Spanish levels : Certificates and examinations

Spanish levels : Certificates and examinations

There are two international certificates that validate spanish as a second language.  Read this post to find out everything you need to know about them.


DELE (Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera)


The DELE Certificate is provided by Instituto Cervantes from Spain.

DELE Certificates are recognized worldwide and have great prestige, not only amongst institutions and educative authorities but also amongst the business world and chambers of commerce.

In many countries, DELE have been adopted by educational authorities and learning centers as a complimentary evaluation programmes.

The Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language is an official qualification, recognized by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of Spain. The exams are held at the Spanish Instituto Cervantes in each country, while the correction and evaluation of all tests is done at the University of Salamanca.


Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE) are divided into six levels:


– Spanish Diploma Level A1 (Breakthrough)

Certifies that the student is able to communicate using the language in a basic way in situations having to do with immediate needs or everyday situations.


– Spanish Diploma Level A2 (Waystage)

Certifies that the candidate can understand commonly used, everyday phrases and expressions related to areas of experience especially relevant to them (basic information about themselves, and their families, shopping, places of interest, work, etc.).


– Spanish Diploma Level B1 (Threshold)

Certifies candidates’ capacity to understand the gist of clear texts, in standard language, if they involve well-known topics related to work, studies or leisure. It also certifies students’ ability to deal with most situations that occur while travelling in areas where Spanish is spoken; to produce simple and coherent texts about familiar topics, or topics of personal interest; and lastly to be able to describe experiences, events, wishes and hopes, as well as to be able to briefly express opinions or explain plans.


– Spanish Diploma Level B2 (Vantage)

Certifies students’ ability to interact with native speakers with a sufficient degree of fluency and spontaneity to enable easy and natural communication between interlocutors; produce clear and detailed texts about diverse topics, as well as defend an opinion about general topics, expressing the pros and cons for each argument; and lastly, understand the gist of complex texts about both concrete and abstract topics, including technical texts, provided they are within the candidate’s area of expertise.


– Spanish Diploma Level C1 (Effective Operational Proficiency)

Certifies sufficient linguistic competence to understand a wide variety of lengthy, and somewhat demanding texts, as well as to grasp implicit meaning in the same; to express themselves fluently and spontaneously without apparent effort to find the right words; to be able to use the language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes; and finally, to be able to produce clear, well-structured and detailed texts about topics of some complexity, correctly using mechanisms of organization, articulation and cohesion in the text.


– Spanish Diploma Level C2 (Mastery)

Certifies sufficient linguistic competence to communicate effectively in any situation, proving ability to spontaneously adapt to any context, with a high degree of precision. The language users show subtle control of nuances which allow for fluent and natural expression in all interactions.Para la obtención de los DELE es preceptiva la superación de una serie de pruebas de examen DELE, que se administran en todo el mundo en varias convocatorias anuales a través de una red de más de 800 centros de examen. Las pruebas están diseñadas, siguiendo el enfoque metodológico propuesto por el Marco Común Europeo de Referencia MCER, para medir distintas destrezas y habilidades lingüísticas a través de tareas prácticas de uso de la lengua y a la metodología propuesta por el Consejo de Europa para la vinculación de exámenes de competencia lingüística al MCER.

[For more details check out the official DELE website: http://www.dele.org/]


CELU (Certificado de Español: Lengua y Uso)


CELU is the official certificate for and from Argentina.

The Certificate of Use of Language in Spanish or CELU is another internationally recognised proficiency test of Spanish as foreign language, offered by Argentina. The CELU exam is officially acknowledged by the Ministry of Education and by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina. The examination is organized mainly by the University of Buenos Aires and National University of Cordoba. It can be taken by foreigners whose native language is not Spanish and who need to prove their level of proficiency of the language in Spanish speaking countries.


This certificate is granted by the Interuniversity Consortium for the Teaching and Testing of Spanish as a Second and Foreign Language, integrated by more than two-thirds of the Argentine National Universities. At the international level, there are mutual recognition agreements among the Brazilian, Chinese and Italian governments.

CELU certificates may be presented as proof of the level of proficiency in Spanish necessary to take a course in academic institutions or to work in private and public companies. These examinations evaluate adequate use of the language; they do not assess the candidate’s teaching competence. Thus, by no means do these examinations certify that candidates can teach Spanish as a second and foreign language.

The CELU certificate carries the candidate’s name, identity card number and nationality details, the date of the exam, the level achieved (Intermediate or Advanced) and a distinction among three assessment degrees in each level (Good, Very Good, Excellent).

In the same certificate, a description of the two levels of language use and their equivalence to levels recognized in other countries is presented as well.


Intermediate Level

Language users at the Intermediate level can speak and write in Spanish quite fluently and naturally, in simple family, working and social environments. They may lack accuracy when facing unknown situations or when having to express subtleties of meaning. They manage to communicate in working as well as academic contexts.

Intermediate Comparable to Levels CEFR B2 / ACTFL Advanced Low


Advanced Level

Language users at the Advanced level can speak and write in Spanish with ease and spontaneity in a wide range of social situations. They can use the language appropriately in working as well as academic contexts.

Advanced  Comparable to Levels CEFR C1 / ACTFL Superior


For more information on CELU exams, check the official website: http://www.celu.edu.ar/

>> See all courses for prepare your examen on Courconnect <<

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