When would I be able to take a qualifying test at my job?
What level will I need to reach to be able to take an exam for work purposes? Thoughts? I work in aviation and would like to qualify for different languages. Any input would be gratefully appreciated! =)
If you mean what Duolingo level is needed, then it is impossible to say because you can reach level 25 here by repeating the Basics-1 lesson over and over again without learning very much. You could test yourself by spending some lingots to buy a "Portuguese Progress Quiz" every so often, of course.
There are several scales to rank language proficiency and a popular one is the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages which has six levels from beginner (A1, A2) through intermediate (B1, B2) to advanced (C1, C2). Although Duolingo can probably get you to the A2/B1 stage in reading and writing you'll need other resources to match that in speaking and listening.
The level you will need to reach depends on what exams are acceptable to your employers. There seem to be three main testing agencies with a worldwide network of test centres:
- INEP provide Celpe-Bras (Brazilian Portuguese)
- CAPLE offer several exams Acesso, CIPLE, DIPLE, etc. (European Portuguese)
- telc gGmbH offers telc Português (European Portuguese)
The certificate you get provides an indication of your proficiency. The telc version is set at the intermediate level (B1). With CAPLE you choose the exam according to your own assessment of your ability and there are six available from A1 (Acesso) to C2 (DUPLE). There is only one Celpe-Bras exam, but your score is used to determine your certification and there are four possibilities from B1-C2 (approximately) plus fail, obviously.
With a bit of effort, and Google's help, you should be able to find sample papers to help you gauge whether a particular exam is at the right level. If you do find anything interesting be sure to let us know by posting a follow-up comment. Good luck.
Edit: Here's the result of quick search for practice material:
- Celpe-Bras 2007 paper plus the Candidate's Manual
- CAPLE A2 Certificado Inicial de Português Língua Estrangeira (CIPLE)
- CAPLE B1 Diploma Elementar de Português Língua Estrangeira (DEPLE)
- CAPLE B2 Diploma Intermédio de Português Língua Estrangeira (DIPLE)
- CAPLE C1 Diploma Avançado de Português Língua Estrangeira (DAPLE)
- CAPLE C2 Diploma Universitário de Português Língua Estrangeira (DUPLE)
- telc Português
I'm sorry, but only the telc link includes the audio portion of the exam.
I also had a quick look for USA examination centres. It doesn't look like there are any offering the telc test. The CAPLE exams can be taken in Boston, New York and San Francisco. The Celpe-Bras exam is held in five university sites: Harvard, Florida, Florida International, Utah Valley and Georgetown.
[It may not be obvious that the grey links are clickable.]
Olá :D Big thank you for this great info. Have you taken any official tests by any chance? Assuming that you have completed the tree long ago and keep , your Portuguese should be good enough to pass CIPLE or even DEPLE at least perhaps? Want to learn the language as I love bossa nova. I would call it a love at first hearing. :D
You make some very valid points. I do like to do quite a bit of recurrent but try to keep moving forward. This is great info! THanks so much!! =)
As someone who has taken the DEPLE and DIPLE I think that preparation for that test is pretty far beyond what Duolingo can do by itself. That is not meant as trolling. The DIPLE and DAPLE are European Portuguese and Duolingo focuses on Brazilian Portuguese. Also there is a cloze test without a word list (not an exercise Duolingo does), writing essays (ditto), conversation (triple ditto), and understanding audio (sadly quadriple ditto). At the end of the day, I think someone who has passed the Duolingo course will do well on the CIPLE without additional study. Unfortunately I have not found any test prep materials for sale in the US. What I would recommend is finding some podcasts to listen to "wild" Portuguese, and going to websites like RTP and ionline to get a sense of how the language is put together. Then you can have your writing corrected through a site like lang-8. Lastly finding a tutor through a language teaching website to go over your questions. I know it requires a bit of DIY but I am not aware of an alternative.
cynthia, i suggest you finish the tree before examination as the Celpe-bras is very technical and not based on conversational ability like the european framework. Study the ENEM for portuguese practice exams if that is your goal. However, the Celpe-Bras is notoriously inefficient and you should ask your HR department if they have a different test available, maybe through a local university.