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French for Academic Purposes (DELF / DALF preparation courses)

The French Ministry of National Education awards two diplomas for learners of French: the Diplôme d’Etudes de Langue Française (D.E.L.F.) and the Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française (D.A.L.F.). The exams take place both in France and abroad. Passing the DALF exam will enable you to study your chosen field at French universities.

We offer special courses to help learners prepare for the DELF and DALF exams. As with all of our courses, these can be taken at a time and place that suit you and either as an individual or in a small group.

Diplôme d’Etudes de Langue Française (D.E.L.F.)

DELF Level I exam description

Unit A1: General

Objective: To understand and express oneself on simple topics related to everyday situations.

Exam contents: Listening comprehension (15 mins); oral (role play - 15 mins); 2 written papers (letter & short essay 60-100 words, 30 mins each).

Unit A2: Ideas and Feelings

Objective: To understand and express feelings, intentions, opinions, points of view and arguments.

Exam contents: 2 orals each lasting 10 mins (or at the discretion of the Chief Examiner 1 oral and 1 listening comprehension); reading comprehension (30 mins); written paper (120-160 words, 30 mins)

Unit A3: Reading and Essay Writing

Objective: To understand the content and function of simple written texts and to write letters of the type required in daily life.

Exam contents: Oral (on a given text - 15 mins); reading comprehension (45 mins); written paper (eg. job application letter - 45 mins)

Unit A4: Linguistics

Objective: To use the linguistic systems (phonetic, prosodic & morpho-syntactic) with a high degree of accuracy. The emphasis of this unit is on linguistic competence as opposed to communication skills. Exam contents: Listening comprehension (3 or 4 exercises) and oral (30 mins); Written comprehension and essay (1 hr 30 mins)

DELF Level II exam

Unit A5: Culture and Civilisation

Objective: To understand and discuss in general terms the main features of certain cultural and socio-cultural aspects of contemporary France and of the francophone world, and to identify those features which contrast with aspects of contemporary Britain (or your country).

The candidate chooses one of six topics: Work, Institutions, Travel, Contemporary Society, Study or Modern Civilisation.

Exam contents: 2 orals (presentation of a text + discussion - 10 mins each); reading & writing (read text of 500-700 words on chosen topic and write a summary - 1 hr 30 mins).

Unit A6: Specialised Subjects

Objective: To understand a text related to the candidate’s field of special interest or profession and to discuss its contents.

The candidate chooses one of four topics: Life Sciences (including the environment and ecology); Economics and Law; Social and Human Sciences; Mathematics, Physics and Technology.

Exam contents: Oral (report and discuss contents of text related to chosen field - 2 tests of 10 mins)

Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française (D.A.L.F.)

The DALF is made up of four units (B1 to B4). As with the DELF, credit units are permanently valid.

Candidates are expected to demonstrate their ability to use French in both general and specialist contexts. However, whilst candidates are expected to engage in a fairly technical discussion of their chosen field, the test is one of language and not of specialist knowledge.

In order to sit the DALF exams, candidates must have a level II DELF, take a DALF access test or have a pass at French ‘A’ level.

A DALF qualification will satisfy the language requirement of French universities.

DALF unit Objectives and Exam Contents:

Unit B1: Written Comprehension

Objective: To understand all aspects of an authentic published text on a general topic and to write detailed answers to a number of questions related to the text.

Exam contents: Reading and Writing (résumé of text, answers to 5 questions related to the text) Total time given - 2 hours 15 mins. Length of text to be studied - 500-700 words.

Unit B2: Oral Comprehension

Objective: To understand all aspects of an authentic spoken discussion on a general topic recorded on audio or video tape.

Exam contents: Listening comprehension (résumé of the recorded text or answering questions on it). Time given - 30 mins max.

Unit B3: Written Comprehension of Specialised Subject

Objective: To understand all aspects of a selection of authentic published texts in the special field chosen and to write detailed answers to a number of questions related to the texts.

Candidates select one of six topics: Law, Economics, Social Sciences, Human Sciences, Life Sciences or Mathematics & Physics.

Exam contents: Reading and Writing (résumé of text, answers to 5 questions related to the text) Total time given - 2 hours 15 mins. Length of text to be studied - 500-700 words.

Unit B4: Oral Comprehension of Specialised Subject

Objective: To make an oral presentation on a topic related to the special field chosen for unit B3, to answer questions, and to participate in broader discussion.

Exam contents: Oral (presentation of topic + discussion) Time given - 40 mins (plus 1 hr 20 mins for preparation.

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