The mystery of DELE B Category + Bonus

Renewed DELE exams

Levels B1 and B2 are probably the most mysterious of the DELE exams right now. The reason is that they have been the last to experience the renovation that the Instituto Cervantes has carried out in recent years.

With the new DELE B1 and B2 exam models, the process that began with the creation of the exams corresponding to levels A1, A2 and C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference and the renewal of C2 culminates. In this way, a homogeneous set has been arrived at, characterized by the integration of skills and the absence of specific grammatical tests. And the new DELE B have been redesigned to respond to this communicative purpose.

Which DELE B exam to choose?

Although the differences between the DELE C levels were subtle, in this case, it is important to take into account both the knowledge and the characteristics of both exams when choosing.

In the description of each level made by the Instituto Cervantes, we can see the difference between a B1 and a B2. A whole step that we summarize as the passage from the particular to the general.

A B1 speaker dominates his environment, a B2 speaker goes out of every day to include the abstract as well, not only what constitutes his daily life. It is true that a B1 goes further than an A2 in the fact that it can express desires, aspirations, doubts, and not just talk about what surrounds it; but a B2 has more reach, its grammatical knowledge allows it to speak at different levels of reality and unreality, its expression is more fluid and natural, and its understanding leads to understanding texts of a certain complexity, even if it does not dominate as many areas of specialization as a C.

The integration of skills occurs to a greater extent in B2 than in B1:

  • Written test: The starting point for written expression in the DELE B1 exam will be reading comprehension, while in level B2 both reading comprehension and listening comprehension will be the starting point.
  • Oral test: The oral test uses as a base element in both levels an image for the description, but in the DELE B2 exam, in addition, the candidate must comment on two types of text: proposed solutions to a situation (opinions), and a survey.

The interaction is given by the importance of conversation in the oral test, in which there is also a difference by levels:

  • The oral expression and interaction test of level B1, in addition to the conversation on the subject of presentation and description, there is a dialogue in the form of a simulated situation or role-play.
  • In the test of oral expression and interaction at level B2, the conversation becomes less directed and the spontaneity of the student intervenes more, who is expected to take more initiative.
  • In addition to the above, at a functional level, it would be a question of describing and arguing according to the difficulty of each level.

How to pass a DELE B

It is not easy to face the preparation of such new exams, of which there is only one model on the Instituto Cervantes website. Fortunately, several publishers have already published their preparation manuals with case studies and test models.

From this blog, and as we did in our article dedicated to level C, we recommend that you prepare your exam in an accredited center like AIL Madrid.

Bonus

MODEL FORMAL LETTER (DELE B2)

Below we present our sample formal letter following the instructions of task 1 of the DELE B2 written test.

  1. Audio summary (we recommend that this is a scheme of relevant ideas, not a written text):
  • Closure of the Antonio Machado public library next March.
  • It had been open for almost 15 years.
  • Unique in the neighborhood
  • Loan of books, consultation room and daily press
  • Program of cultural activities
  • Meeting point for neighbors and place of study for students
  1. Sample protest letter (to an official body):

Carmen B. SánchezAv Flores, 328001-Madrid

Madrid City CouncilSanta Cruz District Council

Madrid, 20 February 2015

Dear Sir:

My name is Carmen Sanchez and I am a neighbor of the Barrio de Santa Cruz. I am writing to inform you of the malaise caused in our district by the imminent closure of our only municipal library, announced for next March. For almost 15 years, the “Antonio Machado” library has been a meeting point for neighbors of all ages: retirees, students, children… In addition to enjoying the advantages of a library (loan of books, press consultation), the reading room was much appreciated by the students to prepare for their exams, and the children had a place to have fun learning, thanks to the children’s workshops. Its program of cultural activities was very complete and useful for everyone. Therefore, I inform you that the neighborhood associations have collected signatures to protest against this measure that from the municipal government have attributed to the economic situation affecting our entire city. We think that culture is fundamental, and we propose other solutions such as looking for subsidies to keep the library open, or in the last case, to reduce the costs of the activities. The neighbors could organize some voluntarily! Waiting for a favorable solution to the problem, and grateful in advance, she says goodbye on behalf of the neighborhood associations of Santa Cruz.

P.S.: I am enclosing the signatures collected above.

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