Dialogue

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Lesson Transcript

Intro

Michael: What are some common Spanish proficiency tests?
Cesar: And how do I choose the right one for me?
Michael: At SpanishPod101.com, we hear these questions often. Imagine the following situation: College student Emma López is talking to her friend, Silvia Ramírez Arce, about how she motivates herself to study Spanish. She says,
"I have to take the DELE exam."
Emma López: Tengo que presentar los exámenes DELE.
Dialogue
Emma López: Tengo que presentar los exámenes DELE.
Silvia Ramírez Arce: ¿Los Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera?
Michael: Once more with the English translation.
Emma López: Tengo que presentar los exámenes DELE.
Michael: "I have to take the DELE exam."
Silvia Ramírez Arce: ¿Los Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera?
Michael: "The Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language?"

Lesson focus

Michael: In the conversation, Emma López and Silvia Ramírez Arce are talking about the DELE exam, an internationally acknowledged exam to certify proficiency in Spanish as a foreign language. The exam is issued by the
Cesar: Instituto Cervantes,
Michael: or the "Cervantes Institute," which is a non-profit organization created by the Spanish government in 1991, responsible for promoting the Spanish language and culture worldwide.
"DELE" stands for
Cesar: Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera,
Michael: meaning "Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language," and is given by the mentioned Cervantes Institute on behalf of the
Cesar: Ministerio de Educación y Formación Profesional de España,
Michael: that is, the "Spanish Ministry of Education and Vocational Training." The content of the exam is set according to the standards established by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (or CEFR), considering six levels of fluency, from A1 (Beginner) to C2 (Highly proficient).
The DELE is held several times each year at 1000 test centers in more than 100 countries, and it is focused on candidates older than 16. There are, however, tests for 11 to 17 years old students, limited, at the moment, to the levels A1, A2, and B1.
It is a paid paper test which evaluates all language skills: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.
The candidate must choose the level for which he or she will apply and, if successfully passed, the certificate can be obtained after about three months and is permanently valid. Furthermore, at level A2 or higher, the DELE is accepted by the
Cesar: Ministerio de Justicia de España,
Michael: or the "Ministry of Justice of Spain," as a proof of Spanish language proficiency for Spanish citizenship submissions.
Michael: In addition to the DELE, there is another Spanish proficiency certification which has the convenience of having the process (including registration, reservation, and notifications) managed electronically with no predefined dates, so you can select the day, time, place, and exam modality in any of the examination centers worldwide. Unlike the DELE exam, this exam is taken on a computer at the student's preselected test center.
Michael: It is called "SIELE," or
Cesar: Servicio Internacional de Evaluación de la Lengua Española,
Michael: meaning "International Assessment Service for the Spanish Language." This exam is also issued by the Cervantes Institute, as well as by the
Cesar: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México,
Michael: or the "National Autonomous University of Mexico," the
Cesar: Universidad de Salamanca,
Michael: or the "University of Salamanca," in Spain, and the
Cesar: Universidad de Buenos Aires,
Michael: or the "University of Buenos Aires," in Argentina.
Like the DELE exam, the test also evaluates all four language skills (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking) and follows the standards of the CEFR, allowing certifications from A1 to C1.
The test is paid and, unlike the DELE, has a validity, at the moment, of only five years. The complete version of the test that assesses all of the previously mentioned skills is called the
Cesar: SIELE Global,
Michael: or, literally, "Global SIELE," implying that it is a comprehensive exam. It should be noted, however, that partial exams are also offered to certify a particular set of language competencies, or
Cesar: modalidades independientes,
Michael: meaning "independent modalities."
After completing the exam, the certificate or report for the SIELE is received in a maximum of three weeks.
[Summary]
Michael: In this lesson, you've learned about the most widely known proficiency tests for Spanish: the DELE, meaning the "Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language" and the SIELE, meaning the "International Assessment Service for the Spanish Language."
