The CEFR-Aligned Curriculum: Perspectives of Malaysian Teachers

  • Paramjit Kaur
  • Mah Zhi Jian


This paper examines the perceptions of primary school teachers regarding the introduction of the Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEFR) in the Malaysian school curriculum in 2018.  This study employed a 4-point Likert scale questionnaire adapted from Nguyen (2017) and Teoh (2018). The data were collected from 500 primary school teachers using a questionnaire that included 11 close ended items and one open ended item.  An online version of the questionnaire was distributed to primary school teachers all over Malaysia using the snowball sampling method.  The findings showed that the majority of teachers had positively perceived the implementation of CEFR-aligned English curriculum (M=2.82).  However, many teachers also indicated that they faced many challenges related to the implementation of the CEFR-aligned curriculum (M=2.24).   This study concludes that although the teachers showed a positively viewed the CEFR-aligned curriculum, they may not be able to implement the curriculum successfully as they encountered certain challenges related to it. Curriculum reforms and changes need to take into account teachers’ concerns and provide them with support in order to optimize learning and teaching. Teachers’ concerns and perspectives need to be taken into account as they are major stakeholders that ensure the outcome of language policies.


Alderson, J. C. (2007). The CEFR and the need for more research. The Modern Language Journal, 91(4), 659–663.
Azman, H. (2016). Implementation and challenges of English language education reform in Malaysian primary schools. The Southeast Asian Journal of English language studies, 22(3), 65 – 78.
Council of Europe. (2001). The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Faez, F., Majhanovich, S., Taylor, S., Smith, M. & Crowley, K. (2011). Teacher reactions to CEFR’s task-based approach for ESL classrooms. The Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics, Special Issue 14(2), 1-19.
McNamara, T. (2011). Managing learning: Authority and language assessment. Language Teaching, 44(4), 500-515.
Ministry of Education Malaysia. (2015). English Language Education Reform in Malaysia: The Roadmap 2015-2025. Kuala Lumpur: Ministry of Education Malaysia.
Mustafa, Z. (2018, July 11). Proficient way to better English. New Straits Times. Retrieved from proficient-way-better-English.
Nguyen, N. T. (2017). EFL teachers’ perceptions towards the use of CEFR-V. European Journal of English Language Teaching, 2(4), 74-86.
North, B. (2014). The CEFR in practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Sakai, S. & Jimbo, H. (2010). JACET survey on CEFR: A comprehensive study on the framework of English Language teachers’ professional development in Japan. Tokyo: JACET SIG.
Shanmugam, M. (2017). Unemployment among graduates needs to be sorted out fast. The Star Online, Retrieved from news/2017/03/25/ unemployment-among graduates needs- to-sorted-out-fast/
Tan, C. (2017). Poor English skills a major complaint in every industry. The Star Online. Retrieved from poor-english-skills-a-major-complaint-in-every-industry/
Teoh, L. V. (2018). Malaysian secondary school English teachers' perception towards the implementation of CEFR-aligned curriculum (Unpublished Project Paper). Universiti Utara Malaysia.
Uri, N. F. M., & Aziz, M. S. A. (2018). Implementation of CEFR in Malaysia: Teachers’ awareness and the challenges. 3L: Language, Linguistics, Literature, 24(3), 168 – 183.
Xuan, M. N. (2017). Diffusion of the CEFR among Vietnamese teachers: A mixed methods investigation. The Asian EFL Journal Quarterly, 19(1), pp.7-32
Zheng, Y., Zhang, Y. & Yan, Y. (2016). Investigating the practice of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) outside Europe: A case study on the assessment of writing in English in China. ELT Research Papers. Southampton: University of Southampton.
How to Cite
KAUR, Paramjit; ZHI JIAN, Mah. The CEFR-Aligned Curriculum: Perspectives of Malaysian Teachers. Asian Journal of Research in Education and Social Sciences, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 1, p. 138-145, mar. 2022. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 04 july 2022.