01 March 2013

The Growth of Spanish and the Diploma in Spanish as a Foreign Language


Today Spanish is the world’s fourth most commonly spoken language, after Chinese, English and Hindi. Spanish is the official language of around twenty countries, spoken in more than 40, and the mother tongue of over 400 million people. Spanish is at the moment the second language of international communication, and is being increasingly used in economic, political and cultural relations.

The number of those studying Spanish throughout the world is growing every year, and getting ready for the Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE), is definitely one of the best ways to start working with Spanish and Latin American companies and institutions.



The Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE) are official qualifications, which prove your level of proficiency in the Spanish language and which are awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science.

The DELE Diplomas are internationally recognized, and enjoy great prestige not only among public and private educational institutions and authorities, but also in the business world and chambers of commerce. They are ideal for furthering your career and access to education, both in Spain and in other Latin American countries.

The DELE examinations have been designed following the guidelines of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) of the Council of Europe, which ensures a practical way of establishing a standard, international and objective measurement of the level that should be reached at each teaching stage, and in evaluating results.

There are six levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2), and therefore the courses are organized in six levels, depending on the degree of difficulty and according to the student’s ability to communicate in the language on completion of each level.

The examinations include Reading Comprehension, Written Expression, Oral Comprehension, Grammar and Vocabulary and Verbal Expression.

In Level A1, students will be able to express themselves simply in basic and predictable everyday life situations.

In Level A2, students will be able to express themselves adequately in basic social conventions and communicate satisfactorily in everyday life situations.

In Level B1, students will be able to express themselves reasonably accurately and with a degree of flexibility in familiar but more complex everyday life situations.

In Level B2, students will be able to communicate fluently and with sufficient accuracy, using an appropriate register of formality, to express their ideas well, using language suitable for the situation.

In Level C1, students will be able to express themselves fluently and spontaneously, using the register necessary for the context of the conversation and the intentions of the speaker.

And finally in Level C2, students will be able to express themselves in all types of situations, including discussion on abstract and complex specialised themes.

DELE Diploma in SpanishFramework of ReferenceLevel
Diploma in Spanish Level A1A1Breakthrough
Diploma in Spanish Level A2A2Waystage
Diploma in Spanish Level B1B1Threshold
Diploma in Spanish Level B2B2Vantage
Diploma in Spanish Level C1C1Effective Operational Proficiency
Diploma in Spanish Level C2C2Mastery

Every year, more than 45,000 candidates sit the examinations for this Diploma. Examinations are held three times a year – in May, August and November, in 500 examination centres based in over 100 countries worldwide.

The University of Salamanca collaborates in designing exam papers and in grading the tests with Instituto Cervantes, a public institution from the Spanish Government that was founded in 1991 to promote the development of Spanish and Latin American language and culture throughout the world.

At the Diplomas website (http://diplomas.cervantes.es/en) you can find all the information you need about DELE.

For information on Spanish Courses with SIMON & SIMON visit: www.simonandsimon.co.uk/languages/spanish


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