french language diplomas
DELF (Diplôme d'Etudes en Langue Française) and DALF (Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française) are relatively new exams which have gained greatly in importance in the labour market. The diplomas are recognized by the French Ministry of Education and are valid internationaly. Both tests consist of a total of 6 independent tests (4 for DELF, 2 for DALF) which are consistent with the Common European Framework of References for languages. The diplomas can be obtained independently – in the same country or in different countries. There is no time limit. Generally speaking, candidates can take several tests at the same time if the test dates coincide.
The DELF A1 and A2 certify that the candidate has basic knowledge of the French language in everyday use.
The DELF B1 and B2 certifies that the candidate has good language knowledge and the ability to use oral and written French on a variety of topics.
The DALF C1 and C2 certifies that the candidate has fluent, spontaneous communications skills at the highest level and also contains special subjects that the candidates select themselves. Candidates withe DALF C1/C2 require no further tests for acceptance at a French university.
Preparation for DELF and DALF
In most schools, preparation for the tests is completed in the context of standard and intensive courses. Some special workshops are also offered. The tests are administered several times a year. Exact dates and test locations area available on request.
The Alliance Française is an organization that has for over a century had the mission of furthering the expansion of the French language around the world. In this context, the Alliance has developed tests and certificates that are recognized by the French Ministry of Education and internationally by the ALTE.
Alliance Française DL
The “Alliance Française diplôme de langue“ (DL) is a traditional type of diploma; the examination comprises 50% oral and 50% written portions. The emphasis is primarily on grammar, reading and aural comprehension and expression. The test results are graded with “très bien“, “assez bien“ or “sans mention“. This diploma certifies knowledge at the middle level and is a recognized examination on the Swiss labour market.
Alliance Française DS
The exam with the impressive title «Alliance français diplôme supérieur d'etudes français modernes» (DS) is the higher level test administered by the Alliance Française and is one of the best known upper level exams. It certifies knowledge of the French language at a demanding level. In comparison to the DALF, the Alliance Française is losing ground according to experts.
Alliance Française DHEF
The “Diplôme de hautes études françaises“ (DHEF) requires language knowledge at a very high level, which comes very close to the ability to communicate demonstrated by a native speaker. The DHEF is required in some countries as certification of ability to teach in French.
Preparation for the Alliance Française
Only a few schools offer preparatory courses for Alliance Française diplomas. Specific test dates and locations are available on request.