New global Spanish test launched

15 July, 2015

A new global Spanish proficiency test modelled on international English exams such as Toefl and Ielts has been launched.

The King of Spain presides over the signing of the agreement over the new Siele Spanish examination. Credit - The University of Salamanca

Jointly developed by the Cervantes Institute, the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the University of Salamanca in Spain, the new Servicio Internacional de Evaluación de la Lengua Española (Siele) exam will be electronically administered and will provide candidates with a proficiency score, in contrast to the level-based assessment of the existing Dele examination.

The Siele will be available in the next academic year and will initially be mainly focussed on Brazil, the USA and China for the first three years, with 280 examination centres expected to be established across the three markets in that period.

The Cervantes Institute said it anticipates an initial 300,000 test takers per year globally, rising to 750,000 within five years.

The Siele examination includes four tests covering the core communicative skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. The reading and listening scores will be immediately provided, while the productive elements of the test will be assessed by accredited examiners, with results released within three weeks. Test certificates will be valid for two years.

Special attention will be paid to the different linguistic varieties of Spanish, with different geographical variations of the language incorporated into the test.

Ana Cózar, Director of Spain’s language school federation Fedele, welcomed the launch of the new test and said she expected that several member schools would soon offer preparation courses for the exam, especially because it is initially being marketed in three of Spain’s key recruitment markets.

Victor Garcia de la Concha, Director of the Cervantes Institute, said the Siele was not just a screening test, but also a means of promoting the Spanish language in all its forms equally.

A special ceremony to unveil the new Spanish testing system was presided over by the Kings of Spain in Mexico City.

Matthew Knott
News Editor



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