Aligning language programmes to the CEFR involves two main aspects:

  • developing and reviewing the content of curricula, taking into account of the key concepts and pedagogic vision of the CEFR
  • defining positive "can do" descriptors adapted to the age, interests and needs of learners and aligning these to CEFR levels and descriptors

Aligning planning, teaching and assessment within the programme is also crucial, and CEFR descriptors can help to do this (see Transparency and coherence).

A curriculum does not exist until it is enacted and it will not be enacted unless teachers are involved in its implementation from early stages. Teacher education over a period of time is crucial for the introduction or further evolution of a curriculum.

National foreign language curricula generally focus on aims and objectives and contents. These are all thoroughly described in the CEFR in a context-free scale and are relatable to any relevant context. Yet, national curricula will have to interpret the principles expressed in the CEFR relating them to local contexts and needs.

Reference Levels Descriptions (RLDs) may prove useful in course planning as they provide detailed specifications of content at the different CEFR levels for national/regional languages.



Using the CEFR Companion volume to enhance teacher agency in school-based language curriculum making (2022: Daniela Fasoglio)



Guide for the development and implementation of curricula for plurilingual and intercultural education (2016: Jean-Claude Beacco et al.)

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