While there are many certifications available for Spanish speakers who would like to certify their English level, Cambridge ESOL examinations offers three exams: First, CAE and CPE which seem to be the gold standard on this peninsula and for travel around Europe. Here’s why:
1. The Spanish Ministry of Education accepts them
Teaching in bilingual schools is all the rage in Spain and you can’t even be considered for over half the schools in Madrid if you don’t have English certification. Also, it avoids having to submit oneself to the arbitrary whims of a selection committee and is valid for more than just teaching in public schools: it is recognized in charter (concertados) and private schools as well.
2. Your boss or future boss has heard of them
As an English teacher, every once in a while someone will ask about an exam I’ve never heard of because such and such a program ONLY accepts it, or they’ve heard that it’s easier than the Cambridge exams. EVERYONE in Spain has heard of Cambridge and having the First Certificate, or the Advanced Certificate (never sign up for English classes that refer to this certificate as ADVANCE) can be the key to a face-to-face interview.
3. The format for the First Certificate is manageable (abordable)
Many exams are full of different sections and just learning how to prepare for an English level exam can be dizzying. First Certificate is realistic in what it expects you to know about its exam. Also, the format for First Certificate differs very little from the Advanced Certificate or the Proficiency Certificate, so once you feel familiar with the First Certificate, you’ll know the format for the higher level exams.
4. Cambridge has improved upon its grading scale and gives you a universal number as a reference to your level
Employers can now look at your number and compare it to other tests, giving them a better idea of how your English level compares to others who took different exams. Also, employers can recognize progress in an employee beyond a “pass/fail” evaluation.
5. Spain has “titulitis”
We all know it and it’s unfortunate, but it’s true. To avoid being “descartado” or written off even before you get to the first interview, cross your “t’s” and dot your “i’s” on your résumé, which includes having some type of English certification. You won’t regret it.
For more information regarding our courses please visit our website atthewarehousemadrid.com or call us at 917550978. We’d love to hear from you.