Contact information

Language Centre:

Fabianinkatu 26 (classrooms, Study Office, administration)
or Vuorikatu 5 (teachers)
P.O.Box 4
00014 University of Helsinki


Language Centre Telephone Directory

Helsinki University Email Directory

Common European Framework of Reference

In order to further academic cooperation, European university degrees are to be comparable and transparent. In language and communication studies this means that both the starting level and, when possible, the target level of courses must be defined, and the achievements must be assessed. The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) serves as the basis for the shared language policies and the tool when the language competences are described with the help of the 6-tier scales of CEFR. The competence scales and descriptors of language competencies used in CEFR facilitate the approval of achieved competencies and passed degrees in various countries. CEFR has been introduced in almost every European country.

E.g. the foreign language requirement for a lower university degree is B2 in English / B1 in other languages. The minimum requirement for Finnish / Swedish as a second national language is B1.

You can estimate your own language skills by using Dialang, which includes all other required languages except for Swedish. If you face technical problems, contact Itseopiskelu (Self-Access) in Aleksandria or try again later.


Common Reference Levels: global scale


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 proficient meaning even in more complex situations.


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.


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 Independent disadvantages of various options.


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 and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.


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.


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.

Source: Common European Framework of Reference (