The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics
[ Article ]
Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 20, No. 1, pp.496-516
ISSN: 1598-1398 (Print)
Print publication date 31 Mar 2020
Received 31 Aug 2020 Revised 17 Sep 2020 Accepted 23 Sep 2020

Applicability of CEFR to National Curriculum and Assessment of English

Byeong Cheon Lee
Korea Institute for Curriculum and Evaluation

Copyright 2020 KASELL
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


CEFR has widely been recognized as a framework for defining levels of language proficiency for testing and curriculum developing purposes. There is little doubt that widespread global interest and enthusiasm have been growing for adapting and implementing the CEFR. Given the worldwide interest, the issue of whether and how the CEFR can be employed to language curriculum and assessment becomes of paramount importance. Within the Korean context, there has also been growing interest in adopting, adapting, and implementing the CEFR in national curriculum of English as a foreign language, which can be found through academic research. This study was intended to be exploratory, focusing on the positive aspects of CEFR in its applicability to national curriculum and assessment. The previous studies were collected through on-line journal in Korean EFL context and analyzed based on theme-based categorization. The themes were analyzed focusing on the areas and rationale of CEFR which can be adapted to Korean national curriculum of English, not necessarily being limited to the current 2015 national curriculum. The findings showed some areas and rationales for employing CEFR such as Global Scale as common reference, illustrative descriptors, content system, leaners’ independence, and procedures of developing assessment scale by combining intuitive, qualitative, and quantitative methods based on scientific approach.


CEFR, common European framework of references, national curriculum and assessment, foreign language curriculum and assessment


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Lee, Byeong Cheon, Research FellowDivision of Curriculum and TextbookKorea Institute for Curriculum and Evaluation8, Gyohak-ro, Deoksan-myeon, Jincheon-gun,Chungcheongbuk-do, KoreaTel: 043)931-0522Email: