English exams in Spain: taking a more modern and flexible approach
LanguageCert, 26 April 2022
Paul Clarke – Director and Co-owner, CSE Murcia
In Spain, the appetite to have English as a second language has been on the increase for the past 30 years.
With the country having one of the largest unemployed youth populations in Europe, people see English language skills as a way of finding work either here or in other countries.
And this demand for practical language skills has led to the growth in a more communicative and interactive style of teaching, learning and testing English, with companies like LanguageCert facilitating a flexible and modern approach.
English exams: modern communication, real life and flexibility
Typical examination approaches have been more academic than focused on real-life communications skills. For these reasons, we’ve seen an increasing interest in LanguageCert exams because of their flexibility and a more modern approach to developing and testing language skills. The exam itself is based on real-life English communication rather than an academic approach, which is a more practical tool for many learners.
The LanguageCert exams focus on teaching language in a natural and practical way. Students don’t need to prepare (separate), very specific exam skills, which some other exam boards require. All LanguageCert exams follow the same format and becoming familiar with this format can be easily achieved by completing a few practice papers.
Progressing to a higher level, from a B1 test to a B2 one, for example, is a natural step focused wholly on language capability. The exams focus on preparing students for real-life environments and they are assessed on their quality and quantity of vocabulary and grammar skills in a natural way.
Receptive skills are usually the most challenging to teach. However, as LanguageCert embraces more everyday forms of conversation and tests students’ abilities in real life environments, such as following a conversation, lecture or TV programme, students are able to develop these skills organically.
LanguageCert encourages students to deploy their skills from day one and practice their English at their work or place of study, and within their social circles. Students often gain further practice by speaking English with their friends, reading magazines and watching television programmes.
Taking the LanguageCert exam online
The LanguageCert Online exams, and the flexibility they provide, are proving popular. The online system is secure and has the same validity and format as a paper exam. The tests follow the same principles and observe the same skills.
Following the COVID pandemic, some people remain cautious about attending exams in person and being near strangers. However, the online system allows students to take the test anytime, anywhere and anyplace. As an exam centre, we’ve seen people taking exams as far away as Madrid and Asturias in the north of Spain.
Receiving a certification
Traditionally, examination boards could take up to several months from candidates paying for an exam to receiving their final certificate.
Results for paper-based exams come within two weeks and the certificate 10 days later – a big difference compared to traditional exam boards.
Today, a friendly, fast and efficient approach is what our students need and, in fact, what they expect.
CSE Murcia – an independent language (school) centre operating in Murcia, Spain for 17 years – now serves more than 650 school age children, university students and adults in the region and beyond.