Having reached and been certified at a good upper intermediate level Dutch (B2+), I’m now trying to put the cherry on the cake by attaining the C1 (advanced) level certification. This is a test set by 5 of Belgium’s (Flanders’) leading universities and is the highest certified level achievable for a non-native speaker or ‘alien’ like me. With this in my arsenal, I would be able to study not only in any faculty of a Dutch speaking university, (my current certification enables me to do this) but also in the department of applied linguistics. This field of study leads to qualifications in the areas of translation and interpretation. I’m not sure that I want to go down this route but I’m keen to have the the language qualification regardless.
In September I will have my final attempt at passing the C1 paper. Three chances are granted over the course of a year, so I’m hoping it will be a case of ‘third time lucky’. In the meantime my attempt to gain the required level is costing me blood, sweat and tears… almost. I bought a new course book (as pictured) in an attempt to ramp up my self-study. I believe the challenge of getting myself to the required level is immense; in particular as I am paid to speak and work in English every day. I can conclude that I may have ‘bitten off more than I can chew’ in my aim of passing this exam but at least I’ll be able to say I gave it my best shot. Pass or fail, I can safely say that my Dutch will have vastly improved whilst additionally picking up new ideas and techniques to assist my own students who wish to acquire a C1 level in English.