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Best French Language Qualification?

12029 Views 18 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Stouf
What's the best french language certificate for high-level professionals in France? I'm a project manager in financial IT and need something on my CV ahead of a move to Paris next year.

Having had a brief look I can see there are a few on offer. Can anyone with experience shed light on these?:

Ministry of Education Certificates

Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française (DALF)
Diplôme d'Études en Langue Française (DELF)
Test de Connaissance du Français (TCF)

Alliance Franaise Certificates

Diplôme Supérieur d'Études Françaises Modernes (DS)
Diplme d'Aptitude l'Enseignement du Franais Langue trangre (DAEFLE)
Diplôme Supérieur d'Études Commerciales (DSEC)
Diplôme de Langue (DL)
Diplôme Supérieur de Langue et Culture Française (DSLCF)
Diplôme de Hautes Études Françaises (DHEF)
Certificat d'Études de Français Pratique2 (CEFP2)
Certificat d'Études de Français Pratique1 (CEFP1)

Paris Chamber of Commerce (CCIP) Certificates

Certificat de Franais Juridique (CFJ)
Certificat de Français du Secrétariat (CFS)
Certificat de Français Scientifique et Technique (CFST)
Certificat de Français du Tourisme et de l'Hôtellerie (CFTH)
Diplôme de Français des Affaires 1er degré (DFA 1)
Diplôme de Français des Affaires 2ème degré (DFA 2)
Diplme Approfondi de Franais des Affaires (DAFA)
Test d'Évaluation de Français (TEF)

University Certificates

Diplôme de Langue et Littérature Françaises – 2e degré
Diplôme Supérieur d'Études Fançaises - 3ème degré
Certificat Pratique de Langue Française – 1e degré

More Certificates

UNIcert French
BULATS - French (Business Language Testing Service)
Test de Franais International (TFI)
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I think the DALF is the way to go. Try for the C1 if you can. I did it in December, it's just a really long exam: listening, reading and writing all in one block, then usually on a separate day the speaking component. There is only a small fee to sit the exam. The good thing about the DALF/DELF qualifications is that they are valid for life.

If you do want to do the DALF C1 though, even if your French is perfect you'll need to be informed about the structure of the test itself - you have to write a synthese (and an argumentative essay) for the written section, so even if your French is flawless you need to know what a synthese is and how they want you to write it. It's not very difficult but it's best to know ahead of time what you're expected to do.
I'm not sure either how these exams have been integrated into the school system that your children are undertaking...I thought they were just voluntary exams that allow you to show your competency in French. There are no prerequisites to sit the exams and you can try for any of them in any order (ie: you can do DALF C1 without doing DELF A1-B2)

Technically levels C1 and C2 are considered to be native-like speaker fluency. I took the DALF C1 after 4 years of high-school French, 2 years of continuing to study it at university, and throughout that time I had spent 3 months in France and I had 2 years of constant contact with my (French) husband. I got the C1 without struggle, though not with a perfect score, as a 20/20 is all but unattainable in the French grading system.

I agree with xkiwi in saying that there is definitely a big step from B2 to C1. In the C1 exam the reading topic was on the evolution of architecture, the synthese and essay were about specialsed youth programs promoting practical skills for entry into the workforce, the listening section involved questions about a 15-minute real-life radio interview only played twice, and in the speaking part I had to talk for 20 minutes about genetically modified foods...

To contrast, I'm taking Italian right now at university, I'm in the B1 class and (though it's not quite B2, but we're at the end of it now) we're still learning all of the tenses and talking about innocent topics such as 'health' and 'work'. Sorry to ramble...I love languages.. :eek:
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After reading this thread and others I thought the B1 might be a bit low for their level but I found an equivalency table which says its equal to an A level so that doesn't sound too bad! Reading about the expectations and what my sons did the other day though, it sounds like they did more of the B2 specification since they did a lot of arguing. Their convocation was only for the B1 though. I guess I'll have to make sure they're listed to do the B2 next year if it is possible and don't get missed as the other children seem to have been. I'm wondering if it depends upon what marks they attain at each level.....
It sounds like you might want to talk to their teachers to establish we're they're at and what's going on.

To actually receive the certificate, you need at least 50/100 and you cannot have a score less than 5/25 in any of the sections.
Sounds like a bit of lapse in communication on their part maybe. If your sons, or the older one, feel like the class is too easy for them, then take it up with the teachers again.
I see now. The exams are not obligatory by any means...in fact why are your sons doing them if they are already completing schooling in the French system? If they are passing each school year we could assume that their French is not holding them back, and so long as they pass their Brevet at the end of college they will be able to go into Lycee.
Ok, I understand. It makes sense, and I suppose there's no harm in doing the DELF exams anyway even if they don't end up needing them. Regarding lycee, I think different schools have varying requirements - for example, students who complete college in the same school as the lycee they'd like to remain in usually get preference over students who did not complete college at that institute.
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