FAIS offers classes on our campus for our graduates who wish to pursue their French studies. The final objective for the class is to prepare for the different levels of the DELF (Diplôme d’Etudes de Langue Française) and DALF (Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française). Both diplomas are delivered and recognized by the French Ministry of Education and will take the place of an exam for entrance to a French University, if chosen. FAIS is one of the few centers in the U.S. authorized to administer the exams.
Each exam (A1-A2-B1-B2-C1-C2) tests ability in communication and comprehension, both oral and written. Each level represents a level of proficiency and difficulty that approximately doubles each time; while A1 demonstrates a novice level, C2 demonstrates an almost native level of proficiency in the language. During class, students work on all four skills: oral and reading comprehension; oral and written expression. The first three levels (A1, A2, and B1) usually seem within easy reach to students coming out of an immersion program. The B2 to C2 levels require abilities beyond strong language skills. At these levels, students must demonstrate competency in synthesizing information, constructing arguments, writing essays and debating, as well as knowing and understanding the culture behind the language. Being aware of and knowledgeable on current issues and trends in the cultures pertaining to the language is an important aspect of the testing. This is the reason why we tend to recommend that more mature high schoolers wait to take the higher levels. Over the years we are noticing that the students who do not rush through the exams but take the time to acquire stronger language skills and more importantly intellectual maturity are more at ease, confident and pass with high scores.
Level 1 (A2- B1) is the level recommended for students entering 9th grade. The exams are easier and give the students a taste of what is to come. For students re-enrolling in a DELF DALF class, the teacher reserves the right to make a recommendation as to what level to register for, depending on the grade obtained at the exam. A student passing the A2 with 85 percent is not necessarily ready to take the B1. A student passing the B2 with 80 percent or below will most likely not be ready for the C1 six months later. Similarly, teachers will evaluate which exam a student should sit for. These classes are demanding in terms of attendance and work during class. Homework will be requested outside of class, especially as students get into the higher levels (B2-C2). Sporadic attendance and lack of personal work will hinder a student’s success on the exam.
Classes meet between 4:00 and 5:30 or 5:00 and 6:30 with no break. When a class has reached a number of 12 to 14 students, students will be registered in the other class. All classes and exams take place at the Gilkey International Middle School.
- Level 1 (A2- B1): Wednesday 5:00 – 6:30
- Level 2 (B2): Thursday 4:00 – 5:30
- Level 3 (C1): Thursday 4:00 – 5:30
- Level 4 (C2): Tuesday 4:00 – 5:30
The cost for the class will be $360 per semester. Classes will begin the week of September 10, 2012. Registration and payment need to be turned in before September 1, 2012. For more information contact Emmanuelle Burk.
Similar exams are offered in German. Contact Elke Ruhl.