A Trilingual Learner Corpus illustrating European Reference Levels


Since its publication in 2001, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) has gained a leading role as an instrument of reference for language teaching and certification and for the development of curricula. Nonetheless, there is a growing concern about CEFR reference levels being insufficiently illustrated in terms of authentic learner data, leaving practitioners without comprehensive empirical characterizations of the relevant distinctions. This is particularly the case for languages other than English (cf. e.g. Hulstijn 2007, North 2000).

The MERLIN project addresses this demand to illustrate and validate the CEFR levels for Czech, German and Italian by developing a didactically motivated online platform that enables CEFR users to explore authentic written learner productions. The core of the multilingual online platform is a trilingual learner corpus composed of roughly 200 learner texts per CEFR level, produced in standardized language certifications validly related to the CEFR, covering the levels A1-C1.

The aim of this paper is to both present the MERLIN project with the motivation behind and its corpus and to discuss its current state.


Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR); learner corpus; learner language; language teaching; language certification

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