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eyePad

Aug 8, 2012, 10:01 AM

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I took the DELE

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Has anyone else taken the DELE? (Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera). It’s a big set of exams that gives you an official, recognized certification in the Spanish Language. I found it challenging, rewarding, informative, and gave a lot of structure and focus to my studies. Since it follows the European Common Model of Language you can take the DELE at any level from beginner on up. In my case I took it at the highest level which represents native speaker fluency. I should say educated native speaker because there are a lot of natives, especially Mexicans, that wouldn’t pass that hairy exam without study. Anyway, I got my results back and I passed. I now have a diploma from the Cervantes Institute in Madrid certifying my Spanish level to be “Superior Mastery”. Very rewarding and highly recommended.



tonyburton


Aug 8, 2012, 10:09 AM

Post #2 of 24 (26698 views)

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Re: [eyePad] I took the DELE

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Congratulations!


esperanza

Aug 8, 2012, 3:41 PM

Post #3 of 24 (26676 views)

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Re: [eyePad] I took the DELE

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Enhorabuena, eyePad!

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









norteño

Aug 8, 2012, 7:38 PM

Post #4 of 24 (26663 views)

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Re: [esperanza] I took the DELE

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Where did you take the test? I have the DELE Superior also. I sweated blood to get it as I have no gift for languages and will never be genuinely equal to a native speaker in verbal fluency or oral comprehension. I agree that most native speakers would struggle to pass the written parts. Congratulations.


eyePad

Aug 8, 2012, 8:45 PM

Post #5 of 24 (26654 views)

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Re: [norteño] I took the DELE

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I took the DELE in Oaxaca. When did you get the superior? The new, EU harmonized C2 is, in my opinion, a lot harder than the old superior. But the superior clearly says you can speak Spanish well. When you're so anal about a language, as this exam demands, I really started noticing "things". In the best restaurant in Oaxaca there was a sign on the wall of the men's restroom that said "Favor de no arrojar papeles al migitorio" Unfortunately that has a misspelling. Pero señor, se entiende pa'ca. The mexican rejoinder
And thanks to everyone who congratulated me. Un abrazo fuerte.


tashby


Aug 8, 2012, 9:56 PM

Post #6 of 24 (26641 views)

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Re: [eyePad] I took the DELE

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Serious congratulations, eyePad!!! !Felicidades!


eyePad

Aug 9, 2012, 10:46 AM

Post #7 of 24 (26614 views)

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Re: [norteño] I took the DELE

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norteño, I got to thinking about your comments and so looked up exactly how I was certified. It turns out people just say "native speaker fluency" but the Cervantes Institute says I have been certified to this:

The DELE C2 certifies sufficient linguistic competence to perfectly handle any kind of situation, proving a spontaneous capacity of adaptation to any context, with a great deal of semantic and grammatical precision. The language users express themselves fluently, with a high degree of specialization and complexity.


La Isla


Aug 9, 2012, 3:38 PM

Post #8 of 24 (26594 views)

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Re: [eyePad] I took the DELE

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¡Felicidades! Do you have any idea where I could take the DELE in Mexico City?


carolgreen363

Aug 9, 2012, 6:27 PM

Post #9 of 24 (26578 views)

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Re: [La Isla] I took the DELE

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good luck ,good boy


eyePad

Aug 9, 2012, 7:01 PM

Post #10 of 24 (26570 views)

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Re: [La Isla] I took the DELE

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hello La Isla,
As I recall there are several exam centers in Mexico City. I had to make up my mind between Guadalajara and Mexico, but finally decided on Oaxaca. I do think the people at the school make a difference in one aspect - the orals in front of the tribunal. If we are talking about the C2 exam, most of it including the orals is graded "subjectively". For the orals you prepare something akin to a power point presentation (without the power point slides), you deliver the presentation, then you discuss it with one examiner. There is another examiner off to the side that does not talk. They just mark your score, on the fly, as you talk. They were pretty hard on me where I took the exam and I think they marked me incorrectly, but I still passed.


La Isla


Aug 9, 2012, 7:12 PM

Post #11 of 24 (26565 views)

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Re: [eyePad] I took the DELE

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Thanks for your reply, eyePad. I guess I can google DELE, Mexico City, to find the names of the centers. Do they give you material to prepare for the exam?


eyePad

Aug 9, 2012, 9:31 PM

Post #12 of 24 (26558 views)

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Re: [La Isla] I took the DELE

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Hi Isla,
Sorry for my rudeness. Here's a link to get you started with the testing locations:

http://diplomas.cervantes.es/..._examen_espanol.html

If you are interested in level C2 the examples are here:

http://diplomas.cervantes.es/...eneral/nivel-c2.html

or you can click around and get a lot more information


La Isla


Aug 10, 2012, 9:42 AM

Post #13 of 24 (26531 views)

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Re: [eyePad] I took the DELE

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In Reply To
Hi Isla,
Sorry for my rudeness. Here's a link to get you started with the testing locations:

http://diplomas.cervantes.es/..._examen_espanol.html

If you are interested in level C2 the examples are here:

http://diplomas.cervantes.es/...eneral/nivel-c2.html

or you can click around and get a lot more information


No need to apologize, no rudeness detected : ). Thanks for the links!


