Why do the DELE exam and why is it necessary to prepare for it?
When we study a foreign language, we may do so for very different purposes which can be summarized for two reasons; work or pleasure.
Whatever the reason, there comes a moment when we want our time, money and effort recognized into something tangible like a certificate that indicates the level we are at. Doing an official exam is the best option in these cases as it has that recognition we are looking for.
The DELE, Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera, or translated into English, Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language, is the official diploma given to participants who have passed a standardized test indicating their Spanish language proficiency, issued by the Spanish Instituto Cervantes on behalf of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science. It consist of 8 exams, one for every level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and 2 more for school children between the ages of 11 and 17. All of them are internationally accepted and enjoy international prestige, not only by public and private educational institutions but also the business world and the chambers of commerce.
The type of tasks varies depending on the level. It is advisable to know well what each one consist of and do mocks to improve your technique and develop exam strategies.
Let’s look an example and some advice and strategies.
Level B2: Task 1.C. listening
Instructions: (in Spanish) You are going to listen to six short conversations. You will hear the conversations twice. You will then answer the questions (1-6). Choose the correct option (a/b/c). Mark your answer on the answer sheet. You have 30 seconds to read the questions.
Conversation 1: You will overhear a conversation between two friends who see each other in the street. 1. Marta says to her friend that,
a) she has taken a few days off.
b) She has had a work-related accident.
c) She is on maternity leave.
Advice 1: Calmly read the instructions and the information you need in the audio.
Advice 2: During the first listening, answer the questions you are able to.
Advice 3: Be careful with multiple choice questions as there is always a distracter, i.e. all three options may be mentioned in the conversation but only one will be correct.
Note: This is the script of the conversation we are looking at. As you will see, the words in bold are the options in the answers that appear in the recording.
Man: Marta! Long time no see! What have you been up to? Have you been on holiday?
Woman: If only. I twisted my ankle while I was supervising a construction site and I have been off work for nearly a month with a sprain. I went back to work yesterday.
Man: Really, at least you were able to take advantage of the time to enjoy being with your son.
Woman: That’s true; I wish I had more free time to spend with him.
Pay attention, you need to listen for detail. If not, you may connect on holiday with days off, or enjoy being with your son with maternity leave, and neither option is correct.
Don’t forget, doing the DELE is important because not only will you have a certificate that certifies your level, you will have an extra goal for your learning. Preparing for the exam with qualified staff will pave the way for a successful outcome.