First of all, let’s have a look at the usefulness and competence level of the DALF
(Diplôme approfondi de la langue française) C1.
The DALF C1 is a certification delivered by the French Ministry of Education and
is recognised as fulfilling French language entrance requirements by the French universities.
The DALF C1 is therefore designed to offer a high-level qualification in the language
to those wishing to use French for professional or study purposes.
The DALF C1 corresponds to the CEFR C1 describing the candidate as a proficient speaker
(CEFR is the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).
According to the CEFR, the candidate “can understand a wide range of demanding and
longer texts and recognise implicit meaning. Can express him/herself fluently and
spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use a language
flexibility and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce
clear, wellstructured detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use
of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.”
The DALF C1 requires a high level of language competence which is tested within a
rigorous framework. Moreover, it requires a vast knowledge of cultural, social, political,
economic and scientific French matters (depending on the options chosen). In addition,
you are expected to understand the way French people submit an exam, which can be
very different from what you are used to in your own country.
If you have already passed the DELF B2, you may have a fairly good knowledge of the
exam strategies, but there is a substantial difference between B2 and C1. Nonetheless,
we still find the four language proficiencies of reading, writing, listening and
speaking, each worth 25 marks of the 100 total marks. You need to score 50 marks
to achieve a pass grade and a minimum of 5 out of 25 in each paper. Examples of DALF
C1 examination papers.
Having provided this overview of the DALF C1 and its place within the CEFR, I will
now get to the heart of the matter and elaborate on each paper in turn, including
content and advice.