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Language Credentialing : Language Credentialing

Language Credentialing

Language Credentialing

​Language credentialing is an evaluation of language competency for second language speakers based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). In November 2001, a European Union Council Resolution recommended using the CEFR to set up common systems of validation of language ability. The six reference levels are becoming widely accepted as the European standard and quickly becoming recognized internationally for grading an individual's language proficiency. It is a standardized assessment of language proficiency recognized internationally.

Upon successful completion at each level students receive a diploma.  Four areas of communication: oral production, written production, listening comprehension and written comprehension are assessed.


These exams are intended for second language speakers, not native speakers.

Benefits of Language Credentialing

Language credentialing is for you if you want to:

  • work in other countries
  • measure and certify your skills on a global scale
  • have a language diploma valid throughout the world
  • gain new responsibilities to enhance your career
  • enhance your resume
  • study at a university in another language
  • have your second language abilities recognized for professional or personal purposes

Using your Language Credentials

Language credentialing can be used in a variety of contexts. Some examples include:

  • An employee can present credentials to indicate language proficiency
  • An employer can request language credentials in order to ensure a certain level of efficiency
  • A parent can use language credentialing to assess the progress and/or the proficiency level of their child
  • A student may use it to establish language proficiency at a university where the language of instruction is different from their first language
  • A student may use it to establish the next step in their language learning

Difference between language credentialing and IB and AP courses

IB and AP courses are specifically used for university entrance purposes at many universities. They are not used for employment purposes, to establish a proficiency level recognized internationally, or to establish the next level.

Preparation for Language Credentialing

Each language credentialing exam has resources, such as print materials, websites, and preparatory courses, which will allow candidates to familiarize themselves with the content and the format of the exam.

Exam Fees

The cost of the exam depends on the language and the level. Please refer to the specific language for further information.

University Requirement

Different countries have different regulations regarding language credentialing for university entrance. In addition, many universities are now accepting language credentialing (generally at the B2 level) as a way for students to meet the language requirement. As each university is different, it is advisable to check with the institution.

Credentialing Levels

The Common European Framework divides learners into three broad divisions which can be divided into six levels:


User basic independent proficient
CEFRL A1 A2 B1 B2 C1 C2


The CEFR describes what a learner can do, in reading, listening, speaking and writing at each level.

level Description
A1 Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
A2 Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
B1 Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
B2 Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
C1 Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.
C2 Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in more complex situations.



Language credentials are valid for life, much like a university degree.


Successful candidates will receive a letter and a diploma indicating their results.



 Contact Us

​French and International Languages Information Line


CBE Public Information Line

 Supporting Documents


High school students

Last modified: 1/12/2016 4:19 PM
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