If you want to live and work in Spain, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, or anyone of the other 16 Spanish speaking countries, you will more than likely need to prove your level to a prospective employer.
They will want to see that you have the solid grasp of the grammar, and a good level of fluency in Spanish in order that speaking Spanish won't be what prevents you from carrying out the duties of your job.
So how can you show a company that your pronunciation is spot on, and your verb conjugation is up to scratch? By taking a Spanish proficiency test, you can demonstrate that your Spanish level meets the required level as set out by the proficiency test that you take.
Such tests are often backed by different universities, organisations, or governments. This means that your Spanish level will come with a seal of approval from a notable source.
So if you are looking for Spanish courses, or are studying the language on your own, with the aim of taking a Spanish language proficiency test, the question is which one is best for you?
There are a wide range of options available to you, each offering the learner something slightly different. As standard, they will focus on Spanish grammar and the four skills of language learning (speaking, listening, reading and writing).
The most common Spanish proficiency test are the Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera (DELE) tests. Taking a DELE test can be done in various parts of the world, and they are administered by the Spanish government.
But for those of you who live in Florida, you can take a Spanish test administered by the University of Central Florida (UCF). In this article we will look at why you should take a Spanish proficiency test, and what the Foreign Language Proficiency Exam (FLPE) at UCF entails.
Why Should You Certify Your Spanish Language Proficiency?
There are loads of reasons to learn Spanish. The language of Cervantes is spoken by an estimated 440 million native speakers across the world, and it is the principal language in the countries of Central and South America. And while Spanish is not an official language in the U.S.A, the country has the third biggest native population of Spanish speakers worldwide, after Mexico and Colombia.
The importance of Spanish extends beyond the language and culture. It is one of only six official languages used by the UN. You don't need to be fluent to be able to benefit from knowing conversational Spanish. Doing so will set you aside from the crowd as you'll be able to communicate with a huge number of native speakers, but how do you prove your level?
Doing a Spanish course will look good on your CV, but language courses don't guarantee that you have learnt anything useful to an employer. The same can be said of doing a semester abroad in Madrid, Buenos Aires, or Santiago.
You will need a Spanish certificate in order to truly show what level your Spanish is at. By doing so, you can leave a job interviewer in little doubt that your ability will match their needs. As we have already noted, such certificates are endorsed by a variety of sources and therefore your Spanish certificate could come directly from the Spanish government, or even the Argentinian government if you decide to take the CELU Spanish exam.
This will look much better on your CV than simply stating that you have taken Spanish lessons, but the element of doubt will be removed as to how much you have learnt. After all, a company looking to employ you will need to know that your language skills won't infringe on your ability to do your job.
You might be thinking that this is only applicable for people who want to live and work in Spain or Latin America. Obviously if this is the case, then a Spanish certificate is essential. You might even struggle to find work without one, depending on the sector you want to work in, and you country of preference.
But even for finding a job at home, a Spanish proficiency certificate will be useful. In the modern world where business is becoming international and people of different cultures and backgrounds are brought together in a professional environment, having certified skills in a second language will set you aside from other candidates.
There are a few different Spanish proficiency tests that focus on Spanish for use in business or education, such as the SIELE Spanish proficiency test.
The Specifics of the UCF FLPE Spanish Test
It doesn't matter what Spanish certificate you choose, you'll need to familiarise yourself with the curriculum and test format in order to study effectively. If you want to take a DELE test, you'll need to know what the DELE consists of. If you want to take the FLPE at UCF, you'll need to know about the FLPE.
You will have a total of 2 and a half hours to complete this exam. It will test your listening and reading comprehension, as well as your knowledge of vocabulary and Spanish words, and your grammatical accuracy that learning Spanish effectively requires.
Just like any other Spanish proficiency test, you'll need to know if the exam is the right one for you. Students at UCF should speak to their academic adviser before registering for the exam.
One advantage of this Spanish certificate is that it uses situations in a professional context to see how candidates engage with the world of business in Spanish. In doing so, the test assesses how well the candidate uses the Spanish language, and employers can see the certificate in a professional context - perfect for anyone who anyone who wants to work with an Hispanic company, whether it be Spanish or Latin American.
You should arrive 15 minutes early on the day of your exam. The university reserves the right to stop late-comers taking the test, which will result in the money paid being lost.
Don't forget to take 2 forms of valid ID which show the name of the person who is registered to take the test.Examples of forms of ID that are accepted include driver licences, passports, state issued IDs, and military ID. You will also need your confirmation email sent to you by RegisterBlast.
How to Prepare for your Language Proficiency Test in Spanish
It doesn't matter if you are a beginner, or an intermediate - you will need to prepare for the FLPE. There are some obvious things that you can do to do this. You can sign up for a Spanish program or Spanish classes. This could be directly with the university, or with a local language school.
Doing so will allow you to study Spanish in a classroom environment, which should help your assimilate the important aspects of Spanish that you will need for the exam. Your Spanish teacher will also be on hand to help you if you get particularly stuck with anything.
Since I signed up for Spanish Classes London, my Superprof Spanish teacher has always been available to help me!
Outside of the classroom, you should take every opportunity to speak Spanish. Each conversation that you have will teach you new phrases and expressions, and if you practise with a native speaker, you can learn to understand different accents from the Spanish speaking world.
In general, any way that you can immerse yourself in Spanish, will be of benefit. This could mean changing the language on your phone and computer to Spanish, or listening to Spanish speaking radio and TV. Not only will this develop your Spanish vocabulary, but you could learn about Spanish culture which could be useful to give you some context to some of the different articles and audios that you are faced with in the FLPE.
You can also find certain 'learn Spanish online' sites. The most useful ones to help you prepare for the FLPE are the ones that offer you the chance to practise what you have learnt. Please note that online Spanish on its own is perhaps not the best way to learn the language, but there are definitely certain merits in using it to accompany other learning methods. This is because you often don't have an instructor to guide your progress.
If you can, spend some time in a Spanish speaking country. This is the ultimate form of immersion because you will be constantly surrounded by the Spanish language, even when you are not directly engaging with it. It will act as an intensive training method because everything will be in Spanish.
You could do this by finding a short term placement with an Hispanic company, or simply by going on holiday to a country where Spanish is the dominant language. Whilst there, you will be able to use everything that you have learnt in your Spanish class, as well as improving and developing your language skills.
Advance Your Career with the Spanish Language
The University of Central Florida could help you reach your entrepreneurial dreams. If you have Spanish under your belt, you can decide to start a business in Spain or a Latin American country. If it's not based in the country itself, you could start a branch there, or speak with locals who may want to help you get started.
Once you are linguistically equipped with your UCF language certificate, you have many options open to you! These options could mean more work, more money, and more meetings.
Don't pass the opportunity up! Invest in the FLPE Spanish diploma today. You are only a few short steps away from making your Spanish language dreams come true!