What is the DELF program?

The DELF, or Diplôme d’études en langue française, is a diploma awarded by the French ministry of education after completion of a language proficiency exam at the Alliance Française. The content of this exam provides a framework for our French language classes at the workshop.

Over the course of 12 years, renowned linguists and the Council of Europe studied language acquisition and identified all of the skills it takes for proficiency. They came up with six levels of proficiency, which are called the CEFR, or the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of References for Languages. Linguists tend to be verbose :).

While little known in the US, the framework is used all over the world to certify language skills according to an international standard.

The courses pay careful attention to the 4 major aspects of language learning: Listening Comprehension, Reading Comprehension, Oral Expression, and Written Expression. French cultural & historical perspectives as well as current events also play a large role in the curriculum.

At Smith Street Workshop, we are offering 5 classes that are aligned with the expectations of the DELF.

DELF PRIM A1 (Elementary Beginner)
DELF PRIM A2 (Elementary Advanced Beginner/Intermediate)
DELF JUNIOR SCOLAIRE A1 (Middle School Advanced Beginners)
DELF JUNIOR SCOLAIRE A2 (Middle School Advanced)
DELF JUNIOR SCOLAIRE B1 (Middle School Fluent)

At the end of the course, students have the option of taking the DELF exam at the Alliance Française in June.

The benefits of the DELF:

  • international recognition of French proficiency
  • life-long certification, whether obtained in the student's country or another country
  • based on the same international standard used in 164 countries (CEFR)
  • testimonial to a student's success in learning French: it recognizes the student' accomplishments in French proficiency
  • internationally recognized official diploma that enriches the student's school portfolio  
  • offers advantages for college: it is recognized internationally by Francophone post-secondary institutions, including a growing number in Canada;
  • accepted in universities in France (B2 or higher level)
  • opens doors to a wide range of career opportunities around the world later in life

We love the DELF program for all of these reasons, but mostly because its structure offers a comprehensive framework for second language acquisition that encompasses all vital aspects - listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Knowledge of French culture, current events, expressions, and a general understanding of the country’s history are also a big part of the preparation.

As we started our planning of the fall sessions, looking to offer beginner, intermediate, and advanced French classes, we realized that the preparation program is very much aligned with our approach to teaching. We will NOT be teaching to the test in anyway, as there are no particulars about the tests or trick questions. Students who are enrolled in the classes should not feel obligated to take the exam at the end of the year. It would just be an added benefit and give them a clear sense of accomplishment and their language level.

You can read more here: http://www.ciep.fr/en/delf-dalf