An internationally recognized language diploma is an excellent certificate of competence. In Switzerland, in particular, certified knowledge of foreign languages is not only welcome, it is often demanded. Anyone who is professionally ambitious should have at least one such diploma. You will find below an overview of the most important language diplomas. Preparatory courses for diplomas are offered by many language schools.
European Language Portfolio (ELP)
The European Language Portfolio (ELP) was developed by the Council of Europe in the 1990s and consists of three part: language passport, language biography and record. The ELP is a structured collection of a variety of documents and examples of personal work compiled by the student and continually updated. This allows for a transparent documentation of competence in a variety of languages, language courses attended and courses completed in school, contact with other languages and intercultural experience. The ELP is oriented to the common “European frame of reference” developed by the Council of Europe for language learning. Its goal is the promotion multilingualism, intercultural exchange and social mobility in Europe.
Common European frame of reference
The common European frame of reference comprises language knowledge on a unified scale of language levels: A1 - A2 - B1 - B2 - C1 - C2. These go from elementary knowledge (A1) to highly advanced language abilities, which are virtually equivalent to those of a native speaker (C2). Most official international language diplomas can be arranged according to specific levels such as the popular Cambridge-Diplome the First Certificate in English (FCE) corresponds to level B2, the Advanced Certificate in English (CAE) is the equivalent of level C1 and the Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) corresponds to the highest level, C2.