Language credentialing is an evaluation of language competency for second language speakers based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). In November 2001, a European Union Council Resolution recommended using the CEFR to set up common systems of validation of language ability. The six reference levels are becoming widely accepted as the European standard and quickly becoming recognized internationally for grading an individual's language proficiency. It is a standardized assessment of language proficiency recognized internationally.
Upon successful completion at each level students receive a diploma. Four areas of communication: oral production, written production, listening comprehension and written comprehension are assessed.
Benefits of Language Credentialing
Language credentialing is for you if you want to:
- work in other countries
- measure and certify your skills on a global scale
- have a language diploma valid throughout the world
- gain new responsibilities to enhance your career
- enhance your resume
- study at a university in another language
- have your second language abilities recognized for professional or personal purposes
Using your Language Credentials
Language credentialing can be used in a variety of contexts. Some examples include:
- An employee can present credentials to indicate language proficiency
- An employer can request language credentials in order to ensure a certain level of efficiency
- A parent can use language credentialing to assess the progress and/or the proficiency level of their child
- A student may use it to establish language proficiency at a university where the language of instruction is different from their first language
- A student may use it to establish the next step in their language learning
Difference between language credentialing and IB and AP courses
IB and AP courses are specifically used for university entrance purposes at many universities. They are not used for employment purposes, to establish a proficiency level recognized internationally, or to establish the next level.
Preparation for Language Credentialing
Each language credentialing exam has resources, such as print materials, websites, and preparatory courses, which will allow candidates to familiarize themselves with the content and the format of the exam.
The cost of the exam depends on the language and the level. Please refer to the specific language for further information.
Different countries have different regulations regarding language credentialing for university entrance. In addition, many universities are now accepting language credentialing (generally at the B2 level) as a way for students to meet the language requirement. As each university is different, it is advisable to check with the institution.
Language credentials are valid for life, much like a university degree.
Successful candidates will receive a letter and a diploma indicating their results.
Language Credentialing Exams
The Diplôme d'études en langue française (DELF) and the Diplôme approfondi de langue française (DALF) are under the auspices of the Centre international d'études pédagogiques (CIEP) and administered through DELF centers worldwide. You can find exam resources and additional information on the
The DELF Exam can be written at the:
The Diplomas de Espanol como Lengua Extranjera (DELE) is under the auspices of the Instituto Cervantes, which also administers the exams.
The Instituto Cervantes has an Cervantes classroom in Calgary. It has been established in collaboration with the Department of French, Italian and Spanish of the University of Calgary.
For more information about DELE including registration, go to
University of Calgary | Instituto Cervantes and the Aula Cervantes.
The Sprachdiplom is under the auspices of Schulmanagement Weltweit (ZfA) and is administered by the German Language Advisor.
Contact the German Language Advisor
HSK & YCT (Chinese - Mandarin)
HSK - HanuShuiping Kaoshi
YCT - Youth Chinese Test (under 15 years)
The HSK and YCT are run under the auspices of HANBAN, the National Office for the teaching of Chinese as a Foreign Language. The exam is administered through the
Department of Linguistics, Languages and Cultures at the University of Calgary.