4 tips to help you pass your DELF exam
Bonjour à tous ! Hi folks!
Today, I'd like to do a little class turned to all of you facing your DELF Exam. First, what are they? It's pretty simple, "DELF" stands for "Diplôme d'Etude en Langue Française", i.e. your certification of fluency in French. They are classified into 4 levels A1, A2, B1 and B2. Each of these levels requires 4 different type of examination, Oral expression, Oral comprehension, Written expression, Written comprehension. I will detail them further.
Today, I'll only focus only the A1 level and give you 4 tips to pass each of these tests.
1) Written comprehension 30mn:
You must answer simple questions on 4 to 5 brief documents. The exercises are straight forward, you will have to tick the correct answer, order information, complete a text with the relevant information... It's not so much about writing, but proving that you understand a document and are able to restitute this information.
My tip: Read the questions carefully. Make sure that you don't jump on an answer too fast and miss out a detail. Because small details make a big difference in that kind of exam.
Example: I once had 3/4 of a group who failed the same question because they didn't read the question properly and answered the contrary of what was asked...
2) Oral comprehension 20mn:
You will have 3 to 4 different recordings, based on short recordings. You will hear each document twice. You will have the questions before the recordings are played, so make sure to get as much information as possible before listening to the document, you will know what to look for then.
My tip: The first time, focus on getting the tone of the recording, how many people are talking, who are they to each other, where are they or what are they doing. The second time, focus on detail. Did she say the train leaves or arrives at 2pm? Make sure to differentiate questions / statements and you will have everything you need to succeed.
Example: A student got all wrong to all the question / statement. Meaning, He understood the sentences, but got them wrong because he didn't focus on the tone...
3) Written expression 30mn:
Your written expression is composed of two parts: First, you will have to fill in a form. Any kind of document. Make sure, you know all the vocabulary (nom, adresse, profession, prix ...). The second part of the exam, you will have to write a short paragraph, most likely an email, a request something no longer than 7-10 sentences, and with a specific topic in mind.
My tip: Make sure you correct your conjugation. Verbs are critical. Also, never ever leave a blank if you don't know a word. Improvise. You wanted to say you have a cat and forgot how? Say you have a dog, at this level, making you write proper French matters more than the accuracy of your information!
4) Oral expression 10mn preparation, 5-8 minutes of interview
Part 1: Interview 1, 2mn. The examiner will ask you a series of questions about yourself, your name, spelling it, where you're from, what do you do...
Part 2 : Exchange info, 2-3 mn. The examiner will show you a card, or give you a keyword. You will have to ask him / her a question based on the keyword. Ex: "nationality" => What is your nationality? Where are you from?
Part 3: Simulated dialogue. You will be given a setting and you must play along with it. Say, "you're in a souvenirs shop" you will have to ask for a price, inquire "and this one?" etc.
My tip: Relax. Breathe. You won't be asked to present a thesis, but simply talk a little about things you know. Most students tell me they had no idea it would be so simple. Indeed, no one will ask you the square root of anything, just "what's your name, what are your hobbies" and such. Breathe and make sure not to say a word in anything but French, no matter what. Ask "Pouvez-vous répéter s'il vous plait"... and you'll be fine.
Here you go! The detail of each step and my top tips to nail each of them! For all of you interested in other levels, I'll run a series of articles of the DELF to make sure everyone gets info on them!
Don't forget to leave a comment for suggestions and ideas!!