Alliance Francaise


What are DELF & DALF?

DELF (Diplôme d'Études en Langue Française) and DALF (Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française) are official qualifications delivered by the French Department of Education to certify competencies of non-French native speakers in the French language.

6 levels are recognised by the DELF & DALF and each one is represented by its own exam. At each level, 4 skills are evaluated: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Candidates can take the examination of their choice, according to their level. They may also sit the examinations for different levels during the same examination session.

DELF and DALF qualifications are internationally recognized. They are consistent with the international standards for test development and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

There is a specially adapted version of the DELF diplomas for teenagers called DELF junior. A mark of at least 50/100 is required in order to be awarded the diploma.

DELF and DALF are lifetime diplomas.

Variations of DELF & Dalf

DELF JuniorlogoDelfDalfgrd.gif
The diploma delivered is identical to the standard DELF diploma. The junior version of DELF has the same basic structure as the standard DELF. Only the topics are different, they take into account the interests of teenagers. It can only be taken by students aged 13 to 18 years.

DELF Pro evaluates the French communication skills of professionals aiming at a promotion and/or placement within a French speaking work environment.

Examination Centres:

011 646 1169
051 447 9609

Cape Town
021 423 5699

031 312 9582

09 266 22 325 722        
Port Elizabeth
041 585 7889

012 343 6563

North West University of Potchefstroom
018 299 1486

00 267 395 16 50 


Useful Documents:


DELF & DALF Registration information
Sample papers
For more information and/or preparation for one of these diplomas, please contact your nearest examination centre or nearest Alliance Française Books may be borrowed for training purposes.

For a description of examinations and for sample papers (subjects and sound recordings) please visit CIEP website.

In South Africa and Lesotho, DELF and DALF examinations take place twice a year in April/May and October/November. Registrations are open for 2 months before a session starts.

DELF Prim is the first level in the DELF / DALF series. Covering A1.1, Al and A2 levels. DELF Prim is intended for children aged 8 to 12 years who are beginners in French as a Foreign Language.

A1: Elementary Level (60 – 80 hours*)
Limited ability. Can understand simple information encountered in everyday situations. Can communicate in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly.

  • Reading: Can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, on notices, posters or in catalogues.
  • Grammatical structures: Basic grammatical command. Shows limited control of simple grammatical structures which enable basic communication to take place.
  • Listening: Can recognise familiar words and very basic phrases concerning him or herself, his or her family and immediate surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly.
  • Speaking: Can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where he or she lives and people he or she knows.
  • Writing: Can write a short, simple postcard, for example sending holiday greetings. Can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering his or her name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form.

A2: Basic ability (160 – 240 hours*)
Can understand sentences on familiar matters. Can communicate in routine situations and describe in simple terms topics of personal interest.

  • Reading: Can read very short, simple texts, can find specific, predictable information in everyday material such as advertisements, prospectuses, menus and schedules. Can understand short, simple personal letters.
  • Grammatical Structures: Grammatical command in the process of acquisition. Has full command of a few elementary structures which he/she uses to communicate at this level.
  • Listening: Can understand phrases and everyday vocabulary related to areas of personal interest. Can grasp the main point of short, clear, simple messages and announcements.
  • Speaking: Can use a series of phrases and sentences to describe in simple terms his or her family and other people, living conditions, his or her educational background and his or her present or most recent job.
  • Writing: Can write short, simple notes and messages relating to matters in areas of immediate need. Can write a very simple personal letter, for example thanking someone for something.

B1: Intermediate Level (200 – 400 hours*)
Limited but effective command of the language. Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters. Can deal with situations likely to arise while travelling. Can talk about topics of personal interest and briefly give explanations for opinions and plans.

  • Reading: Can understand texts that consist mainly of high frequency everyday or job related language. Can understand a description of events, feelings and wishes in personal letters.
  • Grammatical Structures: Grammatical command still being acquired. Basic structures have been mastered and are used to communicate effectively.
  • Listening: Can understand the main points of clear standard speech on familiar matters. Can understand the main point of many radio or TV programmes on current affairs or topics of personal or professional interest when the delivery is relatively slow and clear.
  • Speaking: Can connect phrases in a simple way in order to describe experiences and events, his or her dreams, hopes and ambitions. Can briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans. Can narrate a story or relate the plot of a book or film and describe his or her reactions.
  • Writing: Can write simple connected texts on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. Can write personal letters describing experiences and impressions.

