University of Minnesota


CLA Language Center
> About Us > Language Center News > Advanced-Level Spanish Certificate Option Approved for Students

Advanced-Level Spanish Certificate Option Approved for Students


The Certificate of Advanced-Level Proficiency in Spanish program was recently approved as an option for students to have their language proficiency formally recognized beyond the Language Proficiency Exam (LPE). This is a great option for students of Spanish whose abilities extend beyond the intermediate level and who want to have their advanced-level proficiency formally recognized.

The Advanced-Level Certificate option is open to all undergraduate University of Minnesota students, regardless of their major or college. The certificate program will be administered jointly by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies and the CLA Language Center.

The LPE can assess language proficiency skills up to the intermediate level. The Advanced-Level Spanish Certificate program will be able to assess skills up to the advanced level. The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL) guidelines determine advanced-level proficiency. According to these guidelines, students with advanced-level proficiency do not necessarily perform like native speakers. However, they have reading, writing, listening and speaking skills sufficient enough to navigate daily situations, such as routine school and work requirements and can be generally understood by native speakers.

One of the goals of the Certificate Program is to provide students with an internationally-recognized marker of proficiency once they achieve advanced-level proficiency. Another goal is: "To encourage the integration of language and culture learning across students' academic and professional lives, and empower students to be responsible for their own second language acquisition."1

There are several steps required for completing the Advanced-Level certificate, including: passing the Spanish LPE, passing two approved upper-level courses taught in Spanish, completing an intensive Spanish language immersion experience, taking a self-assessment, completing a critical reflection essay, and passing the ACTFL advanced-level exam. Please see the Advanced-Level Certificate informational website for a full list of requirements.

Students interested in learning more about the certificate are encouraged to attend a Certificate Orientation and Self-Assessment Workshop on January 22, 2014 from 3:00-4:30 p.m. in Jones 35. Information about the certificate is also available at

Go to the CLA home page.

Twin Cities Campus: