Are you thinking about getting a Spanish certificate?
At Españolé we believe that taking an official exam or another type of exam to test your level is a great idea that, besides being a personal challenge and motivation, will help you to prove your Spanish skills when looking for a job or applying to a Spanish academic institution.
What is a Spanish language certification?
Spanish language certifications are tests that assess your Spanish language skills.
They are usually divided into two parts: oral expression and comprehension, and written expression and comprehension.
These exams are based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CERF).
The CERF is an internationally recognized standard, valid for any language, which defines language skills in three groups:
- Basic users or A-users (levels A1 and A2). People with this certificate know how to communicate in very general colloquial situations without the help of their interlocutor.
- Independent users or B users (levels B1 and B2). People with this certificate can communicate in a language without help and in a wide variety of contexts.
- Proficient users or C users (levels C1 and C2). These people have a broad command of the language and can communicate fluently in virtually any situation.
Why is it important that your Spanish certificate conforms to CERF?
Official CERF-compliant Spanish certificates are accepted worldwide and serve as “tangible” proof of your Spanish language skills for potential employers or if you want to pursue higher education.
These certificates also ensure that your language skills are “global”, as their assessment includes speaking, listening, reading, and translating.
Adapting to the CERF criteria will give you an idea of how much time and resources you will need to invest to obtain your Spanish certificate.
For example, if a job offer asks for a B1 Spanish certificate or a B2 Spanish certificate, and you know that for level A1 you need an average of 75 hours of study and for level C1 an average of 10,000 hours, you will be able to calculate which methodology or which type of course you are most interested in.
Most popular Spanish language certificates and placement tests
The most important official and CERF-compliant Spanish certificates are:
- Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE)
- Servicio Internacional de Evaluación de la Lengua Española (SIELE) (International Spanish Language Evaluation Service)
- Instituto Cervantes Teaching Accreditation Diplomas (DADIC)
- ELE Teacher Certificate
- The European Language Certificates (Certificados de Idiomas Europeos, TELC)
- Spanish Language and Usage Certificate (CELU)
- Oral Proficiency for Interview in Spanish (OPI)
All measure progress according to a standardized framework, although they do not all assess the same competencies or in the same way.
Choosing one Spanish certificate or the other will depend on your needs or the type of knowledge you want to enhance, as some focus on written and oral expression, while others evaluate grammar knowledge.
Official Spanish certificates: DELE, SIELE and DADIC
The best-known official Spanish certifications are those awarded by the Instituto Cervantes.
That is, the DELE, the SIELE and the DADIC.
The most popular is the DELE, an official diploma certifying the degree of proficiency and mastery of the Spanish language.
The DELE diplomas have the quality seal of the International System for the Certification of Spanish as a Foreign Language, its exams have official and face-to-face exams, and with them you can obtain a level from A1 to C2.
The SIELE is a proficiency exam for the Spanish language.
Like the DELE certificate of Spanish, it works on a scale of points with correspondence to levels A1, A2, B1, B2 and C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
This Spanish language certification is promoted by the Cervantes Institute (IC), the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), the University of Salamanca (USAL) and the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), which guarantees that its competencies include all the Spanish variants of Spanish in Latin America.
The SIELE certificate has some pros and some cons: you can take the test at any time and even online, with the certainty to always obtain an accredited level (as it is not an exam, but a level test, you do not need a certain qualification to obtain the certificate); although, the SIELE has an “expiration date”, so you will have to re-accredit your level every five years.
Regarding the DADIC, it is a Spanish language certificate for teachers who have the basic competences necessary for teaching Spanish as a foreign language (ELE).
To obtain the DADIC Autónomo diploma, it is required to pass two tests conducted by the Instituto Cervantes by accredited examiners.
Finally, the ELE Teacher’s Certificate is aimed at those who want to become Spanish teachers and those who are going to start a research career in the linguistic field as well.
The ELE certificate of Spanish language proficiency is very complete and is the most prestigious certificate abroad.
Tips for obtaining your Spanish language certificate
Our tips for successfully obtaining your Spanish certificate are:
- Getting informed about the different exams and tests to prepare them correctly.
- Dedicating daily time to study and practice or taking intensive Spanish courses.
- Participate actively in classes and conversation groups.
At Españolé, our Spanish language school in Valencia, we prepare our students for the official DELE and SIELE exams of the Instituto Cervantes.
We guarantee very good results, as we have a 98% pass rate among the students who have taken our preparation programs for these exams!
If you need a B1 or higher Spanish certificate or want to come to Spain to study, contact us.