If you are planing to move to a French speaking country to study or to work, you may need to consider taking a French exam that will certify your competency in the French language.
In this case, the DELF (diplôme d’études en langue française) or DALF (diplôme approfondi de langue française) might be useful. They are the official French language certificates for non-native speakers of French, awarded by the French Ministry of Education.
The DELF and DALF certificates are valid indefinitely and are recognised throughout the whole world. They will officially certify your level of proficiency in French for professional purposes or for entrance into universities.
During the exams, 4 communication skills are evaluated: oral comprehension, written comprehension, oral interaction and written production.
The DELF curriculum is divided into 4 independent certificates that correspond to the first 4 levels of the common European framework of reference for languages.
The DALF is composed of 2 independent certificates that correspond to the 2 highest levels of the common European framework of reference for languages.
What is the common European framework of reference for languages?
The common European framework provides a common basis for the elaboration of language syllabuses, curriculum guidelines, examinations, textbooks, etc. Across Europe. It describes in a comprehensive way what language learners have to learn to do in order to use a language for communication and what knowledge and skills they have to develop so as to be able to act effectively. The description also covers the cultural context in which the language is set. The framework also defines levels of proficiency which allow learners’ progress to be measured at each stage of learning and on a life-long basis.
DELF A1 (from 60 to 100 hours of French)
This is the beginner or “breakthrough” level of language use.
The student is able to interact in a simple way: he can talk about himself and his immediate environment.
DELF A2 (approximately 200 hours of French)
This is the basic user level of the European framework. It demonstrates a command of basic structures of the language.
The student is able to perform simple tasks of daily life.
DELF B1 (approximately 400 hours of French)
This diploma is for intermediate or “threshold” users.
It demonstrates an ability to understand and maintain a discussion and give one’s advice and opinion, to deal with situations of daily life.
DELF B2 (approximately 600 hours of French)
This diploma certifies a degree of independence and a general command of the language.
The student is able to develop, defend and argue a point of view.
DALF C1 (approximately 800 hours of French)
Dalf is the level required for entry into most French universities. It demonstrates an effective and operational command of the language from independent users.
The student can understand a wide range of demanding longer texts, recognise implicit meaning, and use the language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.