The DELE is an exam done on paper in one of the 1000 test centers in more than 100 countries on set dates during the year, certifying levels from A1 (Beginner) to C2 (Highly proficient). The certificate is issued after about 3 months and is permanently valid.
The SIELE is an exam taken on a computer in one of the many exam test centers worldwide and can be scheduled on a date which is convenient for the candidate. The full process is managed online and the exam can certify the four language skills from A1 to C1 if the "SIELE Global" version of the test is taken, or just a particular set of language skills if select "independent modalities" are taken instead. The certificate for this exam is issued within 3 weeks and is valid for five years.
Expansion/Contrast
Michael: If you're looking for a Spanish language certification in a specific professional area, you should consider taking the "D.I.E.,"
Cesar: Diploma Internacional de Español para Fines Específicos,
Michael: meaning the "International Diploma in Spanish for Specific Ends." This profession-specific exam can focus on any of the following areas:
Cesar: Negocios,
Michael: meaning "Business,"
Cesar: Turismo,
Michael: meaning "Tourism," and
Cesar: Salud,
Michael: meaning "Health."
This exam corresponds to the B2 level of the CEFR and covers vocabulary and knowledge specific to the preselected area. As a result, the certificate obtained from the DIE would give one a B2 level certification in Spanish, as well as proof of competency in a specific professional area. It's a paid exam, offered by the FIDESCU Foundation, which is part of the Ministry of Education and Culture in Spain, and developed in cooperation with the
Cesar: Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca.
Michael: The exam is composed of an "oral test," or
Cesar: Prueba oral,
Michael: and a "written test," or
Cesar: Prueba escrita.
Michael: The DIE exam can be taken throughout the entire year in select test centers worldwide. The oral test results can be obtained on the same day of the exam, and the written test results within about 30 to 40 days. Diplomas for the DIE are sent out 60 to 90 days after completing the exam.
Practice Section
Michael: Let's review the sample conversation: Respond to the prompts by speaking aloud, and then listen carefully as Cesar models the correct answer. Repeat after him, with the focus on your pronunciation. Are you ready?
How do you say, "I have to take the DELE exam."
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Cesar: Tengo que presentar los exámenes DELE.
Michael: Did you get it right? Listen again and repeat. Remember to focus on your pronunciation.
Cesar: Tengo que presentar los exámenes DELE.
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Cesar: Tengo que presentar los exámenes DELE.
Michael: Let's move on to the second sentence. How do you say, "The Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language?"
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Cesar: ¿Los Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera?
Michael: Did you get it right this time? Listen again and repeat.
Cesar: ¿Los Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera?
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Cesar: ¿Los Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera?
Cultural Insight/Expansion
Michael: For those who are trying to obtain Spanish citizenship, and are at least 18 years of age, taking the "Constitutional and Sociocultural Aspects of Spain,"
Cesar: Conocimientos Constitucionales y Socioculturales de España,
Michael: or "CCSE," is a required part of the process.
It certifies the candidate's knowledge of the Spanish Constitution and different aspects of Spanish life and culture. It is a paid test consisting of 25 closed-ended questions and can be taken on the last Thursday of each month (except for August and December) in centers accredited by the Cervantes Institution in Spain and Spanish embassies worldwide. The results of the test are sent within about 20 days.

Outro

Michael: Do you have any more questions? We're here to answer them!
Cesar: ¡Hasta la próxima!
Michael: See you soon!

3 Comments

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SpanishPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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What questions do you have about learning Spanish?

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Saturday at 12:28 PM
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Hola Janice,


Thank you for your comment.

Of course! With perseverance and practice.

Sigamos practicando!


Saludos,

Carla

Team SpanishPod101.com

Janice
Friday at 09:36 PM
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Is it possible for someone (in the over the hill age group) to learn to THINK in Spanish and not translate word for word? Why can’t I pick up the language like a toddler (who cannot read or write) who can absorb so easily and quickly?