(This post was edited by La Isla on Aug 10, 2012, 1:36 PM)


norteño

Aug 10, 2012, 11:35 AM

Post #14 of 24 (26515 views)

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Re: [eyePad] I took the DELE

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I took the DELE in Oaxaca. When did you get the superior? The new, EU harmonized C2 is, in my opinion, a lot harder than the old superior. But the superior clearly says you can speak Spanish well. When you're so anal about a language, as this exam demands, I really started noticing "things". In the best restaurant in Oaxaca there was a sign on the wall of the men's restroom that said "Favor de no arrojar papeles al migitorio" Unfortunately that has a misspelling. Pero señor, se entiende pa'ca. The mexican rejoinder
And thanks to everyone who congratulated me. Un abrazo fuerte.

I took it in Madrid in 2001. At that time, at least, it was very much oriented toward European as opposed to New World Spanish, but this was only a problem to me with oral comprehension of the test tapes.


eyePad

Aug 11, 2012, 4:58 AM

Post #15 of 24 (26489 views)

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Re: [La Isla] I took the DELE

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Some people have asked me about the details of the DELE exam so I hope this helps:

The DELE C2 is given in three groups, each group contains 2-6 tests. You have to pass each group with a minimum score of 70%. Keep in mind an educated native of Madrid would probably score around 90% so this is a tough, knock-out round. ¡Alcanza la cumbre! There are 2 so-called advanced levels, C2 being the highest and C1, the next level down in the Common Model, is required for all legal requirements like work or education. The difference between the two is that C1 has more expository passages and has tests grouped to improve your chances of passing. C2 has the tests grouped to minimize your chances of passing and you will find lengthier, literary passages with a lot of abstract concepts and more low frequency words.
For each group, one by one, I will give my impression.

Group 1. Uso de la lengua, comprensión de lectura y auditiva.
This is the only group that resembles a traditional language exam. It is graded objectively. I think there were 6 tests in this group. One that I remember was based on an article written by Mario Vargas Llosa about Paris in the 1950s. You can actually google it up: Cuando París era Una Fiesta. One really difficult exercise was a tertulia with 3 people; 1 man and 2 women. It was audio. There were about 15 statements that you had to say which person said each statement, or that nobody said them. The statements were incredibly subtly shaded with meaning. And the 2 women agreed on most points. Aargh! The other toughie was an interview (audio). Problem was the interview was via telephone and the audio was just awful. I passed APTO.

Group 2. Destrezas integradas: comprensión auditiva, comprensión de lectura y expresión e interacción escritas
This was the group I most feared. It is subjectively graded. In this group there are 3 exercises. The first one I was given 2-3 articles (I think they were from El País) and an audio clip was played. I then had to write an essay explaining all sides of the argument, develop my own point of view, and make a conclusion and recommendation. Keep in mind this has to be written by hand using a ball point pen. And it is so strictly timed, you only have two and a half hours to write three articles, you are forced into the scenario where you are behaving like a native speaker. You aren’t allowed to have any aids like a dictionary. But in my opinion you would fail if you had to look up words, there is not sufficient time. The second exercise almost caused me to have a nervous breakdown. I was given a sheet of notes someone had taken at a meeting and I had to re-write them into a formal report for distribution. The problem was the notes looked fine to me without any re-write. To this day I have no idea what they wanted here. The final exercise was to write a report based on a graphic, I think it was a chart of poll results. Obviously, the intent here was there was no text to start from, the whole essay had to be created in my head from a picture. I passed APTO.

Group 3. Destrezas integradas: comprensión de lectura y expresión e interacción orales
These are the orals in front of the tribunal. It is graded on the fly in real time “subjectively”. You make a presentation to an examiner and then discuss/defend your ideas. A second examiner is off to the side and remains silent. They mark your score on the fly. I *guess* they are marking a bunch of fuzzy categories like expressiveness, reach, repetition, depth, error rate, concordance of tenses, etc. But since it is subjective there is no published standard to apply. This was the group where I had highest confidence. However, I think they mis-scored me, but still APTO so I got

CALIFICACIÓN FINAL DE: APTO Yaa-hoo!!!! ¡así que ya tenemos pretexto para festejar!

I hope this provides some useful information.



