French Program Makes Strides in Professional Certification
For the third consecutive year, the French Program in the Department of World Languages, Literatures & Cultures is offering the Diplôme de Français Professionel (Business French Exam).
The exam is internationally recognized and it certifies that students have the knowledge
and skills to work in a French-speaking environment. U of A is the only testing center
for the Business French Exam in the state and the region - Dallas and St. Louis being
the only other closest options.
The exam is certified and graded by the Chambre de Commerce de Paris Ile-de-France.
Companies and universities around the world recognize the certification level from
"Getting the exam to the University was not easy but well worth it." Kathy Comfort,
associate professor of French, explains:
"When the opportunity arose to do the training to open a Business French testing center
here, I jumped at it. I think the biggest challenge was navigating the paperwork on
both sides of the Atlantic. But with the support of lots of people in administration,
we finally got the agreement signed."
The purpose of the exam is to measure students' abilities and knowledge of specialized
business vocabulary as well as their ability to effectively demonstrate skills in
listening, reading, speaking and writing.
When a prospective employer sees that a student has, for instance, a B1 level in Business
French, he/she knows what the student can do in French and how fluent he/she is. Without
those designations, it is difficult to know what level of language a student has.
'Conversation skills' or 'reading knowledge,' which is what people commonly say on
CVs, is very vague and can mean many different things. With this certification exam
now available to students, employers can easily identify a specific skill set.
Currently, the Business French exam is required for Business French courses taught
by Comfort, but it is open to anyone who is interested. The exam is part of a larger
plan to offer more French certification exams such as apparel, medical, legal and
For more information about the Business French Exam or to register, contact Kathy
Comfort via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 479-575-6062.