The CEFR Common Reference levels are fully defined in a structured set of illustrative ‘can-do’ descriptors for many different categories.

The original descriptors for both the CEFR and European Language Portfolio were based on those developed in a Swiss National Research Project while also drawing on earlier Council of Europe’s “threshold levels” specifications. The descriptors have been updated and extended in a large-scale international project resulting in the publication of the: CEFR Companion volume in 2020.


CEFR Companion volume - Descriptors for mediation and related concepts (2018: Enrica Piccardo & Brian North) (50:53)


Developing illustrative descriptors of aspects of mediation for the CEFR (2016: Brian North and Enrica Piccardo)


Developing new CEFR descriptor scales and expanding the existing ones: constructs, approaches and methodologies (2019: Brian North & Enrica Piccardo)


Visual identity of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)