The lack of a sufficient amount of data tailored for a task is a well-recognized problem for many statistical NLP methods. In this paper, we explore whether data sparsity can be successfully tackled when classifying language proficiency levels in the domain of learner-written output texts. We aim at overcoming data sparsity by incorporating knowledge in the trained model from another domain consisting of input texts written by teaching professionals for learners. We compare different domain adaptation techniques and find that a weighted combination of the two types of data performs best, which can even rival systems based on considerably larger amounts of in-domain data. Moreover, we show that normalizing errors in learners’ texts can substantially improve classification when level-annotated in-domain data is not available.