Why should I choose the DELF and the DALF certificates?
Good reasons to choose the DELF and the DALF certificates
The DELF (Diplôme d'Études en Langue Française) and the DALF (Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française) are two diplomas, issued by the French International Center for Educational Studies, which are highly recommended (in some cases mandatory) if you wish to study, work, or travel to a French speaking country.
The DELF and DALF diplomas certify your level of French which can increase your chances of finding a job. In addition, holders of a DELF B2 level are not required to take any language test to enter a Swiss or French University.
The DELF and DALF exams are composed of several parts including comprehension and oral expression and allow you to prove your academic and professional level of spoken and written French. Find out more about the DELF and the DALF certifications and the good reasons to take them!
The DELF and DALF to certify your level internationally
If you wish to study or work in a French speaking country where a good level of French is required, you will certainly need to present an official diploma certifying your level of French. The DELF and DALF exams are a reliable tool accepted by many institutions and organizations worldwide.
In addition, some immigration services may require the DELF B2 in order to issue certain types of VISAS. In Switzerland, the DELF and DALF diplomas are also accredited by the various Federal Commissions.
DELF and DALF test procedures
The DELF and the DALF certificates have a different structure depending on the level. The DELF (Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française) has four levels: A1, A2, B1 & B2, according to the European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and the DALF, (Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française), is open to students at level C1 & C1+.
If your aim is to have access to universities or many public and private organizations around the world, you should aim for the DELF B2 level. It is not only an important asset for international emancipation, but it is also an excellent way to prove your level in Switzerland and find a job that requires a good level of French.
The DELF B2 exam tests four skills:
- Reading comprehension (Compréhension écrite): of 60 minutes, you will have to read some documents and answer a few questions.
- Written expression (Production écrite) : of 60 minutes, you will have to write one text of 250 words minimum.
- Oral comprehension (Compréhension orale) : of 30 minutes approximately, you will have to listen to some documents and answer a few questions.
- Oral expression (Production orale) of 20 minutes, where you will have 2 parts: a follow-up monologue and an interaction exercise. For this part you will have 30 minutes to prepare.
Depending on the level you will have more or less time to complete each skill. For example, at the B2 level of the DELF, the speaking section lasts 20 minutes, while at level B1 it lasts 15 minutes.
The maximum score for each skill is 25, and the maximum score for the whole exam is 100. In order to pass, a minimum score of 50/100 is required. For each skill, a score below 5/25 is eliminatory. Finally, you should also know that the test certificate has no expiration date.
Training and preparation for the DELF and DALF exams
It is possible to take the DELF and DALF as many times as you wish. However, you must wait 60 days between retakes. It is therefore strongly advised to prepare well before taking it. Swiss French School offers preparation courses for the DELF and DALF certificates through a personalized course adapted to your level and pace.
You have the option to choose from 2 types of preparation courses tailored to your needs:
- Take preparation courses in a small group of 4 to 8 students and a certified teacher. (Fixed start dates).
- Take private preparation courses where courses are personalized according to your needs and availability. (Can start at any time of the year).
The advantage of attending group courses is that you can motivate each other knowing that you all have the same level, both orally and in writing, and the advantage of taking private lessons is that you will have the opportunity to work in depth on your weaknesses.
In addition to enhancing your success, a good preparation also allows you to maximize your score, which is a considerable asset for your CV as well as allowing you to access certain schools and professional opportunities.