Being competent in a foreign language is essential and required in most jobs. Communicating in at least one language apart from your mother tongue, in English for example, is considered a basic and fundamental skill to work, study and deal with the world in a more general way. Very often, a proof of your competence is required. This is where international language certification turn out to be incredibly useful.
International language certifications help prove a learner’s level in a variety of languages. They exist in several types, levels and purposes and are recognized by most international institutions such as Schools, Universities and companies. They all follow the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), which summarizes in six main levels – from A1, basic user, to C2, proficient user – the competences of a learner in a given foreign language for each of the four main language skills (listening, speaking, writing, reading).
As far as English is concerned, general English certifications are clearly the most required, but business English and academic English certifications are also available and increasingly needed to work or study in Europe and in the rest of the world.
Among the most known certifications, we should mention Cambridge English (such as KET, PET, FCE), Trinity, IELTS, TOEFL and LanguageCert. They all provide a recognized certification in English, even though the recognition may vary from country to country. They also differ slightly when it comes to taking into consideration the type of exam to sit for, in order to obtain that given certification.
Almost all these exams aim at testing the four standard language skills: listening, speaking, writing and reading. Some exams, though, offer the candidate an opportunity to be tested in different skills separately (only speaking or only writing skills). This is the case of LanguageCert. Moreover, other exams include a specific part which tests only grammar and vocabulary, the so-called “use of English”. This is the case of Cambridge English certifications. IELTS Academic, instead, could be a suitable option if the candidate is willing to study at a University in a different country.
Children can have their language competence certified as well. Special certifications for Young Learners such as Starters, Movers, Flyers or Trinity GESE are also available.
As far as other languages are concerned, a number of certifications are available for European languages such as German, French and Spanish. They all follow the above-mentioned Common European Framework. Among the most required certifications we would like to mention DELE, for Spanish, DELF, for French, and Fit in Deutsch or Start Deutsch for German.
Every language has at least one official certifier institution. They are responsible to provide the exams and the certificates as well as monitoring the quality of the exam procedures.
Would you like to know which exam you should take? Ask our front office and book a meeting with our director of studies or take a free assessment test to get a general idea about your current level!