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Level of French

Minimum level required

Our lessons are aimed at those who, according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL), demonstrate A2 to C1 level French. Since our full immersion programme is based on learners solely speaking French from morning until evening, this means that it is not, however, suitable for beginners, i.e. those who are neither able to formulate a simple sentence in French nor understand short and very simple exchanges, even when the speaker is talking slowly. The total immersion concept is not meant for beginners, that is for somebody who is not able to form a simple sentence and does not understand a conversation slowly spoken phrases in French.

If you are not entirely sure of your level, you can download the Council of Europe’s self-assessment grid and the list of A1 and A2 level descriptors taken from the European Language Portfolio (ELP). You can also contact our school here in France to arrange a test via Skype.

However, if you are able to engage on a basic level with others, we guarantee that you will make good progress. To truly get the best out of your time with us, we recommend that you take a fresh look over any past studies before you start the course.

The following is a guide indicating the number of learning hours required to attain each CEFR level. Please remember that every learner progresses at a different rate depending on several factors such as level of motivation, time dedicated to personal study and pre-existing knowledge of other languages, amongst others.

LevelCan be reached through ... hours of studyTotal of study hours
A180 to 100 h80 to 100 h
A2+ 100 to 120 h180 to 200 h
B1+ 150 to 180 h350 to 400 h
B2+ 200 to 250 h600 to 650 h
C1+ 250 to 300 h850 to 900 h
C2To reach thislevel, the hourly volume is variable.
Source : Le Centre international d'études pédagogiques (CIEP)

Lessons according to level

Following a test and interview carried out on the first morning of the course.

Level “JAUNE”

A2 level according to C.E.F.R. *

Aim: I can describe or use simple phrases to talk about people, living conditions, daily activities and likes and dislikes. I can communicate in simple and routine tasks. I am capable of making short social exchanges. Where diction is clear, slow and well-articulated I can understand simple expressions and common phrases related to areas of most immediate relevance to me such as personal and family details, shopping, my local area and working environment. I can pronounce words clearly enough to be understood during very simple exchanges even if the person to whom I am speaking asks me to repeat them. I am able to use correct stress and intonation when saying simple phrases.

Level “AZUR”

A2+/B1 level according to C.E.F.R. *

Aim: I am capable of interacting with reasonable ease in short conversations with help from the other person where needed. I can understand the main points of clear, standard language relating to familiar topics. I can ask and answer a limited number of easy questions. I am able to exchange ideas and information on familiar topics. I can use simple terms to tell a story or describe an experience, event or activity. I am capable of explaining why I like or dislike something. I can understand enough to respond appropriately to someone, provided that their diction is clear and slow. I am continuing to make progress in my pronunciation and use of stress and intonation.


B1 level according to C.E.F.R. *

Aim: I can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. I can enter unprepared into conversation on familiar topics (e.g. work, school, hobbies etc). I am able to express my personal opinion. I can use simple terms to relate an experience, event, the plot of a book or film and describe my own reactions to it. I can understand the main points of standard speech on familiar topics and I am able to pronounce words clearly and use stress and intonation almost perfectly.

Level “SAPHIR”

B1+/B2 level according to C.E.F.R. *

Aim: I can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain from either party. I can express and defend my opinions by giving relevant explanations and arguments. I can actively sustain a discussion within a familiar context, accounting for and justifying my views. I am able to use correct stress and intonation as well as ensure that my pronunciation seldom inhibits others’ understanding.

Level “VERT”

B2+/C1 level according to C.E.F.R. *

Aim: I can express myself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for words or expressions. I can present clear, detailed descriptions of complex subjects. I am able to understand extended speech even when it is not clearly structured and when relationships are only implied and not signalled explicitly. I can recognise a range of idiomatic expressions, common colloquialisms and changes of register. I am capable of perfecting my pronunciation of certain sounds and my melody of speech, where necessary.

Level “VERT+”

C1/C2 level according to C.E.F.R. *

We cannot always guarantee provision of the C1/C2 level class during your stay. Prior to enrolment, a Skype interview will be given to learners who consider their French to be of this standard. It may be possible to run a C1/C2 group if we have TFL or interpreters who sign up to the course.

Aim: I can produce clear, fluent, logically structured, effective speech which helps the recipient notice and remember the significant points. I am able to convey the finer shades of meaning related to complex subjects. I have a good familiarity with idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms. I can understand with ease virtually all forms of spoken language, whether live or recorded, even when delivered at fast native speed.

Note for all levels

Although groups are limited to 6 people, please bear in mind that each learner will demonstrate a varying level of aptitude in any given domain. For example, one learner may find it easier to take part in conversation, whilst another may feel more at ease with trying to understand a radio or television programme or grammar point. Although our main focus is on studying in small groups, we do also have a small number of places available for private lessons.

Learners’ progress is monitored on a daily basis throughout the week. Please be aware that groups may be restructured in accordance with these observations to ensure that we provide the best learning experience for each individual.

During the course we will carry out several assessments to ascertain your level of French according to the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference). Upon course completion, you will be awarded a certificate stating, not only your level of French, but also the results of your assessment on pronunciation and prosody (rhythm, intonation, accent and fluency).

This certificate corresponds to an assessment within the framework of courses and activities offered by CREA-LANGUES. For a formal assessment under the TCF or DELF /DALF, we advise you to consult the www.ciep.fr website (available in several languages).

Please note that there is a DELF/DALF assessment centre located in Manosque (a 45-minute drive from our language centre). If you wish to sit this exam during your stay with us, please let us know at the time of booking. We have access to the centre’s schedule and can help you to arrange an appointment with them.

(*) Source: www.coe.int (CEFR, Common Reference Levels Global Scale & Companion volume with new descriptors)

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