So…almost a month ago I ceased being ‘the Texan living in France’ and came back to the awesome and sometimes annoying life in the USA. Since I’ve been back I’ve visited my wonderful family (much needed) and have been studying to take the Dalf (Diplôme approfondi de langue française, or Diploma of advanced french language studies) exam level C1 which I’ll take in Los Angeles in mid-June. I’m taking this exam for a few reasons:
1) I want to test my French level after living in France for 8 months.
2) The diploma is good for life (i.e. doesn’t expire).
3) It may help me use French professionally in the future.
4) If I ever want to do my masters in a French speaking country I would be able to skip any language assessment tests.
Voilà a short description of the qualifications for the Dalf C1: Language users at level C1 are independent. They can express themselves fluently and spontaneously. They have a large vocabulary and can choose the appropriate expression to introduce their comments. They can produce clear, well-structured discourse without hesitation and which shows controlled use of structures.
I’ve been using the study book Réussir le Dalf niveaux C1 et C2 (shown in the photo above) to prepare myself, and I can say from my experience studying for the test it doesn’t seem like it will be easy and some parts are a little daunting. I divide my time up between studying directly from the book, reading the news daily in French (usually Le Parisien), watching my Corsican-gangster TV series Mafiosa, and listening to the 4th Harry Potter audiobook when I drive. So far I think my weakest area is the Oral Comprehension section because I find it hard to remember the exact dates, numbers, and other specifications that you’re supposed to listen for in this part.
Anyways, I know that my French is fluent and it’ll be fun to challenge myself and take this test. If any of you out there have taken it I’d love to hear from your experiences.