Spanish as a second or foreign language
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Spanish language around the 13th century
In October 2001, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the Ministry of Foreign Relations, International Commerce and Culture of the Argentine Republic approved the guidelines in order to evaluate the knowledge and use of Spanish as a Second or Foreign Language in Argentina. Known as the 'Resoluciones 919 del MECyT and 3164 MRREECIyC)', it recognised the role of universities in the development of the evaluation.
Meanwhile in 2004, a group of national universities created an inter-university consortium oriented towards the teaching, evaluation and certification of Spanish as a Second or Foreign Language (o ELSE from the Spanish, Español como Lengua Segunda y Extranjera), aiming to contribute to political and educational linguistics.
By June of the same year, three national universities (University of Buenos Aires (UBA), Universidad Litoral (UNL) and the University of Córdoba (UNC)) were working together to design and implement the first official examination to measure competence of Spanish as a foreign language. The exam is called CELU (Certificate of Use of Language in Spanish)) and was approved by Resolution 28 in January 2005.
The Certification of Spanish Language and Use
The CELU (Certificate of Use of Language in Spanish) is a certificate of competence in the Spanish language from Argentina. Like the DELE (Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera), it also has international validity. The Certificate can be taken by speakers of any language other than Spanish in order to validate their knowledge of Spanish as a second language in their work or study.
In Argentina it is the only examination officially recognised by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Culture. Any speaker who can use Spanish in an effective manner, whose goal is to interact efficiently with the other members of the community can take the CELU, independently of the course or method that was used to learn the language.
Español como lengua extranjera (ELE) is the term used to refer to various systems used by different learning institutions that teach the Spanish language to speakers of other languages, like the Escuelas Oficiales de Idiomas and the Instituto Cervantes.
Following the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages or the CEFR, these institutions offer examinations that will measure the competence of a learner. There are six exams (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2) which can be taken independently (i.e. it is not necessary to pass A1 to get B2) no matter the method of instruction used by the learners.
Español en Toledo, a Spanish course started by the University of Castile-La Mancha General Foundation, brings students to monuments and historical sites in the city of Toledo, Spain for more experiential learning.
Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera
The "Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera" (Certificates of Spanish as a Foreign Language) is an official diploma granted by the Instituto Cervantes on behalf of the Spanish Ministry of Education to evaluate a person's knowledge of Spanish.
There are six levels of qualification, each corresponding to a certain level described by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages:
- Diploma de Español (Nivel A1) (level A1): This qualification attests to sufficient linguistic ability for a very basic range of the most commonly simple expressions used in the Spanish-speaking world and in order to satisfy immediate needs of a concrete type.
- Diploma de Español (Nivel A2) (level A2): This qualification attests to sufficient linguistic ability for understanding a basic range of the commonly simple and immediate relevance of expressions used in the Spanish-speaking world (basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment).
- Diploma de Español (Nivel B1) (level B1): This qualification attests to sufficient linguistic ability for understanding and responding appropriately in most normal day-to-day situations and for expressing desires and needs in a basic way.
- Diploma de Español (Nivel B2) (level B2:This qualification validates sufficient linguistic ability to get by in average day-to-day situations in normal communication circumstances, which do not require specialized use of the language.
- Diploma de Español (Nivel C1) (level C1): At this level, users are expected to be able to use the structures of a language with ease and fluency. Users are able to adapt their language use to a variety of social situations, and express opinions and take part in discussions
- Diploma de Español (Nivel C2) (level C2): This qualification accredits the necessary linguistic competence to integrate in situations requiring an advanced use of the language and knowledge of the cultural customs embedded within it.
- M. Carmen Losada Aldrey (2005), "Las nuevas tecnologías y la enseñanza-aprendizaje del español lengua extranjera", in Cal, Mario; Núñez, Paloma; Palacios, Ignacio M. (eds.), Nuevas tecnologías en Lingüística, Traducción, y Ensenyanza de lenguas (in Spanish), pp. 181–202
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