How do you become certified in a Foreign Language?

How do you become certified in a Foreign Language?

Cindy Tracy

Since the pandemic started, people have begun to develop skills that can be a source of income while working remotely. Some people have gone after CE Mark certification services in Pakistan. Others have started flipping online websites and businesses.

The translator industry has found a similar increase with beginners trying a hand in this industry.

What does a certification do?

Certification in a foreign language serves two purposes. It is a third party’s acknowledgement of your skills and command of that language that organizations can trust worldwide. Second, it a proof of the hard work you have put into learning that language, kind of like a sports trophy.

The third-party acknowledgement can help you get visas, land jobs, and soundproof of competence for freelancers. The trophy aspect helps learners stay motivated and measure their success.

Which certification should I get?

Certification in a foreign language depends entirely on the target language. You might have heard of English language certification  IELTS or TOEFL. Each language has its certifications and may have multiple certifications with different legal standings.

German language requires the Goethe-Zertifikat. The French language requires a diploma titled DELF. Each certification comes with its requirements, fees, wait times, success rates, and eligibility. In case a language offers multiple types of certification, the opportunities produced by each accreditation have to be studied.

For example, TOEFL certification requires American English, preferred by some American Universities. In contrast, IELTS certification is international and allows either UK and US English to be used as long as it is consistent.

The First Step: How to Learn the Language

Quite obviously, the first step towards certification is learning the language. Language learning requires immersion. That either requires enrolling in language courses and making relationships with other learners and native speakers. It helps if you have an incredible commitment and are willing to spend time doing work to learn. You would need to watch films in a foreign language, listen to podcasts and music, read books, and put thousands of hours immersing yourself in the target language.

The Second Step: Learning About the Certification

The second step starts when you are deep into learning the language. Once you are confident that you have learned a lot of this language and want to continue, this step begins.

Look at the certification tests and see the requirements. Almost all certification tests will check the four language use areas: reading, writing, listening and speaking. It would help if you studied how each region will be marked and examined.

Also important to note that there are different kinds of certifications. The most common and basic certification only requires understanding and using the language such as IELTS. Teachers need an additional certificate with more requirements. Those certifications require knowledge of phonetics, the script, word formations, and the ability to teach that language.

The Third Step: Preparatory Classes  

The third step is to enrol in preparatory classes for that test. You can learn a language without enrolling in general courses due to the easy availability of online resources. However, these introductory classes should be prioritized. These preliminary tests will give you an understanding of the certification tests.

It is not enough to know the language; native speakers can fail these certifications without preparation.

The mock tests will make sure you are not taken off guard by any question. The results of the mock test will tell you if you are ready to pass the actual test or not. The preparatory classes will also correct many of your mistakes.  

If you self-learned a language, these preparatory classes are a must. Self-learners exhibit weak speaking skills, and these classes will be a fantastic opportunity for you to exercise this vital aspect of language learning.

The Fourth Step: Apply for the Certification

The fourth step is to take the plunge. Due to inflation in low-income countries, certification attempts can be expensive. Confidence in one’s skill is required. Passing a few mock tests is the desired prerequisite for this confidence.

However, many certifications involve significant gaps between applying and the actual test date. It may be better for you to set a target for yourself by applying first, requiring you to work hard for the next month or two in preparation lest you waste your money.


Please remember that language learning has the slowest skill development. It takes time and consistent effort, daily practices and exercise, and requires you to use the language in your life. Be patient and consistent with your workouts, and you will persevere. I believe in you. Good Luck!

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