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Understanding the DELF Exam

In recent years, French Immersion programs around the country have been slowly but steadily adopting the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (abbreviated as CEFR). As the name suggests, the framework was adopted in Europe where, because of their dense population and close proximity to different languages, the Europeans have a far stronger tradition in learning and teaching multiple languages.

The common framework has the benefit of streamlining language education across jurisdictions so that evaluations and credentials are widely recognized. The DELF exam (diplôme d’études en langue française) is the exam of the CEFR and is internationally recognized. It is therefore important to understand and, eventually, to take the exam. Although it is internationally recognized, it is not (yet) recognized by the government of Canada for language proficiency qualifications. The federal government uses its own test based classifies results into three categories: A, B or C.

The DELF exam is classified in the following levels: A1, A2, B1, B2 and, C1, C2 (A1 being the most beginner level and C2 the most advanced). The Calgary Board of Education offers the exam free of charge to enrolled students, whereas the Alliance Française offers the exam to the wider public for a fee. The importance of the exam is such that most universities in Canada offer it. For the University of Calgary, here is the information.

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