5 years ago, I started learning French by myself. But it doesn’t mean that I always studied it, since I didn’t concentrate on it when I was busy and I never lived in French speaking country nor studied at school. This means I studied it more or less 2-3 years.
And voila! Finally I could see some progress: I passed DELF B1 and B2 at the same time.
Given that many articles helped me to prepare, I would like also to contribute myself to those who will try this test in the future. And also I can learn by reflecting on this theme.
The structure of the DELF
In short, it is a French exam with 6 different levels (A1ーthe easiest, A2, B1, B2, C1 et C2ーthe most difficult), and each level consists of the 4 following parts:
(1) Listening: Compréhension de l’oral (CO)
(2) Reading: Compréhension des écrits (CE)
(3) Writing: Production écrite (PE)
(4) Speaking: Production orale (PO)
In fact, there are similar exams for other languages such as TOEFL (English), DELE (Spanish), HSK (Chinese), and JLPT (Japanese).
The difference between B1 and B2
This time, I took both level at the same time due to a lack of time to wait for another one (every 6 months). Comparing those 2, there was not much systematic difference.
However, you have to know the characteristic of each level. For example, Listening of B2 was much more difficult than the one of B1, and for speaking, B1 has 3 parts whereas there is only 1 part for B2.
In my case, given that there was only 1 month of preparation, I focused more on B2 than on B1. And just 3 days before the test, I worked on B1. I would like to mention some tips below.
Listening: Compréhension de l’oral (CO)
First of all, I listened actively to the 4 podcast:Journal en français facile (RFI), NHK World, 1 jour 1 mot and Français authentique. I said actively because if you don’t focus, it will not be effective.
Reading: Compréhension des écrits (CE)
For this part, I read the following sources every day: Le figaro, Global Partnership for Education (GPE, my interest), and some books. I wrote down many unknown words and tried to remember them.
Writing: Production écrite (PE)
For the writing and speaking, I learned the fixed templates via blog, and practiced through “italki“, an internet site which allows us to learn, finds learning exchange partner, and get help on proofreading, etc. For example, the below texts are some some template (an official letter).
- Beginning: Madame, Monsieur/ Monsieur le maire/ Monsieur le directeur. Madame la directrice
- Objective: Je vous écris au sujet de (à propos de) / Je me permets de vous écrire pour / Au nom de l’association “ville propre”, dont j’ai l’honneur d’être la présidente, je me permets de vous écrire…
- The part 1: D’abord, …… Par exemple, …..
- The part 2: Ensuite, …… Par exemple, …..
- The part 3: Enfin, ……Par exemple, …..
- Conclusion: En résumé / En conclusion
- To finish: En attendant votre résponse (favorable), je vous prie d’agréer, Monsieur (Madame), mes sincères salutations distinguées.
Speaking: Production orale (PO)
This part is very similar to writing since you have to analyze the passage and explain your own opinion in a logical way. Just like writing, I prepared a template and practiced on italki so that I get familiarized with the exam format. The below texts can be the template.
- About the reading document: Le document dont je vais parler est un article extrait du XXX (source et le jour). C’est intitulé “….” et concerne … (sujet).
- Citation: Le document nous dit que …..
- The problem: La question abordée ici est de sovoir si XXX est YYY ou non.
- The opinion: À mon avis, je suis plutôt pour/contre que contre/pour cette idee.
- The part 1: Tout d’abord, raison 1 et son exemple.
- The part 2: Ensuite, raison 2 et son exemple,
- The part 3: Enfin, raison 3 et son exemple
- Conclusion: En conclusion/En résumé, pour les raison 1, 2, 3. je suis pour/contre l’idée de …..
- Qu’est-ce que vous en pensez?
As is the same with other things, you have to know the enemy and practice a lot.
In my case, although I passed this time, I know that my current level does not correspond with B2 (I was lucky), so I have to study and practice further to improve. That is why I already bought a book to prepare myself for DALF C1!!
As a person who took 2 levels at the same time, the most important take away is prepare mentally: this test is made for non-perfectionalist! If you get 50 out of 100 points, you will pass (you have to take at least 5 points for each 4 section), so 51 and 100 are certificate-wise same thing.
The learning of this time
To pass the DELF, you have to know the characteristic of the exam and practice as much as possible in a relevant way and forget the perfection.
If you have any question or you liked this post, please leave your comment.