ACTFL vs. CEFR: Framework Standards Comparison

The ACTFL and CEFR are probably the most widely used scale systems for language teaching. The first is proposed by the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages and the second one by the Council of Europe.

CEFR has 6 levels from A1 to C2 divided into three categories: A (beginner or basic user), B (intermediate or independent user), C (advanced or proficient user). The ACTFL framework has 4 levels (Novice, Intermediate, Advanced and Superior) divided into 10 sub levels. This is how levels for both systems can be compared:

ACTFL vs CEFR Level Scale Comparison

CEFR levelsACTFL levelsHours of study
< A1Novice Low-
A1Novice Mid60-80
A2Novice High60-80
B1Intermediate Low - Mid60-80
B2Intermediate High - Advanced Low100-120
C1Advanced Mid-High100-120

Academia Tica abides to the CEFR as an Instituto Cervantes Accredited Center (accredited since 2002). We consider that Instituto Cervantes is the main world-wide authority when it comes to Spanish teaching as a foreign language. Each year, more and more schools adopt these standards for the reason that not only they’re the most common, but because the focus for learning and the methodologies proposed by Instituto Cervantes based on the CEFR are modern and integral.

The approach of the CEFR is to see the learner as a social agent that is developing functions for communicating rather than just memorizing language rules. This is a much more active, student-centered and useful approach. The CEFR relies heavily into culture and this makes taking a Spanish immersion program have much sense when learning the language.