The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF)

It is important for this project to remind about The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF)that is crucial in language learning, it is a document which describes in a comprehensive manner the competences necessary for communication, the related knowledge and skills, and the situations and domains of communication. The CEF defines levels of language proficiency in different aspects and provides the detailed description of each language level and accompanying skills.

The main aim of the CEF is to achieve greater unity among the EU members. The European Commission pursues this aim by the adoption of common action in the cultural field. The three basic principles of Council of Europe’s language that  are enumerated in the CEF are as follows:

that the rich heritage of Member States, when adopting or developing national policies in the diverse languages and cultures in Europe is a valuable common resource to be protected and developed, and that a major educational effort is needed to convert that diversity from a barrier to communication into a source of mutual enrichment and understanding; that it is only through a better knowledge of European modern languages that it will be possible to facilitate communication and interaction among Europeans of different mother tongues in order to promote European mobility, mutual understanding and co-operation, and overcome prejudice and discrimination; that the field of modern language learning and teaching may achieve greater convergence at the European level by means of appropriate arrangements for ongoing co-operation and co-ordination of policies (2001: 2).

The CEF provides a common basis for the elaboration of language syllabuses, curriculum guidelines, examinations, textbooks, etc. across Europe. By providing a common basis for the explicit description of objectives, content and methods, the CEF is expected to enhance the transparency of courses, syllabuses and qualifications, thus promoting international co-operation in the field of modern languages.

Language learning in Member States should be compatible with the CEF’s assumptions, which provide a basis for the mutual recognition of language qualifications, thus facilitating educational and occupational mobility. The CEF is increasingly used in the reform of national curricula and by international consortia for the comparison of language certificates. A European Union Council’s Resolution (Nov 2001) recommended the use of this Council of Europe instrument in setting up systems of validation of language competences.