One of the main aims of providing descriptors is to facilitate an action-oriented approach to teacher assessment in the classroom. The aim is to switch the focus to what learners show they can do, providing assessment as and for learning (“learning-oriented assessment”) and not exclusively assessment of learning. Tests and examinations are play an important role in an educational system, and can sometimes have a positive effect on teaching, but assessment is far broader than testing. The primary function of assessment is to inform and facilitate teaching and learning.

Both Learning-oriented assessment on the one hand and aligning assessment to the CEFR descriptors on the other hand are relevant to both assessment in the classroom and tests/examinations

As regards alignment, the CEFR website provides descriptors and video clips illustrating learner performances in order to guide teachers and learners in their assessment of learning progress. More detailed information on alignment can be found in the section on tests/examinations.


CEFR Companion volume - Assessment - Ensuring a balanced and principled approach (2018: Brian North) (38:22)

Learning-oriented assessment: The stages of the Learning-oriented assessment cycle (Cambridge Assessment)


Developing CEFR-based assessment rubrics and rating scales for interaction and production (CEFR Online Workshop Series 2022: Claudia Harsch)

Assessing plurilingualism: An example from practice (CEFR Online Workshop Series 2022: Belinda Steinhuber)


CEFR 2001 - Chapter 9: Assessment

CEFR Companion volume - Appendices: 1-4

Aligning language education with the CEFR: A handbook (2022: British Council, UKalta,Ealta, ALTE)

Plurilingual oral exam with L2 & L3 – Info sheet (2019: Belinda Steinhuber & Gerda Piribauer)

Designing and implementing plurilingual oral exams: Framework (2015: CEBS, Austria: Center für berufsbezogene Sprachen)


Plurilingual exams (Certificate of plurilingualism)


A rationale for using a scenario-based assessment to measure competency-based, situated second and foreign language proficiency (2022: James Purpura)

What it means to be at a CEFR level. Or why my Mojito is not your Mojito  On the significance of sharing Mojito recipes (2019: Claudia Harsch)

Testing and teaching mediation (2013: Bessie Demndrinos)