La Isla


Aug 11, 2012, 8:28 PM

Post #16 of 24 (26436 views)

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Re: [eyePad] I took the DELE

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Thanks for posting this information about the DELE. It sounds like a really difficult exam. Would you say it's geared toward Peninsular Spanish rather than some variety of Spanish spoken in the Americas? I've spent quite a bit of time in Spain over the years, but my Spanish is more Mexican than anything else.


eyePad

Aug 12, 2012, 11:36 AM

Post #17 of 24 (26390 views)

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Re: [La Isla] I took the DELE

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Hi Isla,
According to the Cervantes Institute the EU harmonized DELE is the neutral core of the language. One thing I've seen in the old superior that was really curious was an entire exercise of idiomatic expressions that you would only hear in Spain. That kind of thing you won't see on the current DELE. However, because so much of the material is from Spain there is a vocabulary difference. In my case I enjoyed working on my vocabulary, which has always been rather pitiful. (Come to think of it all my Spanish was rather pitiful for years and years). It is a difficult exam, the level is really advanced, and the Spanish are like the French, they don't think anyone should ever get 100%, but it makes it really sweet when you pass. ¡Alcanza la cumbre! I really recommend it if you are a serious student of Spanish. In the orals, with typical spanish politeness, they start by chit chatting with you and try to put you at ease. During this time they ask if you want to use "tu" or "usted" in the conversation. Now the official rules are that you can use any recognized regional version of Spanish, but you can't mix them. I was tempted to say "Vos, podés usar 'vos' por favor".


La Isla


Aug 12, 2012, 11:55 AM

Post #18 of 24 (26385 views)

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Re: [eyePad] I took the DELE

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Hi Isla,
According to the Cervantes Institute the EU harmonized DELE is the neutral core of the language. . . . However, because so much of the material is from Spain there is a vocabulary difference. In my case I enjoyed working on my vocabulary, which has always been rather pitiful. (Come to think of it all my Spanish was rather pitiful for years and years). It is a difficult exam, the level is really advanced, and the Spanish are like the French, they don't think anyone should ever get 100%, but it makes it really sweet when you pass. ¡Alcanza la cumbre! I really recommend it if you are a serious student of Spanish. . . .


My experience with Spanish is kind of the opposite of yours since my undergraduate degree and MA were in Spanish, and I was planning to become a Spanish teacher till I switched over to TEFL. Of course, I speak Spanish every day since moving to Mexico and do a lot of reading in Spanish though not so much writing. Also, from time to time I have taken "diplomados" at the Museo Nacional de Antropología which were conducted entirely in Spanish, which reconnected my brain with the more academic Spanish I was used to dealing with while in graduate school. I have spent extended periods of time over the years in Spain, so perhaps the vocabulary differences wouldn't be that difficult for me to deal with in the exam. I think the most valuable part of the experience would be the preparation.

Thanks for your interesting posts on this subject!


eyePad

Aug 14, 2012, 10:43 AM

Post #19 of 24 (26345 views)

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Re: [La Isla] I took the DELE

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Hi Isla,
I didn't realize you had such an academic background. I wouldn't think you would have any big issues with the DELE at any level. The writing is by hand with a ball point pen (you can use a pencil but the final version you turn in for scoring has to be in black ball point pen) and I've kind of forgotten how to do that and my handwriting is just awful.


(This post was edited by eyePad on Aug 14, 2012, 10:58 AM)


La Isla


Aug 14, 2012, 10:52 AM

Post #20 of 24 (26330 views)

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Re: [eyePad] I took the DELE

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Yes, my background in Spanish is academic, so I often find it more of a challenge to pick up appropriate Spanish slang than to place the accent marks correctly when writing emails. My handwriting has gotten a bit sloppy over the years, so I'll have to practice before taking the test. If you have to use a ballpoint pen to write the exam, does that mean you can't make corrections? Why on earth don't they let you take the exam on a computer? The answers would be more legible and possibly better.


eyePad

Aug 14, 2012, 10:57 AM

Post #21 of 24 (26326 views)

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Re: [La Isla] I took the DELE

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Supposedly if you make corrections you lose points! Someone said that to me but I don't know if it is true. I tried to write a draft and then copy it over to the final version but could not. Perhaps if you can write faster than me this would be possible. I also edited my previous reply - you can use a pencil but on the borrador only - final version black ink only.


(This post was edited by eyePad on Aug 14, 2012, 11:00 AM)


La Isla


Aug 14, 2012, 11:08 AM

Post #22 of 24 (26317 views)

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Re: [eyePad] I took the DELE

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Supposedly if you make corrections you lose points! Someone said that to me but I don't know if it is true. I tried to write a draft and then copy it over to the final version but could not. Perhaps if you can write faster than me this would be possible. I also edited my previous reply - you can use a pencil but on the borrador only - final version black ink only.


Speaking as a teacher, taking points off for corrections is really dumb! No one is perfect and if you can see you've made a mistake and know how to fix it, then you should get more points.

Writing a borrador and a final version would probably take me too much time too. I´ll just write slower and hopefully not make too many mistakes. Since all of my writing in Spanish now takes places on a computer, I've gotten very used to being able to correct errors painlessly. Maybe I should wait till they let you write your answers via a computer keyboard.


carolgreen363

Sep 23, 2012, 8:08 PM

Post #23 of 24 (25585 views)

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Re: [La Isla] I took the DELE

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 Do you have any idea where I could take the DELE in Mexico City?


La Isla


Sep 23, 2012, 8:15 PM

Post #24 of 24 (25582 views)

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Re: [carolgreen363] I took the DELE

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Try this link: http://www.dele.org/?page=dele/registration-centers/centers-mexico.
 
 
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