Reference Framework of the Council of Europe
Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
The CEF was developed by the Council of Europe and is a 6-level language level system that describes the language proficiency of the candidates. It provides a transparent method for describing the existing language proficiency that can be used by all learners, teachers, language schools, employers and other interested persons or organisations.
Move the mouse pointer over the box for a brief explanation of the levels.
CEF A1 – Elementary language use I / Can orientate himself/herself
The participant can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic sentences aimed at satisfying certain needs. He/she can introduce himself/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details. He/she
- can understand simple instructions,
- can take and pass on simple messages,
- can understand simple memos, brief product descriptions on familiar topics,
- can fill out forms and form simple standard sentences.
CEF A2 – Elementary language use II / Can make himself/herself understood
The participant can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). He/she
- can express opinions and needs in respect of familiar topics,
- can understand short letters or extracts of instructions on familiar topics,
- can write simple letters or memos to business partners.
CEF B1 – Independent language use I / Active participation
The participant can understand the main points if clear standard language is used and it concerns familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. He/she can express himself/herself in a simple and coherent way on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. He/she
- can express himself/herself on abstract or cultural topics,
- can give advice in his/her own technical area,
- can understand instructions and public announcements,
- can understand newspaper articles and letters on theoretical points,
- can write letters and memos on familiar topics.
CEF B2 – Independent language use II / Contribution
The participant can understand the main ideas of complex texts on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. He/she can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. He/she
- can give and understand a lecture on familiar topics,
- can take and pass on almost all messages relating to his profession,
- can understand reports, letters and technical literature and selectively read reports,
- can write common letters,
- can write minutes on familiar topics.
CEF C1 – Competent language use I / Managing
The participant can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. He/she can express himself/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for words. He/she
- can effectively participate in meetings and seminars,
- can express well-founded arguments for and against on various topics,
- can read and understand almost all written documents of a business or private nature,
- can professionally handle correspondence and write reports.
CEF C2 – Competent language use II / Mastery
The participant can easily understand almost everything he/she reads or hears. He/she can express himself/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer nuances of meaning even in more complex situations. He/she
- can discuss complex and controversial topics in various technical areas,
- can write all letters and also express in writing finer nuances of meaning,
- can understand reports and articles on complex topics,
- can precisely write detailed minutes.