In a world where children are growing up bilingually or multilingually, and languages such as English are ‘considered’ to be their mother tongue, and are declared as such in the curriculum vitae, often young people still have to prove language competence on the day of the interview; in this sense, language diplomas are a useful reference. Anyone who can speak a foreign language must be able to prove this.
Unless of course the language really is the mother tongue. A definition of “mother tongue” is appropriate for this purpose: Originally, the term originates from the Latin “lingua materna”, which in contrast to the more sophisticated language, Latin, referred to the language spoken by the people. The “mother tongue” has undergone a shift in meaning over the centuries and is now perceived as the first language learned. According to the Duden, mother tongue means the “language that a person learns as a child (from parents) and is the language primarily in use. Thus the mother tongue is not necessarily the language spoken by the mother, but simply the first language with which a child comes into contact during its language acquisition. Accordingly, several languages can be considered as mother tongues as long as they are present in the child’s primary language use. All other acquired languages are regarded as foreign languages, and a language certificate is required as proof of mastery.
What do our language diplomas actually access?
Language certificates in different languages are usually based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, which divides the language levels into a total of six different competence levels, which you can read about here.
Why do you need a language diploma?
Language certificates are required for both professional and academic purposes. Anglophone professional activities often require proof of English language skills, and universities – especially in the Anglo-Saxon world – only admit applicants with a corresponding language certificate.
What language diploma are there in English and what are they required for?
- Cambridge Certificate: one of Cambridge University’s best known tests, which tests both General English and Business English and is internationally recognised
- GMAT: GMAT: “Graduate Management Admission Test”, for academic purposes of postgraduate master’s degree programs at business schools
- LCCI: “London Chamber of Commerce & Industry”, for professional purposes and proof of business English
- TOEFL: “Test of English as a Foreign Language”, mainly used in the USA for academic purposes, as this test is required as a criterion by most American universities
- TOEIC: “Test Of English for International Communication” as a professional qualification
These are some of the language diplomas in other languages:
- Goethe Institute
- DELI, DILI, DALI, DALC
- CELI 1 – 5
Are you interested in obtaining a language diploma? Are you considering obtaining a Language Diploma in 2020? Then inlingua Sprachschule Zürich is the right place for you. We offer a new diploma module, which prepares you perfectly for your language exam. Here you can find a selection of all current diploma modules. Good luck!
Learn more about the specific formats of these diplomas and the possibilities, where and how they can be obtained in our next blog.
Source: Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), http://www.europaeischer-referenzrahmen.de/sprachzertifikate.php