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Language assessment tests

  Tags: Placement Test
 Language Learning Forum : Immersion, Schools & Certificates Post Reply
outcast
Bilingual Heptaglot
Senior Member
China
Joined 2413 days ago

869 posts - 491 votes 
Speaks: Spanish*, English*, German, Italian, French, Portuguese, Mandarin
Studies: Korean

 
 Message 1 of 8
01 February 2014 at 7:28pm | IP Logged 
Hello! I hope everyone has been doing well in the last few months I have not been here!

As some here may know, I have been studying languages very hard for 3 years now (2011, 2012, 2013). I feel it is time to get a proper, professional assessment of where I stand in the three languages I have learned (French, German, Portuguese). I get extremely high praise from people both on my pronunciation, and vocabulary, and I am told that I am "fluent" quite a bit now. I don't think I am completely fluent yet, thus I still describe my knowledge as "basic fluency", which I am now quite certain it is more than appropriate for me (last year I still had doubts).

Anyway, I want an "official" assessment. Where could I take an assessment test for these three languages. I hope people understand what I mean here.

There are tests in all three for "levels": A2, B1, B2, C1, etc. I DO NOT want to take that sort of test (for the time being). I just want to show up somewhere, take a test (preferably oral and written), without any prior "studying". I am simply showing up with what I have learned on my own, and let the chips fall where they may.

At the end of that I simply get an assessment of my level, and thus I can analyze where I stand and where have to improve. I don't want online tests (I mean, I don't mind links if any of you have them for me to take them just for fun... I just took the Goethe institute's assessment and got 25 of 30, claiming I was "almost perfect"), I want something that is actually graded by a human being or an organization in person.

Cheers!



iguanamon
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Virgin Islands
Speaks: Ladino
Joined 2726 days ago

2224 posts - 4528 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole

 
 Message 2 of 8
01 February 2014 at 8:17pm | IP Logged 
Welcome back, outcast! I can only answer for Portuguese. If I remember correctly, you were concentrating on Brazilian Portuguese. I thought about taking it but it's just too cost prohibitive for me to travel to the mainland US just to take the test.

The Brazilian test is the Celpe-Bras. It is not done to CEFR level, since Brazil is not in Europe. The test is usually given in April and October at four official testing sites in the U.S.: Florida International University, Harvard University, University of Florida, and Utah Valley. Cost is about $100 for the test itself. You can register at INEP.

For Iberian Portuguese the Centro de Avaliação de Português Língua Estrangeira tests seem to have a less rigid schedule. These are done by CEFR level.

I'd love to know your take on the test after you've done it. I downloaded a bunch of the practice materials for the test a year ago but can't remember the site where I got them. I think it was the official Ministry of Education site. Hopefully, you won't have to travel too far to take the test. For me, It's just not practical given where I live.
2 persons have voted this message useful





emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 2996 days ago

2615 posts - 6292 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 3 of 8
01 February 2014 at 8:26pm | IP Logged 
outcast wrote:
Anyway, I want an "official" assessment. Where could I take an assessment test for these three languages. I hope people understand what I mean here.

There are tests in all three for "levels": A2, B1, B2, C1, etc. I DO NOT want to take that sort of test (for the time being). I just want to show up somewhere, take a test (preferably oral and written), without any prior "studying". I am simply showing up with what I have learned on my own, and let the chips fall where they may.

For French, your best bet is probably the TCF (Test de connaissance du français). This is supposed to be the "assessment" exam where you can more-or-less walk in off the street and get a score. In practice, of course, you can probably get a boost by doing one practice exam beforehand so you're not figuring things out on exam day.

The other major French exams are the DELF/DALF. These are the "diploma" exams, and you're supposed to study for them. I mean, I really loved the DELF B2 oral exam, which required me to choose a position and to defend it successfully with an oral presentation and Q&A. But that's the kind of skill where some practice helps, especially at B2! For the DALF C1, you need to write a synthèse, which is a specific type of essay that's apparently somewhat popular in France. Again, studying helps.

The other possibility is that you can shop around for a good exam tutor. They can usually give you a ballpark judgement pretty quickly, because they frequently need to decide when their students are ready to sit an exam.
5 persons have voted this message useful



outcast
Bilingual Heptaglot
Senior Member
China
Joined 2413 days ago

869 posts - 491 votes 
Speaks: Spanish*, English*, German, Italian, French, Portuguese, Mandarin
Studies: Korean

 
 Message 4 of 8
02 February 2014 at 5:48am | IP Logged 
Hello EMK and Iguanamon,

The TCF seems exactly what I was looking for. I have to see how much the test costs, hopefully not as much as a diploma-style DELF. Otherwise it sort of makes no sense if it does not confer you any official title.

Iguanamon, the CELPE-BRAS seems to be more of a diploma test, that is, there are four levels. Now, I wonder if one simply pre-selects which level they want to take the exam in (intermediate, int-advanced, etc), or do they do a pre-test online or through postal service. I don't know if you have any insights, otherwise I will contact both on Monday for more detailed information.

