The Common European Framework


A1 elementary
A2 elementary+
B1 intermediate
B2 upper intermediate
C1 advanced
C2 proficiency 
spoken production    
spoken interaction


Developed by the Council of Europe, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages provides a practical tool for setting clear standards to be attained at successive stages of learning and for evaluating outcomes in an internationally comparable manner. The framework is increasingly used by language institutes to indicate course levels. It is also used on language certificates.  The European levels of language proficiency are formulated as ‘can do’ statements. Each level indicates the language competence per skill (writing, listening etc). In addition to describing the level attained for the four common skills (speaking, listening, writing and reading), differing levels are indicated for specific skills such as pronunciation and presentation.  More often than not, the language user's skills are not all at the same level. Many Dutch people, for example, can understand spoken German texts (level B1 or B2), but they have difficulty speaking and writing German (level A1 or A2).


With European support a test programme has been developed to help people determine their level in a wide range of languages. The programme is available to everyone and can be downloaded from the website.

Last Modified: 02-09-2014