How to get a Spanish language certification?
Spanish is the fourth most spoken language across the globe and is also a preferred foreign language choice to learn for many. Is it necessary to get a Spanish language certification? Well, it could definitely prove to be an advantage in many ways. For someone who is only interested in learning the language for fun or just to communicate with others, certification may not be a major criterion, however, for others who are looking to learn Spanish for career growth or higher studies where proficiency in Spanish is mandatory, a certificate is also necessary.
If you are looking for a globally recognized certification it is a good idea to opt for a program that follows the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) created by The Council of Europe in the year 1989. There are different proficiency levels provided by CEFR which correspond to the beginner to advanced level. They are
A1 – Initial/beginner
A2 – Low Intermediate
B1 – Intermediate / Threshold
B2 – Advanced
C1 – High Advanced
C2 – Superior / Mastery
Let us look at some of the Spanish certifications that are recognized internationally based on the CEFR guidelines.
DELE – Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE), created by Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport in the year 1989 is issued after a series of standardized tests and indicates a person’s proficiency in European Spanish. The test and certification are issued by The Spanish Instituto Cervantes, a non-profit organization that works towards promoting the Spanish language and culture.
SIELE – International Assessment Service of the Spanish Language (SIELE) was started by the Cervantes Institute, The National Autonomous University of Mexico, the Universidad de Buenos Aires and the University of Salamanca in Spain the year 2016 and thus is a comparatively very new certification. You can complete a full exam consisting of reading, writing, speaking and listening or even take a partial exam at a time.
TELC – The European Language Certificates also issues certificates for ten different languages which includes Spanish as well. The test is again administered through a series of standardized tests. Recognized by the Spanish Universities, this certification can be obtained in the CEFR beginner and intermediate levels.
ECL – European Consortium for the Certificate of Attainment in Modern Languages (ECL) certification mostly focuses on communication skills and provides standardized proficiency tests for the languages of the EU member states. Proficiency levels offered by this certificate are in accordance with the CEFR levels as follows
A2 – Waystage
B1 – Threshold
B2 – Vantage and
C1 – Effective Operational proficiency.
CELU – Certificate of Use of Language in Spanish (CELU), a certification accredited by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Culture and Foreign Relations, focuses only on Spanish as used in Argentina. This is required for international students pursuing higher studies in Argentinian Universities. This is recognized by Brazil, China and Italy. Another difference is that it is not based on the CEFR standards. Their levels can be compared to CEFR standards as
Intermediate with level B2 of CEFR and
Advanced with level C1 of the CEFR
All these exams are conducted at the respective examination centres present in most countries. You can register for the exam, find further details on their website and get a certification upon clearing the examination.
You can learn the Spanish language from the examination point of view all by yourself, or join an online class where you can learn from a teacher who is well versed with all the aspects of the series of tests conducted for the certification.