Thirty Grade 12 students from St. Michael Catholic High School have passed an international test for bilingualism. The class, with both core French and immersion students, took the Diplome d’Etude en Langue Française (DELF) test at the beginning of May. They had the choice of taking it at three different levels, outlining their level of proficiency in Canada’s second official language.
The DELF, is a diploma that is awarded by the French Ministry of Education in France to prove the French-language skills of non-French candidates. Every student in teacher Chantal Ayotte’s class will be able to use this diploma to prove their French language skills, both in university and as they enter the workforce.
“It’s good for us, because it makes us different than everyone else,” says student Nathan Savoy. “It gives me the opportunity to take higher level French courses [at university],” adds student Karlee Ouelette, who says she is going to study languages at the University of Ottawa next year.
All the Grade 12 French students within the Catholic School Board of Eastern Ontario have the opportunity to take this test. This was the first year that the whole Grade 12 French class at St. Mike’s decided to participate. Chantal started preparing them at the beginning of the year for the four sections of the test: oral French, reading, writing and comprehension. Because it is a European test, the students also had to get used to a different accent and vocabulary than they were exposed to in Canada. “[Mme.] pushed us to take the highest level we thought we could achieve,” says student Isaac Dagg.
The DELF is a lifelong certificate and is recognized internationally. The students in the class were all very happy they committed to taking the exam, and acknowledge how useful it will be in the future. “We will thank ourselves that we did this early on,” says student Grace Besserer.