Reasons to use DIALANG

Updated 13 October 2011

What level do I need in order to take a DIALANG test?
Any learner of foreign languages can use DIALANG. It does not matter if you have learnt a language informally by using it, or formally by participating in language classes, recently or many years ago. DIALANG has different tests for different levels of learners, so you can take a test even if you only know very little of the language.

Are there age limits?
There are no age limits for DIALANG test-takers, but the test tasks have been written with an adult’s experience of life in mind. The tasks may, for example, include extracts from newspaper articles dealing with issues that may not be interesting or familiar to young learners. Young adults from 16-18 upwards should find the test quite suitable.

How long does a DIALANG test take?
The length of a typical DIALANG test session is 30-45 minutes, if you choose to take the optional placement test and the self-assessment tasks.
If you take only the language test, you will probably need 20-30 minutes, depending on the skill you choose. Each test comprises about 30 tasks/questions. Note that you can take as long as you wish to complete the tasks: the test is not timed. After the test, you have the opportunity to explore the different kinds of feedback for as long as you wish.

How much of DIALANG do I have to take? Can I skip anything?
You can choose what you take depending on your needs and interests. You may take one language test of a particular skill, or you may take multiple tests in one or more languages. When you have chosen a test (eg Italian reading) you are always first given the placement test, which you can skip if you wish. Next comes self-assessment (applicable only to reading, listening or writing), which you can also skip. Then follows the test you chose, and after completing it, you may study the feedback for as long as you wish.

Is the DIALANG test adaptive?
There are three different versions of tests for each language/skill pair in DIALANG: easy, intermediate and difficult. The placement test and self-assessment help the system to decide which level of test suits you best, so that you need not answer too many too easy or too difficult questions. If you skip both the placement test and self-assessment, you will automatically be given the intermediate test; in this case (of course) you cannot be given feedback on your self-assessment or vocabulary size (which is tested by the placement test).

What feedback will I see?
At the end of each test DIALANG shows you your level (A1-C2), and which answers were correct and incorrect. You can see all the questions again. DIALANG also diagnoses your ability in sub-skills and shows you these results. DIALANG also offers advice on how to improve your skills.

Why should I use DIALANG?

There are many reasons why you may find DIALANG useful. Here are some of the reasons reported by users:

Language learners:
I want to know how good my language skills really are as measured on an international scale.
I want to know where I have problems in my language skills, so that I can try to improve them.
I don’t really know what I should do to improve my language skills.
I need to take a language examination to get a certificate but I’m not sure which level of exam to take, so I’m using DIALANG to see how well I know the language.
I’m not sure if I need a language course that my institution/company offers. It’s targeted at level B1 in the European Framework but I don’t know my level.
My institution/company offers two different language courses at two different levels but I don’t know which one to take.
I want to know how good my Spanish is compared with my French and English.
I want to know if I can assess my own language skills and I hope DIALANG can help me.
I’m interested in learning more about language proficiency, self-assessment, tests and other such things.

Language teachers:
I need to advise new students which language course to take. DIALANG could help them to decide.
I would like to know where my students are on the European Framework levels. I could ask them to take DIALANG tests and let me know their results.
I am interested in raising my learners’ awareness about their learning. There is a lot in DIALANG that I can use for that purpose.
I teach prep courses leading to language certificate exams and my students need advice on which exam they might be able to pass.
I am involved in distance education and teach courses that require a lot of independent study. DIALANG fits well into this context.
I am interested in knowing more about the European Framework. DIALANG is a concrete tool which will help me with this.