Tips for the DELF B2

Here are some tips for preparing the DELF B2 exam

The DELF B2 examination shows that the speaker is able to construct arguments to negotiate and to defend his or her opinion

At level B2, the candidate has a degree of fluency and spontaneity in regular interactions and is capable of correcting his/her own mistakes. DELF B2 is mandatory to be able to study in the French higher education system.

DELF B2 examination is based on level B2 of the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).

Click here to get a sample of the DELF B2 exam or contact Caroline to know more about her DELF preparation course in Paris.

Preparing your oral exposé

1. Read your items quickly but carefully. Remember that you have only thirty minutes of preparation.

Choose an article for presentation based on your familiarity with and how knowledgeable you are on the theme and subject matter. You should select an article according to your level of knowledge in that area.

2.   Identify and organize the information from the extra text. You will be giving this information at the start of the expose. It is often referred to as “the presentation of the text” and it includes:

  • the title of the article
  • the subtitle
  • the « chapeau » of the article (paragraph of introduction)
  • the theme
  • the main ideas
  • the source: information on the author, the name of the book or document from which the extract was taken, the date of publication, the publishing house etc.
  • the problem, conflict or situation to resolve which is called in French the « problématique »

3. Identify the problematic as this will form the basis of the expose. After having identified the problem presented in the text, it will be your task and mission to bring some kind of resolution to this problem. You may approach the discussion from one of at least three main angles: (1) for  (2) against  (3) neutral.  Decide upon the angle that you will argue from and generate at least three main points for discussion which are tied into the “problématique”.

4.    Use examples, illustration, and data to substantiate and support your main points. If not your points will be too broad and your delivery and argument will lack the power of persuasion.

5.     Select a plan for your delivery and organize the content of the expose accordingly. Here are various plans that you may want to choose from.

  • the comparative plan: the idea here is to highlight differences between two or more phenomena or subjects.  A common approach is to show the advantages and disadvantages of… /  points for and points against…
  • the dialectic plan: present your thesis or argument that you set out to prove. This is followed by an antithesis which is an argument that stands in opposition to the thesis. To resolve both conflicting positions, the synthesis will follow which may likely lead to a completely new position from what was first presented.
  • the analytical plan which are arguments based on logical reasoning such as; causes / consequence, problems / solution
  • the thematic plan. The arguments are given from a thematic point of view such as, political, social, environmental, economic, scientific among others.

Be sure to make use of those all too important connectors in order to link your ideas together nicely and to enhance the logic and progression of your content.

6.  Though you are allowed to have written material in the exam room, do not write out the complete expose with the intention to read it aloud. This does not constitute an expose. Remember the jury will be marking your speaking and argumentative skills not your reading skills. The plan containing your main and supporting arguments with examples should suffice to carry you through.

7.      Prepare a brief outline of your exposé. Along with the presentation of the text at the start of the oral delivery, this will help to give you a smooth start, boost your confidence and put you more at ease since less cognitive effort will be needed for this introductory phase.

Delivery of the exposé

1. Be sure to:

  • greet the examiners.  
  • acknowledge their presence and utterances
  • introduce yourself. 

2. Start the delivery with a presentation of the text. Then give a simple outline of the major points of the expose. It shows that you are well organized and that you know what you are doing.

3.    Now go for gold you are well on your way to a successful delivery.

4.   Do  not rush. Take your time to speak and to give attention to clarity. Remember you have 20 minutes. That is a lot so there is really no need to rush!

5.    Do not be bothered by the apparent aggressive demeanor of the examiner particularly during the two way interaction. It is in fact a mere role play. So do not think that they are upset because of the influx of immigrants to France.

6.    Do not focus on mistakes that you have recognized that you have made. It is pointless.

General themes for DELF B2

1. politics                          7.  defense
2. religion                        8.  economy
3. education                    9.  health
4. ecology                        10. history
5. culture                         11. fashion
6. law and justice           12. career and profession

Bon courage ! Contact Caroline if you wish to know more about her DELF B2 preparation course in Paris.

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