What is the DELE?
The Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language is moreover the official accreditation of a level of fluency in the Spanish language. In the same vein, the DELE is frequently requested by companies as a further proof of language proficiency and is an excellent way to gauge your level of fluency, for instance. Moreover, the DELE is the official accreditation of the level of mastery of the Spanish language for citizens of countries where Spanish is not the official language. In addition, the DELE is further issued by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture. This degree is very important in both the education and business worlds; for instance, as it is recognized by all companies, universities and other institutions.
The 3 Levels of the DELE
Moreover, the DELE exams are generally aimed at candidates over 16 years of age; although there is also a version for schoolchildren, and they are further administered in more than a thousand centers around the world. Further, it is the Instituto Cervantes that offers to take this test and manages everything that for instance surrounds it: administrative, academic and economic management.
- The Certificado Inicial (Primary level) accredits the most basic level of knowledge of the language and that the basic needs of everyday life can be communicated.
- The DELE Básico (Intermediate level) accredits a level of knowledge for communicating ability for daily life, excluding specialized use.
- The DELE Superior (Superior level) accredits a level of advanced knowledge of the language, including its cultural
background and specialized communication.
Tests of the DELE Exam
The exam for the DELE is broken down into five tests: reading comprehension, written expression, listening comprehension, grammar and vocabulary, and oral expression. The DELE exam assesses for instance the four basic language skills: reading comprehension, listening comprehension, written expression and interaction, and oral expression and interaction. Most importantly, all levels are organized into four parts valued at 25 points each, except for level C2; which is further structured in three parts of 33.33 points (or 33.34) each. Therefore, in all cases, the maximum score is 100.
In order to pass the exam, the test taker must at least pass all sections. But, if one section is failed, all parts must be retaken. Moreover, here is a breakdown of each section of the exam:
First: Reading Comprehension
The test taker must answer 12 multiple choice questions based on 4 texts. The texts will not exceed 450 words.
Second: Written Expression
The test taker must write a personal letter and an essay, each consisting of 150-200 words.
Third: Listening Comprehension
The test taker must answer 12 multiple choice questions based on 4 oral texts (audio recordings). The recordings will
consist of advertisements, news, conversations and interviews.
Forth: Grammar and Vocabulary
The test taker must complete the following exercises:
• Incomplete text (20 gaps) choosing the appropriate option.
• 40 brief dialogues choosing the appropriate option.
Fifth: Oral Expression
10 – 15 min.
The test taker must engage in a conversation lasting 10 to 15 minutes.
When, Where and How to Take the Exam
Further, the DELE exams are typically in mid-March and mid-November. Most importantly, depending on where you take the exam; the cost varies a bit. In Spain, the cost (2016) of the Inicial Level is €108, the Intermedio Level €160, and the Superior Level €197. The costs in other countries range from about €30 – €150.
In addition, in Barcelona there are the following official testing centers for the exams:
- Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Plaça de la Mercè, 10-12
Ernesto Martín Peris / Sra. Dª Carmen Pérez Vidal
Tel.:935 421 921
Fax:935 421 702
- Universidad Ramón Llull – ESADE Escuela de Idiomas
Avda. Pedralbes, 60-62
Sra. Dª. María Delia Castro
Tel.:932 806 162 / 934 952 191
Fax:932 048 105
- Universidad de Barcelona
Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 585
Sr. D. Salvador Claramunt Rodríguez
Tel.:934 035 519
Fax:934 035 433