I'm a bit unsure what I should really do. I REALLY do want to be tested to see at what level my skills are right now. The reason I don't think the CEFR style tests help me in this case is because they seem to be an "up and down" vote: either you pass or you fail. They don't tell you where you stand. Furthermore, they encourage you to study for the tests.



iguanamon
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Virgin Islands
Speaks: Ladino
Joined 2726 days ago

2224 posts - 4528 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole

 
 Message 5 of 8
02 February 2014 at 12:46pm | IP Logged 
You take the test and your grade determines the level:

Manual do Examinado Celpe-Bras wrote:
] 8. Quais são os níveis de proficiência avaliados?

Por meio de um único exame, são avaliados, para efeito de certificação, quatro níveis de proficiência: Intermediário, Intermediário Superior, Avançado e Avançado Superior. O desempenho do examinando é avaliado de forma global nas tarefas, da Parte Escrita, e na interação, da Parte Oral. A obtenção do certificado está condicionada ao equilíbrio entre o desempenho na Parte Escrita e na Parte Oral, isto é, mesmo apresentando um desempenho avançado na Parte Oral, caso o examinando não alcance um desempenho de nível intermediário (nível mínimo para certificação) na Parte Escrita, ele não obterá certificação. Como o objetivo do Celpe-Bras é certificar a proficiência em língua portuguesa em todas as habilidades de forma integrada, não há cálculo de média entre as notas da Parte Escrita e da Parte Oral. Para obter o Certificado Avançado, por exemplo, o examinando deve alcançar esse nível em ambas as partes do Exame.

A nota final geral do examinando é definida pela menor nota entre a nota final da Parte Escrita e a nota final da Parte Oral. De acordo com a nota final geral obtida, o examinando será classificado nos seguintes níveis de proficiência:
Nível Pontuação Obtida
Sem Certificação 0,00 a 1,99
Intermediário 2,00 a 2,75
Intermediário Superior 2,76 a 3,50
Avançado 3,51 a 4,25
Avançado Superior 4,26 a 5,00

A diferença entre os níveis espelha a qualidade do desempenho nas tarefas de compreensão e produção textual (oral e escrita) em três aspectos: adequação ao contexto (cumprimento do propósito de compreensão e de produção, levando em conta o gênero discursivo e o interlocutor), adequação discursiva (coesão e coerência) e adequação linguística (uso adequado de vocabulário e de estruturas gramaticais). ...


Street Smart Brazil wrote:
What is the Celpe-Bras Exam? Organized by the Ministry of Education and in cooperation with the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Celpe-Bras exam is the only official proficiency certification in Brazilian Portuguese as a foreign language. The exam tests for the following language levels: ntermediário, Intermediário Superior, Avançado, and Avançado Superior. Celpe-Bras is not a multiple choice test. It is a challenging exam that will evaluate your writing, reading, listening, and speaking skills. The exam consists of: Written part (3 hours): You will write four essays, two based on readings and two based on listening skills (one with audio and one with video) Speaking part (20 minutes): Conversations about general interest topics based on pictures and headlines.


Edited by iguanamon on 02 February 2014 at 3:36pm



Cavesa
Triglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 2473 days ago

3277 posts - 3511 votes 
Speaks: Czech*, FrenchC2, EnglishC1
Studies: Spanish, German, Italian

 
 Message 6 of 8
02 February 2014 at 1:26pm | IP Logged 
TCF prices are similar to the DELF/DALF ones. It is very likely to be just what you need, it is meant to show the up to date level of your French so the certificate is valid for two years only. There are exam preparation materials (I once borrowed such a book in the library) which are a good lead on what to expect. Another huge difference is the composition of the exam. You can take the exam and do only passive skills parts + use of language part (which is something missing in the delf/dalf but present in similar exams for English or Spanish learners). Actually, the written and the spoken exams are separate parts you pay on top of the basic exams.

So, it is awesome to know your level up to date. But considering you may do the exam without speaking and writing and still get a score, it is easier to get higher results (and it makes comparing people based on tcf (which some universities and companies prefer over delf/dalf) a bit tricky in my opinion). And the price, at least from the info I found two years ago or so, is higher if you consider delf/dalf for a lifetime vs. tcf basic+written+spoken for two years.

Edited by Cavesa on 02 February 2014 at 1:36pm



Mareike
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 3688 days ago

267 posts - 55 votes 
Speaks: German*
Studies: English, Swedish

 
 Message 7 of 8
06 February 2014 at 5:30pm | IP Logged 
It is not a human being and it doesn't say anything about speaking, but have you tried dialang?

It has tests for Reading, Listning, Writing, Grammar and Vocabulary and give you a level (A1 to C2) for each area.

I know you don't looking for an online/computer test, but it's free and you get some feedback:
http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/researchenterprise/dialang/dialan g_technical



iguanamon
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Virgin Islands
Speaks: Ladino
Joined 2726 days ago

2224 posts - 4528 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole

 
 Message 8 of 8
11 February 2014 at 4:48pm | IP Logged 
Registration for the CELPE-Bras test worldwide starts today. Registration ends on March 10.

To Register online

Edited by iguanamon on 11 February 2014 at 4:49pm



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