively.
Upper Intermediate
Confident in using a wide range of language to express himself accurately and fluently in all but the most demanding situations. Makes some minor mistakes but these do not generally prevent him being understood. Experiences occasional problems of comprehension but these can usually be overcome with a little help.
Intermediate
At ease communicating about everyday topics and more abstract concepts. Makes some mistakes but is usually able to correct any major errors which prevent him being understood. Able to understand the essence of native speaker English but may misunderstand details.
Lower Intermediate
Can communicate satisfactorily about everyday topics with a restricted range of language. Able to understand native speakers of English talking at a measured pace with some rephrasing and repetition. Comprehension is likely to fail under pressure.
Elementary
Able to use English for very basic, everyday needs but without sustained fluency and with many errors. Has a limited understanding of spoken English, requires a lot of rephrasing, repetition and simplification of language.
Beginner
Knows virtually no English and cannot understand spoken or written English. Or ‘false beginner’, ie knows a few words or phrases of English. May be able to string together very basic questions or sentences using a very narrow range of English but has extreme difficulty making himself understood. Fails to understand natural spoken or written English adequately.