Many people choose to learn French but there’s a difference between just learning a foreign language and committing to take an exam that tests your proficiency in that exam. So why take the DELF?
Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons people take the DELF and why it could be beneficial to you.
What Are The DELF And DALF Exams
For those of you who are new to the world of language examinations, the DELF and DALF are the official French language exam and they stand for Diplôme d’études en langue française and Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française.
The exam uses the European examination framework and is graded using six levels:
- A1 – beginner
- A2 – upper beginner
- B1 – intermediate
- B2 – upper intermediate
- C1 – advanced
- C2 – upper advanced
Just like most other language exams, the DELF and DALF exams test for reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.
Why Take The DELF Or DALF
More and more people are taking language qualifications, a lot of the time when they don’t actually need the qualification for a specific reason.
As learning foreign languages becomes more popular amongst English speakers, more of us are opting not only to learn a second language but also to be examined in it as well.
Here are some of the main reasons why you might want to consider taking the DELF exam.
To Obtain French Citizenship
One of the biggest reasons for why take the DELF is to obtain French citizenship
If you want to become a French citizen then you need to demonstrate that your French is at a B1 level. A B1 level indicates that you are a lower intermediate speaker and you can use your French to get around and manage in the country.
To become a French citizen you need to prove this proficiency as they need to know that you can live in and contribute to French society. Therefore taking the DELF at a B1 level and passing proves the competency and will help you in your application for French citizenship.
To Work In France
It is possible to find work in France without having taken a DELF exam but it definitely makes it much easier to find one if you have done.
The French are proud of their language and often won’t resort to using English in companies. Although English is spoken, it is more commonly used in the tourist industry and international companies. It is much less spoken in France than in the Scandinavian companies for example.
Therefore if you are seriously looking at having a career in France you should be considering taking the DELF.
Not only does the DELF demonstrate a proficiency in the French language but it also shows your potential employers that you take the French language and culture seriously and you want to be a part of the society rather than just living in France for a bit because it’s a cool experience.
Having a DELF qualification will set you apart from your competitors by a mile. Couple that with experience and a good attitude and you’re good to go.
To Study In France
Just like many other countries, you need to pass a certain proficiency in the French language to study at a French university. The usual requirement is a B2 level which demonstrates a higher intermediate proficiency. This means that while not quite being at an advanced level you are able to function at nearly every level of the language and you can use French to get by in any situation.
Different universities may have different proficiency levels so make sure you check the entry requirements for the university you’re applying to before you take the DELF to avoid disappointment if you take the B2 and it turns out their requirement is C1.
No matter what the level of requirement is, having a DELF qualification is a way to demonstrate your level to your potential university. It is possible that other qualifications will be recognised by the university but if you’re going to take some sort of proficiency exam anyway, why not make it the official French language exam?
To Have A Goal
This reason of why take the DELF is becoming a more and more common reason especially among millennials. At one point people took language exams out of necessity. They were taken to find a job, study or to gain citizenships. But now more people are wanting to give themselves a challenge and the reason of goal setting is becoming a more popular reason.
Learning a foreign language is a popular hobby now, more so than it ever has been in the past. But many people find when they start learning that after a while they get stuck and just aren’t progressing.
Signing up for an exam like the A2 gives you a reason to study. If you know you’re going to take the exam it makes you more likely to learn the grammar and practise the skills because you have to.
Exams can be pricey and because of that you don’t want to fail. This makes them fantastic motivation to study and work towards something. Then if you don’t actually pass the exam you’ve still improved your French a lot because you worked hard to prepare for the exam in the first place.
Final Thoughts on the DELF And DALF
The DELF and DALF are challenging but rewarding exams that I would recommend any French learner to consider taking. Even if you’re not sure you’ll need it straight away, they are valid forever. Which means if you plan to move abroad in the future and you take the exam sooner, it could benefit you later on as well.
If this article has convinced you and you’re ready to take the leap and sign up for the exam then check out our recommended French textbooks to prepare you for the DELF exam.
Or if you need a bit more convincing then you can find commonly asked questions about the DELF here. It can be a very difficult exam so it’s definitely worth learning a bit more about it before you commit to taking it.