Language Policy Programme, Council of Europe, Strasbourg


Language Policy documents

Intergovernmental Policy Forum: “The Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR) and the development of language policies: challenges and responsibilities”.
Council of Europe, Strasbourg, 6-8 February 2007
 Report: Francis Goullier EN  FR

See also section ‘Responsibility of member states’

This report includes, among many others, following presentations:

  • The CEFR Common Reference Levels : validated reference points and local strategies, Brian North EN   FR    
  • Impact of the CEFR and the Council of Europe’s work on the new European educational area, Francis Goullier  EN   FR    
  • Contextualising uses of the CEFR, Daniel Coste  EN   FR    
  • CEFR in relation to the policy aim of the Council of Europe, John L.M. Trim

 Council of Europe tools for language teaching: Common European Framework of Reference and Portfolios, Francis Goullier, 2007. Les éditions Didier, Paris / Council of Europe, Strasbourg
EN  FR (part 1)  FR (part 2)  KA

 From linguistic diversity to plurilingual education: Guide for the development of language education policies in Europe. 2007. Jean-Claude Beacco & Michael Byram. (Overview).
Main version EN  FR
Executive version EN  FR

  Plurilingual and pluricultural competence. Daniel Coste, Danièle Moore, Geneviève Zarate , rev. 2009
EN   FR   JA (adaptation of the original 1997 French version)

 Guide for the development and implementation of curricula for plurilingual and intercultural education,  2016. ISBN 978-92-871-8233-3. (initial version 2010). Jean-Claude Beacco, Michael Byram, Marisa Cavalli, Daniel Coste, Mirjam Egli Cuenat, Francis Goullier, Johanna Panthier. (Overview)
EN (2016)   FR (2016)   IT (2010)  SL (2010)

 Education mobility, otherness. The mediation functions of schools. Daniel Coste, Marisa Cavalli. 2015
EN   FR   JA  

Symposium: "Transparency and coherence in language learning in Europe. Objectives, evaluation, certification"
Rüschlikon (Switzerland), 10-16 November 1991

This Symposium has been the starting point for the development of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (CEFR)

Organised by the Council of Europe with the Federal Swiss authorities in collaboration with the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Directors of Education (EDK), the Eurocentres Foundation, the Migros Club Schools and the Interuniversity Commission for Applied Linguistics (CILA)

Report: Brian North and John Trim  EN  FR

Supporting Material (CEFR)

See also the material illustrating the CEFR levels

 Guide for Users. 2001. John Trim (ed.) EN  FR 

  Enriching 21st century language education: The CEFR Companion volume in practice

 Case studies concerning the use of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment. 2002. Charles Alderson (ed)  EN

 Developing illustrative descriptors of aspects of mediation for the CEFR. 2016. Brian North and Enrica Piccardo. EN FR 

 Phonological scale revision process report. 2016. Enrica Piccardo.  ENFR

 A Manual for Language test development and examining for use with the CEFR (2011) produced by ALTE on behalf of the Language Policy Unit, Council of Europe. EN  FR  DE  EU
See also the section Relating Examinations to the CEFR

 Manual for Relating Examinations to the "Common European framework of Reference for Languages”. 2009. Neus Figueras, Brian North, Sauli Takala, Piet Van Avermaet, Norman Verhelst. More about the Manual for Relating Examinations to the "Common European framework of Reference for Languages”

 Relating Language Examinations to the CEFR: Further Material on Maintaining Standards across Languages, Contexts and Administrations by exploiting Teacher Judgment and IRT Scaling. 2009. Brian North (Eurocentres / EAQUALS) - Neil Jones (Cambridge Assessment / ALTE) EN

 Reference Supplement to the Manual for Relating Language examinations to the CEFR. 2004 (rev 2009). Sauli Takala, Norman Verhelst, Felianka Kaftandjieva, Jayanti Banerjee. EN
See also the section Further material

 Linking to the CEFR levels: Research perspectives. 2009. Neus Figueras & José Noijons (eds). Cito, Institute for Educational Measurement / Council of Europe / European Association for Language Testing and Assessment (EALTA). EN

 Executive summary of results of a survey on the use of the CEFR at national level in the Council of Europe Member States. 2006. Waldemar Martyniuk & José Noyons. EN

 CEF Performance Samples for relating language examinations to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: learning, teaching, assessment. English. Swiss Adult Learners. 2003. Brian North, Eurocentres, and Gareth Hughes, Migros Club Schools. Council of Europe. EN

Relation between the CEFR and the ELP

The European Language Portfolio (ELP) is an instrument based on the CEFR with which individual learners can reflect upon their learning and record their progress. The CEFR and ELP were developed in parallel. The CEFR defines six levels of proficiency with can-do descriptors for a large number of different types of language activities, plus descriptors for aspects of quality in performance. These CEFR descriptors are presented in simplified ‘I-can’ form in checklists contained in the Language Biography section of the European Language Portfolio. More detailed information can be found here and on the ELP website: ⇒ Developing an ELP.

The website is structured in two parts, respectively developed by the two Council of Europe instances responsible for language policy and practice:

  • DEVELOPING AN ELP ► Language Policy – Strasbourg
    This part offers an exhaustive range of guidelines and templates to help developing  an ELP mode; a historical overview; the full list of accredited or registered models; the official translations of the global scale and of the assessment grid (34 scales of listening, reading, spoken interaction, spoken production and writing activities); a bank of descriptors; and other resources including reports of ELP seminars.
    This part offers a range of extended resources for using the ELP as well as the results of a series of projects

Use of the CEFR for specific contexts

The CEFR is a framework of reference which advocates an adaption to contexts and target learners’ groups, which is done, for instance, for the various sectors in education systems. Several specifc uses are particularly noteworthy, such as the following language policy projects:

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

The CEFR online :

CEFR - Companion volume (2020)

CEFR Descriptors (Searchable)

French version (Version française)

Arabic version (النسخة العربية)

Basque version (Euskarazko bertsioa)

Italian version (Versione italiana)

Spanish version (Versión en español)

Turkish version (Türkçe versiyonu)

CEFR (2001)

Language Policy Portal