Getting to know the CEF

What is the CEF?

The “Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment” (CEF) saw the light in its French and English versions in 2001, the European Year of Languages. It has now been translated into more than 20 languages.


  • describes in a comprehensive way what language learners have to learn to do in order to use a language for communication, and what knowledge and skills they have to develop so as to be able to act effectively.
  • defines levels of proficiency which allow learners’ progress to be measured at each stage of learning, and on a life-long basis.

The view of language use and learning in the CEF is very general, and the approach adopted is summed up in Ch. 2 Approach adopted as follows.

Online version of the CEF document: cef_hyperlinked