The CEFR - What is it and Why should I care?

Updated: Apr 18


The European Framework of Reference for Languages is a standard developed by the European Council which serves as an international guide to measure the level of comprehension and oral and written expression in a language.


The standards articulate detailed communication skills that help educators design their language curriculum, and the European Council has developed a suite of reference materials that are helpful for language trainers and language learners.


When you begin a language course of study, you should know what level you are starting at, and you should have a clear goal for what level of competency you would like to achieve.


The levels in myEnglish are closely aligned with the CEFR standards, which ensures that your progress in eLearning can be referenced and marketed as a universal skill. Many employers identify an appropriate minimum competency for job roles in terms that reference the CEFR. For example, a call center operator may need to demonstrate a CEFR competency of C1, while a machine operator may need to be at CEFR level A2.


Knowing your CEFR level can help you promote your language competency as a job skill, and advancing your knowledge on the CEFR scale can open up new career opportunities. As a general rule of thumb, effective global professionals should be at CEFR level B1 or higher.



Here are some tools from the European Council:


The CEFR Global Scale contains brief "can do" statements for each level.

https://www.coe.int/en/web/common-european-framework-reference-languages/table-1-cefr-3.3-common-reference-levels-global-scale


The CEFR Self-Assessment Grid can help learners identify their level.

https://rm.coe.int/CoERMPublicCommonSearchServices/DisplayDCTMContent?documentId=090000168045bb52

For versions of this grid in other languages, see this link: https://www.coe.int/en/web/common-european-framework-reference-languages/table-2-cefr-3.3-common-reference-levels-self-assessment-grid


The Qualitative Aspects of Spoken Language Use table identifies range, accuracy, fluency, interaction and coherence for each level of the CEFR scale.

https://www.coe.int/en/web/common-european-framework-reference-languages/table-3-cefr-3.3-common-reference-levels-qualitative-aspects-of-spoken-language-use




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