To determine which test you need to take, you should ask yourself some questions:
- Do you want to work in a French or an English school/board?
- Do you want to teach in Quebec or in another province upon graduation?
- Are you in the TESL program? (The requirement is different for ESL specialists)
Here is an overview of the most common French exams:
- Céfranc: The Céfranc is the test that is the most widely accepted by school boards in Québec. This test is not recognized outside of Quebec. To register, you need to contact the examination center located in St-Leonard. It is also advised to read thoroughly the preparation guides available on their website. For all subjects except ESL, Spanish, and vocational training, teachers need to pass test 1 and 2. ESL teachers must pass test 3 and 4.
- SEL: The SEL (Service d’évaluation linguistique) is another French proficiency test, but not all school boards recognize it, especially English school boards. The test is not recognized outside of Quebec. While it is sometimes said that it is "easier" than the Céfranc, we believe students should do their own research and determine the appropriate test based on their career objectives and their skill levels. The examination center offers a self-assessment tool and preparation guides on their website.
- TECFÉE: The TECFÉE is not a test McGill Education students can take. Only Education students in French universities must pass it.
- DELF/DALF: The DELF and DALF are six separate diplomas issued by the French Ministry for National Education to certify French language skills (see chart below). These diplomas are valid for life. DELF and DALF certificates are developed by the Centre International d’Etudes Pédagogiques (CIEP) and reflect the six levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL). In 2016, the DELF and DALF examinations are available in 173 countries and are recognized worldwide. DELF and DALF evaluate language skills in four areas: oral comprehension, oral expression, written comprehension, and written expression. The DALF is accepted by some English school boards. C1 is generally the minimum level expected for teaching positions. Visit the Canadian DELF-DALF website to get the list of examination centers.
Each school board has their own requirements regarding French exams. You are invited to check each school/board's website for their language policy for teachers. The passing grade can also be different. Please contact your Education Career Advisor (career.education [at] mcgill.ca) if you have additional questions regarding French exams.
Resources to improve your French skills
- Consider taking French courses at McGill. Make sure to discuss this possibility with your academic advisor.
- The Explore program makes it possible for students to benefit from an immersion experience and improve their knowledge of one of Canada’s two official languages: French or English. The five-week spring or summer bursary program makes it possible for participants to learn their second language at an accredited educational institution while discovering a region of Québec or the rest of Canada. Participants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Bursaries are awarded by random draw. The bursary does not cover the registration fee, the travel costs and optional activities, and spending money.
- Lingo Buddies is a MISN (McGill International Student Network) initiative that facilitates language exchanges between students from various universities in Montreal.
- SSMU Mini Courses and Post-Graduate Students' Society regularly offer inexpensive French classes (e.g. beginner, intermediate conversational).
- YMCA Language School also offers affordable French classes.
- Centre collégial de développement de matériel didactique: online exercises and resources to review grammar
- Centre d'enseignement du français de McGill: The Centre coordinates various projects and social events you can participate in to brush up your skills.
Some adult education centers and privates academies offer preparation classes for the Céfranc or the SEL: