The implementation of CEFR in ESL Learning: Why does it matter to the Malaysian Education System?

  • Azurawati Wok Zaki Faculty of Major Language Studies, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Nilai, Negeri Sembilan, MALAYSIA
  • Ramiaida Darmi Faculty of Major Language Studies, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Nilai, Negeri Sembilan, MALAYSIA
Keywords: Common European Framework of Reference, CEFR, Curriculum, skills, Classroom assessment


Implementing the Common European Framework or CEFR in English as a Second Language learning in the Malaysian education system is the focus of this paper. CEFR is a generally established international standard for depicting language proficiency. It is also extensively recognised in Europe and is becoming more widely accepted globally; it is now incorporated into the Malaysian education system. The CEFR provides thorough descriptions of what foreign or second language learners can perform in listening, speaking, reading, and writing at six proficiency levels. Thus the methodology used in this paper is qualitative through review documents specifically on past studies from 2015 to 2021 highlighting CEFR implementation. This study aims to answer two research questions; what are the importance of implementation of CEFR in the Malaysian ESL classroom, and how CEFR can be implemented in classroom assessment in the Malaysian ESL classroom. The findings related to the first aim indicate that the CEFR is important for the needs of the international standard framework, benchmarking, alignment, and calibration. The findings also show that CEFR assists teachers in monitoring students' development in ESL classrooms. This article will also examine the history of the CEFR's implementation in the Malaysian education system and its influence on the curriculum, teaching and learning, and assessment. Then, the descriptors of CEFR in all four primary language skills, learning, speaking, listening, reading, and writing, will be briefly discussed before moving on to implementing the CEFR in classroom assessment. By the end of this paper, the recommendations for future study in implementing CEFR in the Malaysian ESL classroom will be proposed.


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How to Cite
Wok Zaki, A., & Darmi, R. (2021). The implementation of CEFR in ESL Learning: Why does it matter to the Malaysian Education System?. Asian Journal of Assessment in Teaching and Learning, 11(2), 1-13.