Keys to pass the DELE exam
The DELE (Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera) is a Spanish language exam for people with little or no previous experience with the Spanish language.
Every year, approximately 2 million Europeans take the DELE Spanish exam to become certified teachers of Spanish as a foreign language. Proficiency in the language is more important than ever with the huge increase in mobility across Europe and the fact that Spanish is now one of the most popular languages taught in schools around the world.
There are different levels of proficiency in Spanish. To obtain the DELE qualification, candidates must first pass the DELE A1 (pre-intermediate) exam. Currently, the exam is offered in four different languages: English, French, German and Spanish.
This exam is valid worldwide and is divided into four parts:
- Reading comprehension
- Writing skills
- Oral expression and interaction
- Listening comprehension
The reasons why you should take this test:
1) It is the internationally recognised number one:
2) It is valid forever, you never have to renew it,
3) It broadens the field of university careers, as well as getting a better job in the international arena.
4) It is the third most spoken language: 500 million people speak it.
I am Liliana, a teacher of Spanish as a foreign language, from Argentina. I really enjoy getting to know people from different languages, through their culture. I have lived in Argentina, Ireland and currently in Spain. I have been teaching Spanish for more than 10 years. Nowadays I do immersion courses, I give online classes to professionals, adults and young people. I have training and experience in preparing for the DELE exam.
Tips for passing the DELE Exam
Five tips to pass the exam will be very easy for you, are you ready?
The first tip I give you is to know the type of activities that this exam has: four parts with different types of activities, focusing on what you have to do in each activity will make it easier and faster for you to do the activity.
Second tip: prepare the exam with official material, there are many books to help you pass the exam.
Third tip: read the exercises in the exam consciously: because all the exercises are different so try to read them carefully so you don’t miss very important information in the exercise, and be aware that if you don’t read them well, it may take you longer to do the exercise. In the exam, it is the content of the activity that is important, not the way you do the activity.
Fourth tip: look for an official preparer and examiner who can help you because there are several points to bear in mind, such as the speaking part, which is very difficult to practise on your own.
Fifth tip: get to know and learn about Spanish-speaking cultures, through music, series, films in original version, because in the exam all variants of Spanish are considered.
Points to bear in mind:
The DELE exam candidate has to listen to radio news, read newspaper articles, participate in forums, respond to invitations, take part in conversations….
Therefore, the exam presents the four communicative skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) whose work is fundamental to learn a language well. Moreover, in real communication situations, these skills are usually combined, and in the DELE exam we can find several examples of this reality with tasks such as preparing an oral presentation on a topic based on a reading, answering an e-mail…
On the other hand, the communicative approach is committed to the use of as much authentic material as possible, as in this way language learning will always be in line with the context in which it is used. The DELE exam presents texts that actually exist in society (news, biographies, articles, catalogues…) or adaptations that are conditioned to the level of the exam so that the grammatical structures and vocabulary are accessible to the candidate. This authenticity of the texts can also be appreciated by listening to the accents of people from different Spanish-speaking countries.
Finally, in order to follow the communicative approach I have mentioned, the DELE exam does not present grammatical activities in which the student has to demonstrate mastery of the rules. I think that this is a positive aspect, but it does not mean that preparatory courses should not work on this type of content, as knowledge of it is very important in order to perform well on the day of the exam.I dedicated more time to expression and interaction and also to those aspects of grammar which I considered to be more difficult to fix at each level.
I consider it very important to carry out a wide variety of oral exam simulations in which all parts of the exam are covered in order to analyse the candidate’s performance and correct their mistakes (which should be explained once the simulation is over, as I think it is better not to interrupt the student).
The students must carry out activities and continue practising outside the classroom to fix those aspects which are more difficult to acquire.as for the written expression and interaction part, the candidate must do a lot of writing at home which will later be corrected by the teacher, who can note down the most frequent errors typical of the level and explain them on the blackboard.some found it difficult because they had not studied Spanish before and did not have much time to prepare for it.
Keys for you to pass this exam
- Check that you really have the level required to pass the DELE exam you have chosen. I recommend that you take a placement test and do the reading and listening tasks from previous exams, as you will be able to correct them and then assess your level of difficulty.
- You need to practise all parts of the exam; in the final stage of your study, focus on the parts where you tend to make the most mistakes. For speaking and interaction, both oral and written, you will benefit greatly from having a qualified teacher to guide and correct you.
- Familiarise yourself well with the exam as a whole. You should be familiar with the structure and tasks of each part, the time you have to complete them, the answer sheets and how to fill them in… Although all of this will be explained on the day of the exam, it will make you feel more confident and you will perform better.
- Write a lot. By writing based on the exam tasks, you will become more fluent, increase your general and task-specific vocabulary and make fewer and fewer mistakes, so you will feel more confident. Remember that we learn a lot from our mistakes, so don’t get frustrated by them.
- Don’t forget to time yourself when practising each part of the test. If you do this, you won’t be overwhelmed by it on the day of the exam because you will be used to it.
- Reinforce grammar and vocabulary for the level of the exam. Find out what the grammar content is, and use grammar books with activities which will also give you practice. A good grammatical and lexical base will allow you to perform better in the tasks of expression and interaction.
- If you have decided to prepare on your own, you can study with exam preparation manuals. I recommend El Cronómetro from the publisher Edinumen because it presents model exams with explanations of their main points and also grammar activities.
- Memorise well those structures, expressions or discourse connectors that you will surely use in the tasks of expression and interaction. It will help you to control your nerves.