French in Normandy is proud to be a leader in preparing students for the DELF and DALF French exams.
What exactly are the DELF and DALF exams, you ask? DELF and DALF are diplomas awarded by the French Ministry of Education to certify the level of French-language skills of non-French speakers. These diplomas are valid for life and recognised all around the world. To obtain them, you must take the DELF and DALF examinations, which assess your communication skills in real situations using authentic documents.
Students from around the world trust French in Normandy to help them achieve their French language learning goals. French in Normandy is accredited by several top international organizations including the International Association of Language Centres, International House and Qualité FLE ensuring the highest quality courses, teachers and services.
Your success is our success and we are pleased to share with you our 2019 pass rates for the DELF and DALF exams. These numbers are a reflection of the hard work of both our students and teachers as well as the quality of education that French in Normandy provides.
Do you have questions about the DELF and DALF exam preparation programs at French in Normandy? Feel free to contact us or read more about DELF and DALF exam preparation on our website.
Having the right diplomas help international students access international schools or French universities. DELF certification is great for students who plan to apply to a higher education institute.
The DELF certificate from the French Ministry of Education is an internationally-recognised qualification verifying the level of French you have achieved, which never expires.
Mastering French can be tough, but it’s so worthwhile. At French in Normandy, we’ve got lots of experience in supporting students to get their DELF certificates: read on for our eight effective preparation techniques. Remember, it’s important to take the DELF certificate at the right level.
How many DELF French levels are there?
Le Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française (DELF) certifies French skills in foreign applicants from non-French speaking nations.
DELF is made up of 4 diplomas that are independent of each other. This means you can take level B1 without taking either level A1 or A2. Level A1/A2 certify basic French skills while B1/B2 certify intermediate French skills. Each of the DELF French levels evaluates four language skills.
DELF A1: At this first and most basic of the DELF French levels, a student should be able to engage in simple interactions. For instance, introducing themselves and asking and answering personal questions.
DELF A2: At this level, the student should be able to do everything in A1 and also carry out simple everyday tasks.
DELF B1: At this intermediate level, the student is an independent user able to manage familiar situations including at work, in school and for leisure. You are expected to understand all situations as you travel in a French-speaking nation. Your skills allow you to describe events, experiences, dreams, ambitions and hopes and briefly give explanations.
DELF B2: When a person from a non-French speaking nation attains this level of mastery, he or she has a high level of independence. At this level, you can understand the ideas in a complex text on abstract concrete topics, such as a technical discussion in different fields of specialization. This level of French fluency enables you to talk with native speakers better and freely, explaining your opinion on current issues. A level B2 DELF certificate is great if you want to study at a French university.
There are also DALF exams for students who need certification in French at a more advanced level, and we can also prepare you for these at French in Normandy.
At French in Normandy, we recommend you follow an exam preparation course instead of attempting to study for exams on your own, regardless of your French level or the exam you want to take. We can help you identify which of the DELF French levels you should take, too.
8 Effective Preparation Techniques for the DELF exam
Want to get DELF certification? Here are our top DELF certificate preparation techniques.
- Join a French language course
The DELF certificate is one of the two most important French qualifications for an international student who plans to attend a French university (find out about the other one here).
To fully prepare for the DELF certificate, you need to join a French course in a French language school. This will improve your skills and knowledge greatly as you prepare for the test. The teacher will assist you as you learn new important points of grammar.
Exam practice is the best way to prepare for the DELF certification test – but the type of practice needs to be right. Revising old exam questions constantly is not enough. Online tests can help you practice your French skills.
It’s important that after taking each practice exam, you take time to analyse your wrong answers and think of how you can eliminate errors in a future exam.
This technique is exciting and beneficial as you prepare for your DELF certificate exam. The technique includes 5 easy steps.
- Translate any French audio or text into your first language
- Check it carefully and wait for a day or so
- Then rewrite the audio or text into French using your own phrases and words
- Now translate the text you wrote into French using a tool or ask a French teacher to review it
- Compare your text to the original text
This technique allows you to remember the phrases and words more effectively for future writing and speaking tasks. Also, it allows you to determine your choice of words.
- Train your ears
Train your ears to recognise fast speech to properly prepare yourself for the advanced French tests you’ll need for your DELF certification. Students often can’t understand French words, especially when a person speaks fast. So, you should train your ears to identify phrases and words in fast speech. This technique requires you to listen to a speech or radio excerpt and then write what you hear. Next, compare your text against the transcript. The technique is useful for training your ears for quick French audio, video, questions and speech.
- Improve pronunciation
Having the right pronunciation is important when you are trying to pass your DELF certificate. The right pronunciation helps your examiner understand you easily and can influence the opinion of your examiner on your level of French verbal skills. So, practice pronunciation of tricky phrases and words using an online audio dictionary. First, listen and then try to pronounce the same way. For accurate pronunciation, you will need to pronounce the words multiple times.
It is helpful if you can come up with a list of words that are difficult for you and practice them regularly to improve your pronunciation. Record yourself saying the same words and phrases over and over and listen back to analyse your own pronunciation.
- Focus on grammar too
Like any other language, the best way to remember French grammar is to use it. Taking our course exposes you to concepts that help you grasp French grammar in a variety of situations. If you are studying alone and having trouble identifying your grammar mistakes, you have the option of requesting help from an online tutor. It’s also good to join a French grammar course or language exchange group with native French speakers. Look out for French grammar exercises online – there are lots of them.
This is one of the most important techniques. Repetition is proven to be a successful way of learning a language and studying a subject and is essential for your DELF certification. At French in Normandy we ensure you get the right amount of repetition to improve your French and help you learn more quickly.
This is important if you are to significantly improve your French skills: it will take you longer to become proficient if you are studying French in a non-French speaking country.