B2: Upper intermediate level (400 – 700 hours*)
Generally effective and spontaneous command of the language. Can understand the main ideas of complex texts. Can take part in conversations and give the advantages and disadvantages on general or professional matters in a clear and detailed way.

  • Reading: Can read articles and reports in which the writers adopt particular view points. Can understand contemporary literary texts.
  • Grammatical Structures: Good grammatical command. Has assimilated most grammatical structures and can readily draw upon to take part in written and oral exchanges.
  • Listening: Can understand extended speech and lectures and follow even complex lines of argument provided the topic is reasonably familiar. Can understand most TV news and current affairs programmes. Can understand the majority of films in standard French.
  • Speaking: Can present clear, detailed descriptions on a wide range of subjects related to his or her field of interest. Can explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
  • Writing: Can write clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects related to his or her interests. Can write an essay or report, passing on information or giving reasons in support of or against a particular point of view. Can write letters highlighting the personal significance of events and experiences.

C1: Advanced level (600 – 900 hours*)
Good operational command of the language. Can understand a wide range of long and demanding texts and can recognise implicit meaning. Can express himself or herself fluently in a well-structured way on his or her social, professional or academic life and on complex topics.

  • Reading: Can understand long and complex factual and literary texts, appreciating distinctions of style. Can understand specialised articles and longer technical instructions, even when they do not relate to his / her field.
  • Grammatical Structures: Very good grammatical command. Can manage a broad range of grammatical structures necessary to communicate at this level.
  • Listening: Can understand extended speech even when it is not clearly structured and when relationships are only implied and not signalled explicitly. Can understand television programmes and films without too much effort.
  • Speaking: Can present clear, detailed descriptions of complex subjects integrating sub-themes, developing particular points and rounding off with an appropriate conclusion.
  • Writing: Can express his or herself in clear, well structured text, expressing points of view at some length. Can write detailed expositions of complex subjects in a letter, an essay or a report, underlining what he or she consider to be the salient issues. Can write different kinds of texts in an assured, personal, style appropriate to the reader in mind.

C2: Upper advanced level (Indefinite*)
Fully operational command of the language. Can understand easily almost everything heard or read and can summarise everything in a coherent way. Can express him / herself very fluently and can adapt his or her expression appropriately to the situation, even on complex topics. Can recognise subtle distinctions of meaning.

  • Reading: Can read with ease virtually all forms of the written language, including abstract, structurally or linguistically complex texts such as manuals, specialised articles and literary work.
  • Grammatical Structures: Excellent grammatical command. Can use a very broad range of grammatical structures to express complex messages.
  • Listening: Have no difficulty in understanding any kind of spoken language, whether live or broadcast, even when delivered at fast native speed, provided that he/she has time to get familiar with the accent.
  • Speaking: Can present a clear, smoothly-flowing description or argument in a style appropriate to the context and with an effective logical structure which helps the listener to notice and remember significant points.
  • Writing: Can write clear, smoothly-flowing text in an appropriate style. Can write complex letters, reports or articles which present a case with an effective logical structure which helps the recipient to notice and remember significant points. Can write summaries and reviews of professional or literary works.

Si vous souhaitez préparer le DALF C1 et C2, vous pouvez vous référer aux conseils proposés par l'Institut Français de Milan. Ces informations sont précieuses car les épreuves du DALF C1 et du DALF C2 requièrent plus q'un très bon niveau en langue mais aussi toute une approche méthodologique. 

* The above references serve as guidelines only to know how time is required to acquire each level from a total beginner point of view. They should be considered in conjunction with various factors.


Bulawayo (Zimbabwe)
Cape Town
Mitchell's Plain
Port Elizabeth
Stellenbosch & Franschoek
Somerset West

As a Non-Profit-Organisation, the Alliance Française network is autonomous with cultural institutions dedicated to the promotion of French language and culture. Established in South Africa since 1936 and supported by the ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Alliance Française network is a relay of the linguistic and cultural policy defined by France.

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