Launch of the Goethe-Institut exams at Cardiff

Co-Dean of Lifelong Learning and foreign language specialist, Dr Catherine Chabert said, “This new European partnership is a welcome addition to our port-folio of international language qualifications which currently includes French, Italian, Mandarin and Spanish. From June, anyone wanting to progress their German language skills can now take the Goethe-Institut exams at Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning”.

By successfully passing the exams, students gain internationally recognised qualifications that correspond to the levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and range from A1 for beginners to C2 for language skills at the highest level.

The Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning is the first language provider in Wales to be accredited by the Goethe-Institut to conduct their exams. To celebrate this, Director of Educational Links at London’s Goethe-Institut, Karl Pfeiffer, visited Cardiff on Thursday 7 March to formally launch the partnership.

Karl Pfeiffer said: “The Goethe-Institut is pleased that we can bring our popular international examinations to Wales for the first time.”

Guests at the launch, including Helga Rother-Simmonds, Honorary Consul for Germany in Wales, Ceri James, Director of CILT Cymru and the Centre’s German language students got to practice their German conversation skills together over some authentic German refreshments.

Current students are already busy preparing for their new exams and there are more courses starting in April for anyone interested in doing some last minute preparation. The range of German language courses that the Centre offers throughout the year, from absolute beginners to very advanced levels, will provide ample opportunity for more students to prepare for the exams in 2014.

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First accredited German language centre in Wales

Cardiff University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning is the first language provider in Wales to be accredited by the Goethe-Institut to conduct internationally recognised German language examinations.

The Goethe-Institut, with headquarters in Munich, is the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany whose purpose it to promote knowledge of the German language and culture abroad. Their examinations correspond to the levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and are well known throughout the world and accepted as a qualification by employers.

After assessing the Centre and its German language provision, the Goethe-Institut signed a partnership agreement for holding the examinations of the Goethe-Institut at Cardiff University.

Helga Eckart, Senior Lecturer at the Centre said: “With Germany being a top-employment country for British people it is hoped that many will be encouraged to sit these exams. We are excited that from 2013 onwards we will be an examination centre of the Goethe-Institut and I am thrilled that we are the first and the only institution in Wales to sign such an agreement.”

The range of German language courses that the Centre offers, from beginners to advanced, will provide ample opportunity to practise for these certificates.

Juliana Nau, a German Tutor at the Centre said: “Taking some of the Goethe-Institut exams will punctuate your progress and attest your level of competence at any given time. The Goethe-Institut exams offer some of the most widely recognized German language qualifications and are offered at six different levels, from basic to near native proficiency.  They are purely skills based rather than predominantly academic.  In other words, spoken communication, listening to news and interviews, reading texts and e-mails feature high on the agenda.  Most of our German classes follow a syllabus that will prepare you for these exams.”

Over the years, strong links with Paris, Madrid and Sienna have been developed for the DELF/DALF qualifications in French, the DELE in Spanish and the CILS in Italian and more recently Public Service Interpreting – qualifications which many language students have benefitted from. It is hoped that the German examination Centre will be just as successful.

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