Self-assessing your language proficiency within the CEFRL framework (DIALANG, ONDAF, etc.)

DIALANG is an online diagnostic system designed to assess a person’s proficiency in 14 European languages. Competences tested are reading, writing, listening, grammar and vocabulary, while speaking is excluded for technical reasons.

DIALANG was designed primarily for European citizens to assess their language abilities in adherence to Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference – CEFRL – as a basis for determining language proficiency. The CEFRL is a widely recognized framework used to describe and measure the language proficiency level of a learner in a particular language. DIALANG is not an exam and does not issue certificates, but can be used by learners to systematically self-assess their language skills, identify specific weaknesses and work on them, as well as introduce both teachers and learners to the CEFRL.

DIALANG is a very useful tool for learners to self-assess their language skills, and for teachers to support them in this by integrating it into their course work. It can also help to introduce learners to online-assessment of language skills as a tool used increasingly in application processes for international scholarships and exchange programmes.

Technology required

  • PC/laptop with internet connection
  • a projector for teacher,
  • any device with internet connection for students (per student/small group)
  • To use DIALANG you need to enable JavaScript, cookies and popups in your browser. You can enable them just for dialangweb.lancs.ac.uk if you wish. Lancaster University strongly recommends the Chrome web browser.


Material and links

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this activity, you will be able to

  • identify the language levels within the CEFRL
  • assess your own language skills within the CEFRL
  • identify specific areas that you might need to improve



  1. Click on the DIALANG logo, or the play button, to take a test.
  2. Choose instructions in your first language on the scroll down menu.
  3. Click on the white arrows in the top left corner of the frame appearing on the screen to move forward or backward in the process.
  4. Choose a test with a focus on one of the following skills: listening, writing, reading, structures, vocabulary from the table provided
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to and answer the questions
    • The length of a typical DIALANG test session is 30-45 minutes, but you may choose to skip the optional placement test and the self-assessment tasks (allow 20-30 minutes to complete the language test only).
    • Note: tasks are not timed, you may take as long as you wish to complete the tasks.
  6. After the test, you will have the opportunity to explore the different kinds of feedback.


Suggestions for assessment     

Since the aim of DIALANG is for learners to self-assess their skills, the test results should not be used directly for their assessment by the teacher. Learners could use DIALANG to self-assess their progress in developing specific skills that their language course aims to develop, and could be used as part of continuous assessment.

Students could reflect on their experience with DIALANG in their course portfolio (alternatively in an essay or exam). A similar assessment framework can be used to monitor learner’s language skills before, during and after their year abroad.


Source/attribution: DigiLanguages                Author: Sabine Egger

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Additional Content

Additional tips for teachers

Students may need initial guidance in how to use DIALANG and for which specific aim. The test may be used to advise new students which language course to take, or help them with regard to their choice of courses at their home institution and during their year abroad. While DIALANG is the only CEFR digital diagnosis tool covering a wide variety of languages, there are other such tools available for individual languages, which are in some aspects more technologically advanced. One example would be the ONDAF test in German, which students have to take when applying for scholarships of the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) to avail of full funding of their placement abroad. Learners should be encouraged to use other language-specific self-assessment tools in addition to DIALANG and to compare these, not only in preparation for a placement abroad, but also to developing their digital awareness.

Any learner of foreign languages, at any level, can use DIALANG. While there are no age limits for DIALANG test-takers, the test tasks have been written with an adult’s experience of life in mind. The tasks may, for example, include extracts from newspaper articles dealing with issues that may not be interesting or familiar to young learners. Young adults from 16-18 upwards should find the test quite suitable. Learners can freely choose which test to take depending on their needs and interests.


Tá leagan Gaeilge Dialang ar fáil ag https://dialangweb.lancaster.ac.uk/setals.

D’fhéadfá freisin an Triail Socrúcháin Teanga atá ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge a thriáil ag http://www.acadamh.ie/cursai/dianchursai_gaeilge/triail/.


Potete leggere le descrizioni delle categorie del CEFR (QCER in italiano = Quadro Comune Europeo di Riferimento per la conoscenza delle lingue) in questa Scheda per l’autovalutazione.


Test di autovalutazione per l’italiano

Sito Italiano per Stranieri


Author for contents in Italian: Valentina Rizzo