sábado, 26 de janeiro de 2013

Before starting a course take an International Certification of foreign languages

Is it important to have an international certification? 

Everything will depend on what you want to do with the language. There are several international certificates for virtually all the languages in he world, the most famous are:
For English:
TOEFL, TOEIC, Exams of Cambridge and of Michigan.
For Spanish:
For French:
For Italian:
For Russian:
And so on...
As it can be seen, there are a large variety of certificates, and the most interesting is that I could continue the list and you will be surprised on how many certificate for each of the main languages still exist.

So, should you really take this one of them?

This is one of the main questions I heard from my students, as we are an authorised TOEIC, TOEFL and TFL centre in my Country, and my answer is: Yes, absolutely!!!
Specially,  if you:
-want to prove to some else your ability,
-want go get a career in languages, or at least in the language,
-want to get a job where a certain level of fluency is required,
-want to improve your confidence in yourself and in your language skills, because some people tend to believe that they do not know the language, and by doing such tests is like having a real "photograph" of your level,

When should I take this exam?

If you can afford it, take it at the very begging stage, so that you can check after some months of you have learnt something, or if it was just what we call "monkey score", that is a note that e everyone that has your mother tongue will get by doing this exam. To get clear, if a Brazilian person takes the Spanish test, specially in the reading and in the in the listening part, it is almost sure that he/she will get a some reasonable answers, and the same is true with the pairs French/Italian, Dutch/German, Swedish/Danish/Norwegian, Spanish/Catalan, and even depending on how smart you are Russian/Polish, and Italian/Romania.
Even despite of the language pair, in multiple choices questions exams everyone runs this risk of "guessing" instead of knowing, for this reason it would be perfect if you could take one of those tests when you first start doing a language course, if you cannot afford it, try a mock test in the Internet for free, and keep the score in save place, so that you can compare results in the near future.
When I present this idea to people, they react saying that they will not understand anything, and I reply that this is the goal, check, prove and record in a real form this truth, and later on check again of you got any piece of real knowledge, this is useful for several reasons:
-you can be focused on what is really important, in international standards, not only in your teacher or book's opinion.
-you can be motivated to overcome yourself, it is a kind of self challenging.
-you can control closely if your studies are reaching their real goal, or just losing your time,
-you can have a statistical improvement, not only idea,
-you can answer accurately when asked about your level,
I could continue this listing, but I think you got what I mean.
CELI - Italian Language

DELF - French Language

DELE - Spanish Language

TOEIC - English Language

And so?
Well, not matter what language you are studying now, check in google for mock tests of it, and evaluate how good you are, and then check it again after 3 or 4 months, you will be surprised with your results.

Keep in touch!
Jimmy Mello
Brazilian polyglot

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