Sometimes you’ve just got to aim big, take a breath and throw yourself in the deep end. That is why I have decided to bring up my Spanish to the highest professional level and get it certified by none other than the Spanish language institute Instituto Cervantes. All of this is going to have to be crammed into two months while I look for work and find another internship. Sound like a challenge?

To give you an idea of what’s ahead, the certificate I’m aiming for is called the DELE or Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera. It is the ONLY certificate of language competence recognised by the Spanish government (and is widely regarded in South America as well). As you can see from my last post, getting certified in a language is important as it helps clarify ambiguous terms like “fluent” or “advanced” which I have had to use up to now. The level I’m aiming for is “Master or Proficiency” or C2 based on the Common European Framework for Languages.

About my background, I’m afraid to say I’ve been learning Spanish for close on five years now, having taken it as a major in university. Despite that, I only began to speak properly when I went to Spain on an Erasmus programme and experienced full immersion. Since then I feel my progress has been slow and I’ve been stuck at a C1 level. Part of this has been as a result of not being fully immersed in the language anymore, and my own belief that I was not “ready” to sit the exam. I realise now it’s far better to push unprepared self yourself towards your goal than to keep waiting.

It’s worth bearing in mind that this level has a high failure rate, so this is definitely NOT a small challenge. However, it’s been on my to do list, and I’m finally going to go for it. Those who are successful are those who take risks. In the worse case scenario, I will have improved substantially for the exam.

My next post will contain more details about the tools I am using to prepare for the exam, which will hopefully help people interested in sitting it. I’ll also outline my study routine. Remember, you’re supposedly only able to reach C2 after 1,000 hours!!

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