A reference instrument for transparency and consistency in describing foreign language skills
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment (CEFR) was designed to provide a transparent,
consistent and comprehensive basis for:
One of the basic principles of the CEFR is to express proficiency in a positive way, in terms of what the learner is able to do. Its definition
of the different aspects of proficiency, expressed as "I can ...", provides a clear, common road map for learning. The CEFR describes
foreign language proficiency at six levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2.
The CEFR was drawn up under the auspices of the Council of Europe in 2001 and adapted in 2018. It is used worldwide, not only in Europe, and is
available in 40 languages.
The CEFR describes foreign language skills; it is divided into six levels - A1 and A2, B1 and B2, C1 and C2 -
progressing from beginner level (A1) to advanced (C2).
To meet local needs and stay connected to the general system of the CEFR, the proficiency levels can be divided into intermediate or sub-levels.
The Framework has a flexible tree structure (e.g. A1 - A1.1, A1.2); institutions are therefore able to develop those branches which correspond
to their situation down to a level of precision that suits them in order to situate and/or describe the levels used in their systems in
terms of the CEFR.
Example of flexible tree structure:
This scale makes it possible to compare tests and examinations in different languages. The CEFR also provides
a basis for the mutual recognition of language certification, thereby promoting educational and professional
To enable learners to situate their level of proficiency in the Framework, there is a self-assessment grid showing the main categories
of language use at each of the six levels.
Categories of language use:
Consult the CEFR self-assessment grid.