Harmonization of Language Learning and Assessment

Language Framework


With the vision of supporting multilingualism in the United Nations system, the Language Harmonization Project, recipient of the 2018 Secretary-General Award for Multilingualism, aims to harmonize language learning and assessment for the six official languages, and for other languages taught locally.


The Project has resulted in the creation of a new UN Language Framework, unique to the needs of our Organization, but also in line with the most recent research and other recognized frameworks for language learning. The Framework will standardizes how languages are learned, taught and assessed in the international context of the United Nations. Other potential benefits may be a wider recognition of language skills and smoother transitions in career mobility and development.


The project has been successful thanks to a close collaboration between the Language Training Programme (LTP) at UNOG, the Language and Communications Training Unit (LCTU) at UNHQ, and other language programmes in the Secretariat. It has also benefitted from contributions, support and feedback from many individuals of different departments, especially from the Focal Points of Multilingualism.


The UN Language Framework establishes four UN Levels of Language Competence, equally valid for the six official languages:


● UN Level I or Basic Language Competence

● UN Level II or Intermediate Language Competence

● UN Level III or Advanced Language Competence, baseline for the Language Proficiency Examination

● UN Level IV or Expert Language Competence


UN Language Levels



Get to know the UN Language Framework:

To know more, see the background documents:


Fabienne Pairon at UNOG: fabienne.pairon@un.org

Anna Sanvisens Farras at UNHQ: sanvisens-farras@un.org