CEFR – framework of reference for languages

An objective and recognized standard for assessing your Danish proficiency
CEFR - framework of reference for languages
CEFR - framework of reference for languages
At Copenhagen Language Center, we strive to make the content of our courses transparent, showing you how we plan our Danish instruction.
Copenhagen Language Center

When learning Danish, it is important that you have a clear understanding of your current level and relevant learning goals. At Copenhagen Language Center, we strive to make the content of our courses transparent, showing you how we plan our Danish instruction and providing a step-by-step description of how we teach you to speak, write and understand Danish.

All Danish courses at Copenhagen Language Center relate to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, which is also known by the acronym CEFR.

What is CEFR?

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is a universal system for assessing language proficiency. Originally developed by the Council of Europe, it is now widely used across the globe to describe foreign language learning and competence.

CEFR can be used for all languages and gives educational institutions and teachers a clear set of guidelines for foreign language instruction. The framework is also used to assess whether learners have the required language competences in a given context, such as school/job applications, etc. Read more about CEFR at the Council of Europe website.

CEFR - Quality Danish courses at Copenhagen Language Center
CEFR - Common European Framework Reference of Languages

CEFR levels

CEFR divides language competences into six levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2. In the following, we provide a brief description of the required Danish skills at each level:


  • You can understand very simple expressions when spoken slowly and clearly.
  • You can read names, words and simple phrases, e.g. on posters and in advertisements.
  • You can ask and answer simple questions about everyday topics.
  • You can present and describe yourself using a few words and simple sentences.
  • You can enter personal information in forms and write a short greeting.


  • You can understand the most common words and expressions.
  • You can read short and simple texts.
  • You can exchange information in a short conversation, but cannot elaborate or explain further.
  • You can express your needs and use simple phrases to describe yourself and your surroundings.
  • You can write short and simple messages.


  • You can understand the overall content of lectures and TV programs on common topics.
  • You can read texts written in everyday language or which relates to your field of expertise.
  • You can engage in conversations about everyday topics or topics of interest to you.
  • You can briefly explain and justify your opinions and plans.
  • You can write a brief but coherent text about topics of interest to you.


  • You can understand lectures and TV programs if you are already familiar with the topic.
  • You can read most short stories and unchallenging novels.
  • You can converse with most Danes without much difficulty.
  • You can provide a clear and detailed explanation on common topics or topics within your field of knowledge.
  • You can write personal letters and reports on topics within your field of knowledge.


  • You can understand all types of TV programs and films in Danish.
  • You can understand academic language and technical instructions, including outside your field of specialization.
  • You can actively engage in all conversations and express yourself fluently and spontaneously, no matter who you are talking to.
  • You can provide a clear and detailed explanation of complex topics.
  • You can write a detailed and well-structured text, even on complicated topics.


  • You can understand all forms of spoken language and understand nuances in the dialects of native speakers.
  • You can easily read all types of texts, including abstract texts with difficult words.
  • You can engage in all conversations, choose an appropriate tone for the situation, and express yourself with great precision.
  • You can present a clear and fluent argument that fits the situation in terms of style and level.
  • You can write clearly and fluently in a style that is appropriate for the purpose and recipient.

Guideline for courses and learning goals

The CEFR’s level descriptions outline the general framework of what you will learn in each of our courses. These descriptions serve as our guidelines in the planning of each course and in our choice of materials and teaching methods.

We frequently refer back to CEFR during a Danish course to assess your learning and adjust the teaching plan to ensure that both you and your classmates achieve the desired level. When you complete a Danish course with us, you will receive a diploma reflecting the CEFR level achieved, giving you objective proof of your Danish skills.

Unique challenges at every level

You may find yourself wondering why you have to take two courses to reach A2 level, while it takes four courses to complete B1 level.

Every level in the CEFR is equal in the model above, but this is merely a theoretical model. In reality, there are huge differences in how much you have to learn at each level. As a beginner – at levels A1 and A2 – you must learn words and simple grammatical rules, and you will quickly notice significant progress. In a matter of no time, you will be capable of much more than when you started!

But once you reach level B1, your elementary Danish skills are in place, and you must begin learning to use the language more independently, while navigating greater complexity. It takes far more instruction to touch on all aspects of understanding, speaking, reading and writing independently.

Your progress may not be as clear to you as in the beginning, since this is much more subtle and abstract learning, and cannot be immediately applied in everyday life.

Tips and tricks to learning Danish - illustration 1
Illustration by Chiara Nicola

No two paths to Danish proficiency are the same

The ease and speed of learning Danish will vary greatly depending of many factors, including

  • your mother tongue
  • whether you’ve learned Danish before
  • how much you practice and use Danish in everyday life.

As a result, the amount of teaching you need to achieve a given level of Danish proficiency will also vary.

We accommodate these varying needs by offering a wide range of Danish courses with a diversity of teaching methods and progression speeds. A quick look at our course catalog reveals many different courses leading to A1.1 level, and these courses consist of a varying number of lessons. The key is finding the Danish course that perfectly suits your needs and wishes. We will gladly assist you with finding the ideal match!

If you are in doubt about your level of Danish, please don’t hesitate to book a time for a free placement test with our counselors.