Studying in a French-speaking country, however, means you will chat with friends and your host family, read the news and watch movies in French. All this makes it easier to attain B1 French level proficiency, faster.
If you are not in a French-speaking country, you could look for the nearest community college or public library to sign up for events that expose you to the French language and immerse you in the local French-speaking community.
Practise, practise, practise!
To master the French skills you need for your DELF certification, you need to use effective preparation techniques alongside a DELF exam preparation course. These study techniques will help you learn French through practise, which is the best way to master French.
At French in Normandy, we really want to help you succeed and our DELF preparation course will help you improve your French oral, grammar and writing skills. With us, the time you invest in improving your French skills will pay off and we can help you reach your goals, no matter which French exam or level you want to achieve.
We are looking forward to welcoming you to study at French in Normandy, and help you succeed in getting the DELF certification you need to follow your dreams, whether of further study or work in France, or just getting to a higher level in the language.
Getting a DELF French diploma can open the door to your ambitions. Many students need the DELF or DALF French diploma to get into university, perhaps in France or Switzerland, or to begin a career in the civil service.
People who want to become professional bakers have found the DALF and DELF preparation course are very useful for taking the entrance exam to get a place at the INBP – the National Institute of Bakery and Pastry.
And many students just want the qualification to show the level of French they’ve worked hard to achieve.
Students of all nationalities want to take DALF preparation in France: at French in Normandy, we’ve taught people from many countries including Switzerland, Korea, and Latin America.
If you want to pass French DELF A1, preparation is vital. As a beginners’ level qualification, A1 could be many students’ first experience of a DELF or DALF test.
At French in Normandy, our language school in Rouen, we have lots of experience in supporting students in French DELF A1 preparation as well as other levels in the DELF and DALF tests. Not only can you learn with us at our school, but we can support you in the DELF or DALF online.
What is the DELF French Diploma? And what are DALF French levels?
The DELF and DALF Diplomas match the six levels of the Council of Europe’ s Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL) from A1-C2. They are organised by the French Ministry of Education to certify the level of French-language skills of non-French speakers.
- The DELF French Diploma (Diplôme d’études en langue française) is at levels A1-B2 of the Common European Framework, with an exam for each level. A1 and A2 are examined on Wednesdays and B1 and B2 on Thursdays.
- The DALF French Diploma (Diplôme approfondi en langue française) is at C1and C2 levels of the Common European Framework, and is examined on Fridays.
French DELF A1 preparation: What to expect?
Like most language exams, DALF and DELF French diplomas will test you on the four skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking.
- What’s in the French DELF A1 reading test? You’ll get four or five short texts about everyday situations and you’ll be asked to answer questions to check how well you’ve understood what you’ve read. It’s a good idea to read the texts once before looking at the questions. Make sure you understand exactly what the questions are asking before reading the texts again.
- How to prepare for the DELF A1 reading test The most useful thing you can do is read often. If you can find texts in French which are also translated into your own language, read the French and then check for meaning. Children’s books can be good, and so can websites. Try to be familiar with as many words as possible (and if you don’t understand any in the exam, try to work out what they mean from the rest of the text).
- What’s in the French DELF A1 writing test? You’ll be asked to complete a form and write something short – like a postcard or email – about something people do in daily life. Be careful: make sure you write what you’ve been asked to write, and read it through carefully when you’ve done.
- How to prepare for the DELF A1 writing test? Practise writing about things you do every day. Also the more you write out the same phrases again and again, the more you start to commit this to memory. Not only will you write more quickly, but you’ll also add it to the list of things you can say fluently without thinking about it.
- What’s in the French DELF A1 listening test? You will hear three or four short recordings about everyday situations twice, then answer questions on what you’ve heard. Remember, you hear each recording twice. The first time, try to get the general idea of what you are hearing and on the second listening, be more aware of the details. This part of the test is checking for how well you’ve understood what you’ve heard and you don’t have to write in perfect French.
- How can I prepare for the DELF A1 listening test? By listening to things! The radio is good, as is the TV, films and talking to people. The more you listen, the more you’ll hear the words and improve your understanding. Tell yourself that you won’t understand everything, and learn to relax about this. However by picking out just a few words from the TV, you’re tuning your brain in to the French language. Practice tests will also help you become more familiar with language at the DELF A1 level of French.
- What’s in the French DELF A1 speaking test? There are three parts of this test: guided conversation, exchanging information and role-play. In the first two parts be very careful to listen to what the examiner asks and make sure that’s what you answer. Remember you get ten minutes to prepare for the role play with the images you’ve been given so spend that time thinking about what you can say.
- How can I prepare for the DELF A1 speaking test? Speaking is vital: our school will help you. Our online course will check and correct your speaking exercises, and students in school will get plenty of practice talking inside and outside of class. When you’re revising vocabulary and phrases, remember to speak them out loud and not just in your head, so you give your mouth a chance to work on pronunciation too!
How can French in Normandy help you with French DELF A1 preparation?
We are very proud of our exam success rates: in 2017, 97 per cent of our students passed their exams. We can offer both DELF and DALF preparation courses at our school in beautiful Rouen, just an hour outside Paris, or online (although you will have to take the exam in France, and this option is only available for students at B2 and above).
Students on our DELF DALF preparation courses in France take General French in the morning as well as exam-specific sessions. Morning classes focus on the four skills, with exam tutorials in the afternoons. You’ll also get practice sessions with personalised correction and feedback.
Some of our teachers are qualified, experienced DELF DALF examiners which help students to be confident and well prepared for their exam. Students can also attend free daily workshops after afternoon classes.
Book your French DELF A1 preparation, or your DALF preparation course
We’re looking forward to meeting you at French in Normandy and helping you to get the qualifications you need with our DELF and DALF preparation in France. Find out more about our courses and book here.