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DELF-DALF: new tables for a more accurate evaluation of candidate skills

Officially launched last year on September 1st, the new evaluation tables developed by France Éducation international are already being used by DELF-DALF centres approved in France and abroad.


As part of its approach to continuously improve exams and evaluation tools, in 2016, France Éducation international decided to analyse how the evaluation tables for verbal and written skills in the DELF and DALF tests work. The psychometric analyses highlighted some differences in scoring between markers and from one test or session to another. As a result, France Éducation international decided to revise its evaluation tools to ensure that candidates are treated equally, that marking of tests is reliable and to ensure the quality of DELF-DALF evaluation methods.

Research and fact-finding work have identified three sources of difficulty: a higher number of criteria, a significant number of evaluation stages and insufficient descriptions of these stages. A prototype of the new table was then developed by France Éducation international experts and circulated throughout the network to be trialled in 2019. The results obtained made it possible to refine the prototypes to then, in March 2022, create reliable and functional tables in compliance with the recommendations of the Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE).

The approach used for these new tables compensates for the difficulties encountered with previous versions. Therefore, only five or six criteria, which are the same across all six levels, are now evaluated. This makes it possible to improve the uniformity of tables and make them easier to use.

However, the major innovation in the tables is evaluation using performance levels. Candidates’ skills are no longer marked in increments of 0.5 points, but instead using specific descriptors. The assessor-markers will therefore categorise the skills according to whether the target level has been achieved.

To learn more, in particular about the new tables, register with the self-teaching module provided free of charge on FEI+.

To learn more about the evaluation process for skills tests, check out our video