NC State offers many opportunities to help students expand their horizons. Within the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, students have the option to learn a new language while also testing their skills in that language either by joining a language club or study abroad. But, how can you prove your proficiency in a foreign language, say, for job-searching purposes? Well, you could get a certificate of proficiency in that language. For instance, at NC State, anyone, and I mean anyone, can receive a Spanish certificate that declares their competency in the Spanish language.
Foreign Languages and Literature lecturer Ana Gray partnered with the Madrid Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 1990 to establish the program here at NC State. Before teaching, Gray worked as a lawyer in the corporate business world in Europe and Argentina. Early on, she understood that language competency is essential in helping new generations of professionals better prepare for a globalized and highly integrated world. So, Gray asked herself, “how do students tell the world they are already proficient in a foreign language as used in a [globalized business setting]?” She knew students entering the workplace should know the relevance of the business culture, regardless of their field.
Gray took the initiative to establish a partnership between our university and the Madrid Chamber of Commerce. For over 20 years, NC State continues to provide a certification program with the Chamber that has expanded to other concentrations. Students now have a choice to earn their certificates in three different concentrations: Health Science, Spanish Business, and Spanish Tourism. The Health Science certificate makes students who are interested in the medical field become more marketable in this area, and the Spanish Business and Spanish Tourism concentrations help them to expand their career opportunities also as Business majors, Business minors, and Parks and Recreation majors.
This certificate is no limited to NC State students or the Raleigh community. Anyone from anywhere can come to sit for the test as long as they have studied the material and met the requirements. And, why not? Travelling to North Carolina is certainly less expensive than traveling to Madrid.
A certificate provides students with great benefits as it validates their global mindset and citizenship. “It will provide the individual with the confidence to continue with the language and the confidence to use the vocabulary,” says Gray. It allows students to implement their skills in thinking and doing. The Spanish-specialty courses she teaches (in business, tourism and for health professionals) require students to answer questions in the terminology they acquire. Having students answer questions such as why and how on specific professional scenarios helps them to connect the grammar structure and expand on their core abilities in the language. “I wanted to provide my students an awareness of the business world, an awareness of how valuable it is to acquire a language in this sense.”
So, what are the requirements? This test will show your level of competency in Spanish which means you must be able to do well in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. There is a basic superior exam which requires a 200 level Spanish proficiency. The superior level test requires a 300 level Spanish. Additionally, both tests assess students’ ability to acquire the terminology proper to their chosen concentration.
Are you interested in receiving this certification? Ms. Ana Gray is the contact person and would be pleased to answer your questions. So, what are you waiting for?