What is the CEFR?
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR or CEF)
The CEFR is a framework or scale used to measure language abilities and proficiency of foreign language learners.
It is used to provide a universal, transparent and comprehensive basis for the development of language curriculums, learning materials and assessments of foreign language proficiency. It was fist used in Europe but over time has expanded and is used to as measure for around 39 languages.
39 Language Versions
Arabic, Albanian, Armenian, Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Finnish, French, Friulian, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Lithuanian, Macedonian Language, Moldovan, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian (Iekavian version), Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Ukrainian.
The CEFR describes foreign language proficiency based on six different levels. (A1 and A2, B1 and B2, C1 and C2) This is done by identifying what learners at each stage are able to understand and do. I like to call it the “Can do list”.
This strategy makes it possible to for there to be one common standard to compare language learners across various languages, location and assessment.
What does each CEFR levels mean ?
A1 and A2: basic language skills
B1 and B2: independent user of a language
C1 und C2: proficient user of a language
CEFR Level Descriptors
CEFR Level Equivalents
= TOEFL: 8-12 (speaking), TOEIC: 60-105 (listening); 60-110 (reading, City and Guilds: Preliminary, Cambridge Exam: KET 45-59,British general qualifications: Foundation Tier GCSE
= TOEFL: 13-18 (speaking), 11-16 (writing), TOEIC: 110-270 (listening), 115-270 (reading), City and Guilds: Access, Cambridge Exam: PET (45 to 59) / KET Pass with Merit, Pass, British general qualifications: Higher Tier GCSE
= IELTS: 4-5 (5 is between B1 and B2), TOEFL: 57 to 86, TOEIC: 275 – 395 (listening), 275 – 380 (reading), City and Guilds: Achiever, Cambridge Exam: FCE (45 to 59) / PET Pass with Merit, Pass / KET Pass with Distinction, British general qualifications: GCE AS level / lower grade A-level
= IELTS: 5-6.5 (5 is between B1 and B2), TOEFL: 87 to 109, TOEIC: 400-485 (listening), 385-450 (reading), City and Guilds: Communicator, Cambridge Exam: CAE (45 to 59) / FCE grade B or C / PET Pass with Distinction, British general qualifications: GCE A-Level (known as A2)
= IELTS: 7-8 (8 is between C1 and C2), TOEFL: 110 to 120, TOEIC: 490-495 (listening), 455-495 (reading), City and Guilds: Expert, Cambridge Exam: CPE (45 to 59) / CAE grade B or C / FCE grade A.
= IELTS: 8-9 (8 is borderline between C1 and C2), TOEFL: 29-30 (reading), City and Guilds: Mastery, Cambridge Exam: CPE grade A, B or C / CAE grade A