There are a number of different tests that can be taken to assess one's level of proficiency in French.
Why should you assess your candidates with French proficiency tests?
- The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) can be used to identify the level.
- See what is the next level they should aspire to reach
- Evaluate their progress
- Determine their strengths and weaknesses
- When applying for a job
- During a performance review
- When renewing their professional certification
- When applying for a promotion
- Know where they stand in terms of language level
- Compare their results with others in their field
- Get an idea of the average level in their industry
- See how they compare to the general population
For determining the level of proficiency expected, you will want to consider the four main language skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Each of these skills will be important in different business contexts. For instance, being able to read and write in French will be important for email or chat correspondence, while listening and speaking proficiency will be key for telephone conversations or in-person meetings.
Many different French proficiency tests exist, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Below is a list of the 8 most popular tests and a brief overview of each:
Cloud-based language testing system Pipplet offers a 30-minute test to check both spoken and written skills for organizations. This makes it easier to find workers who are fluent in more than one language. These scenarios were developed by professionals to classify candidates' ability to communicate in a foreign language. Pipplet offers assessments in French, but also in 40 more languages.
Price: €25-€40 per test.
The Test de Français International (TFI) is a French proficiency test offered by the French Ministry of Education. It is designed for adult learners of all backgrounds and levels, from beginner to advance. The Test is divided into two parts: the written section and the oral section. The written section consists of multiple-choice questions and is graded on a scale of 0 to 500 points. The oral section, which is conducted with a certified examiner, is graded on a scale of 0 to 30 points.
Price: 160 EUR (online), 180 EUR (in person)
The Diplôme d'études en langue française (DELF) is a French language proficiency test that the French Ministry of Education administers. It consists of four independent tests, each focusing on one of the four main language skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking). The DELF is open to anyone over the age of 16, regardless of their nationality or country of residence.
Price: The cost of the DELF varies depending on the level you are taking and the format you choose, but it is generally around €100.
The Diplôme approfondu en langue française (DALF) is a French language diploma that is jointly administered by the French Ministry of Education and the Centre international d'études pédagogiques (CIEP). It is considered to be one of the most prestigious French language certificates and is recognized by all French-speaking countries. The DALF is divided into two levels, C1 and C2, with C2 is the highest level of proficiency. To take the DALF, candidates must already have completed the DELF B2 level (or equivalent).
Created in 1998 by the CCI Paris Ile-de-France, the Test d'évaluation de français (TEF) is an international reference test that measures your level of knowledge and skills in French.
The results are valid for two years.
The TEF is officially recognized by: the French Ministry of Education, the French Ministry of Higher Education Research and Innovation the French Ministry of the Interior, the Canadian Ministry of Immigration Refugees and Citizenship, the Quebec Ministry of Immigration Francisation and Integration, the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration
The TEF consists of 5 modular tests:
Depending on your objectives and the formalities to be completed, you may choose one or all of the 5 tests listed above.
This test must be taken in one session.
The Test d'évaluation de français pour l'accès au Quebec (TEFAQ) is recognized by the Quebec Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion (MIDI) for official immigration applications.
As part of the immigration process in Quebec, the Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Intégration (MIFI) requires proof of the applicant's knowledge of French. For these procedures, it recognizes the TEF Québec exam (TEFAQ). The TEFAQ is also recognized by IRCC to apply for Canadian citizenship.
The TEF Quebec (TEFAQ) exam is composed of four tests:
As a principal applicant, your knowledge of French must be at least level 7 (advanced intermediate) of the Quebec scale of proficiency in French for adult immigrants (in French) or the equivalent (level 2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) to obtain points.
The TCF or Test de Connaissance du français is a language proficiency test in French administered by the French Ministry of Education. It is a multiple-choice test that assesses all four language skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. The TCF is designed for non-native speakers of French who want to study in France or obtain French citizenship. Interested? Here's a preptool by TV channel TV5Monde.
Price: €160 (approx. $180 USD)
The Diplôme de Français Professionnel (DFP), also known as the Business French Diploma, is designed specifically for those who need touse French in a professional context. It assesses all four language skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) and is, therefore, an ideal option for those who need to demonstrate a high level of proficiency. The DFP is offered by the Chambre de Commerce etd'Industrie de Paris (CCIP) and is recognized by many different professional organizations.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to choosing the best French proficiency test for business. The most important thing is to pick a test that suits your needs. For example, if you are looking for an efficient, affordable and modern way to assess your candidates, you should choose Pipplet, but if you are looking for a widely recognized and respected certificate, the DELF or DALF may be your best option.
However, if you are looking for a more affordable option, the TEF may be a better choice. Ultimately, the best French proficiency test for business is the one that meets your specific needs and requirements. Each of these tests has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to choose the best one for your needs.
Do you need to hire or develop French-speaking talent? When it comes to conducting business in French-speaking countries, it is important to be able to verify one's proficiency in that language, to better serve your company’s clients. Having your candidates or employees takea language proficiency test will help you assess whether or not they have the necessary proficiency to succeed in their future workplace, as non-native speakers. For a lot of working positions with frequent interactions with French-speaking consumers or partners, it is necessary to test your candidates’ language competency in French because that is directly linked to their future productivity and efficiency.The ability to interact practically in French is a good example of a skill that can be easily evaluated by pre-employment testing, even before candidates reach the interview stage. By doing this, you’ll be able to focus your efforts on those who truly have the required abilities.