International Consulting on Education and Media

European Framework for Languages

A common European Language Reference Framework


The language skills sector shows what a joint European Reference system for describing individual competences can look like and how it can function as a comprehensive system across country and language barriers.


The Joint Reference Framework for languages was presented in the year 2001, after more than ten years' work. The Reference Framework proposed by the Council of Europe finds more and more application in all sectors dealing with linguistic competence in foreign languages - in teaching, in publishing and editing, but also in personnel management in smaller and larger companies alike.

Transparent and requirement-oriented

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment is recommended for students, teachers and users of languages other than their own. This framework is an assessment tool for learning and using a language, as well as a transparent and comparable tool for measuring the degree of competence in which this is done, in accord with the specific needs of the speaker.


There are in all three levels of six competence descriptions:

  • A - Elementary Language Skills (A1 and A2)
  • B - Autonomous Language Skills (B1 and B2)
  • C - Competent Language Skills (C1, Advanced Competence Level, and C2, Level of Language Skills almost that of a native speaker)


The horizontal descriptors are organized in correspondence to basic linguistic skills: oral and written understanding as well as capabilities in oral and written expression.