The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, abbreviated as CEFR, is a guideline used to describe achievements of learners of foreign languages across Europe and, increasingly, in other countries.
It was put together by the Council of Europe as the main part of the project "Language Learning for European Citizenship" between 1989 and 1996. Its main aim is to provide a method of learning, teaching and assessing which applies to all languages in Europe. Today CEFR is used as a global standard for benchmarking the language proficiency, including English language and has great relevance for language assessment bodies, awarding bodies and exam boards.
The CEFR provides a common standard for understanding and teaching of language skills, testing and defining activities, assignments and resources. CEFR is particularly useful to educators and assessment boards as it outlines the expectations from a learner of language in a systematic way.
CEFR divides learners into three broad divisions that are further divided into six levels:
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