Developed by the Council of Europe, CEFR is a framework of reference for teachers and institutions, which intends to make it easier to set learning objectives, make achievements comparable across languages and national educational systems, and facilitate meaningful, learner-oriented progression.
The CEFR differentiates between three major competency levels: A (basic user), B (independent user), and C (proficient user), which to some extent correspond to the traditional breakdown into elementary, intermediate, and advanced. These competency levels stem from the sum of various “can-do” descriptors that describe the linguistic actions that the learners should be able to master. They are positive statements formulated with the intention of covering all linguistic activities and forms of interaction. They encompass qualitative and quantitative aspects: the repertoire, the degree of accuracy, the situation, and the context. Can-do descriptors apply to all four competency areas: speaking, listening, reading, and writing.