The Common European Framework provides a common basis for the elaboration of language syllabuses, curriculum guidelines, examinations, textbooks, etc. across Europe. It 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. The description also covers the cultural context in which language is set. The Framework also defines levels of proficiency which allow learners’ progress to be measured at each stage of learning and on a life-long basis.

The Common European Framework is intended to overcome the barriers to communication among professionals working in the field of modern languages arising from the different educational systems in Europe. It provides the means for educational administrators, course designers, teachers, teacher trainers, examining bodies, etc., to reflect on their current practice, with a view to situating and coordinating their efforts and to ensuring that they meet the real needs of the learners for whom they are responsible.

By providing a common basis for the explicit description of objectives, content and methods, the Framework will enhance the transparency of courses, syllabuses and qual- ifications, thus promoting international co-operation in the field of modern languages. The provision of objective criteria for describing language proficiency will facilitate the mutual recognition of qualifications gained in different learning contexts, and accordingly will aid European mobility. 

According to this definition, common reference levels were set. These levels are a bit different from the previous ones which we know as beginner, elementary intermediate and advanced. Instead of the previous levels, now we use A, B and C levels. Here is the levels and their definitions:


A Basic User:

  • A1 Breakthrough or beginner
  • A2 Waystage or elementary

B Independent User:

  • B1 Threshold or intermediate
  • B2 Vantage or upper intermediate

C Proficient User:

  • C1 Effective Operational Proficiency or advanced
  • C2 Mastery or proficiency


The CEFR describes what a learner is supposed to be able to do in reading, listening, speaking and writing at each level.


Level Group A B C
Level Group Name Basic User Independent User Proficient User
Level A1 A2 B1 B2 C1 C2
Level name Breakthrough or beginner Waystage or elementary Threshold or intermediate Vantage or upper intermediate Effective Operational Proficiency or advanced Mastery or Proficiency
Marco Común Europeo de Referencia para las Lenguas
Marco Común de Referencia para las lengu
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