CAPLE (Centro de Avaliação do Português Língua Estrangeira – Centre for Evaluation of Portuguese as Foreign Language) was created in 1998 in the Faculty of Letters of the University of Lisbon. In 1999, the Ministries of Education and Foreign Affairs signed a protocol with the University of Lisbon establishing a System for Evaluation and Certification of Portuguese as Foreign Language, which is administrate by CAPLE.
CAPLE is the head of a network of examination centres spread in all continents, in more then 40 countries, where exams of Portuguese take place. There are three examination seasons (May, July and November), to which candidates can apply during the month previous to exams.
The cost of exams may vary according to the country where it takes place.
The five (5) levels of Portuguese as Foreign Language, in accordance to the European Union regulations, are:
CIPLE – Certificado Inicial de Português Língua Estrangeira (Inititation)
DEPLE – Diploma Elementar de Português Língua Estrangeira (Elementary)
DIPLE – Diploma Intermédio de Português Língua Estrangeira (Intermediate)
DAPLE – Diploma Avançado de Português Língua Estrangeira (Advanced)
DUPLE – Diploma Universitário de Português Língua Estrangeira (Universitary)
The exams serve to evaluate the non-specific general communicative skills of adult users. It is under study the creation of a system of evaluation and certification for children and adolescents, as well as the evaluation and certification of Portuguese for specific means.
CAPLE is part of ALTE (Association of Language Testers in Europe), of which the University of Lisbon was co-founder in 1990.