Get Ready for The French DELF Writing Exam
Writing is one of my passions. I love the idea of crafting and capturing a certain emotion using the beautiful combination of words to connect with people.
My own exposure to other languages such as English, Spanish, German and Chinese can help my writing as it is a great mental exercise, and it can enhance my creativity with wordplay.
Generally, we know that the Roman alphabet system in the modern English language is shared with French and they have a historical connection. Thus, if you’re familiar with the alphabet A to Z then you are one step closer to learn French writing.
Anyway, good writing skills still can be tough even though it is in our own language. Writing in another language especially during the DELF Writing Exam is even harder for most of the students!
But, don’t worry! Here are some ‘secret recipes’ or tips we can share to help you improve your writing in French.
First of all, you must recognize your own capability and style. You also need to know exactly what to focus on when writing in French at your own level either in beginner, intermediate, or advanced.
Don’t be too hard on yourself to achieve the fast result in the starting phase. You may start small and keep going as the French proverb says,
“Petit a petit, l’oiseau fait son nid”.
Little by little, the bird is working hard to build his nest. With the plenty of perseverance, you also will make it.
You can find fun ways to start honing your French writing skill that suits you well for instance through movies, books, or the internet to avoid burnout and get boring quickly.
Enriching Vocabulary and Grammar before the DELF Writing Exam
French writing requires knowledge of everything from grammar to vocabulary. You also need to mind the French grammar because it is particularly important in the eyes of a French Examinator. (When I was young I was not very good with this and my French teacher called Madame Graglia, was always shouting at me because I did so much mistakes)
Then, you can find some random words in French through a French Exam preparation Book and write them down in your notebook. (If you do this system with only 3 words a day, you will end the year with 1095 new words! This is the magic of the so-called compound-effect.) Repeat those words, remember them and practice them by including them in a written text or phrase.
Also use an online dictionary if you don’t understand a French word, I would suggest Reverso as this site can be your lifesaver. It is a dictionary that not only contains the words but also full phrases. It also tends to give correct and more colloquial translations. Some interesting thing also is that the first answers that appear for a translation are the most used.
Here are the other free online dictionaries you should use:
- Word Reference French English dictionary (for more accurate translations)
- French Dictionary & Thesaurus + English Translation by Farlex.
- French English Dictionary by Ascendo
If you already have some vocabulary and grammar, do lots and lots of readings. Take 15-30 minutes every day to read (and if you choose to do 15min for example, stick on it, regularity is the key!) There are many different types of reading materials in French that you may consume:
- News and articles
- Short stories
- Children’s books
- Song lyrics
- YouTube’s comment
Take note of the way they form their sentences, especially transitions and linking words. They will be very useful during the DELF Writing Exam. Watch carefully for common phrases as well. While you read, search for idioms, and then practice using them in another context.
Then you can write these down and challenge yourself to use them in your next French composition. By reading, you will develop writing skills.
The only way you can improve writing is by doing it yourself and the biggest secret for better writing is to write more!
Developing your writing skills is like a workout to strengthen your muscles. If you don’t practice often or if you leave it, your “writing muscle” will quickly weaken.
I highly suggest that you keep a journal or diary and write by hand for regular practice. You can start to use simple sentences and write whatever you want for fun.
- Your daily routine
- Personal experiences
- Book/movie reviews
- Photo prompt.
This research found that if you are interested in something, then you are more likely to actually learn about it. If you write about something you don’t care about, then it will be a chore for you, so… don’t forget to have fun!
Revise what you have written, find out the mistakes, and improve your content. If you make mistakes in writing, you can them correct easily with technology. Here are some helpful online tools:
The more you correct yourself, the more you will learn. Trust me, I’ve been studying 4 languages for years and it needs a lot of focus.
If you need some human input, try posting your writing on an online forum such as the DelfSchool Facebook page to get help from, from other native French speakers or find a pen pal.
Don’t be down by disapproving comments from people (laughing at you when you tell them about your Eiffel Tower Dream) because it might fuel your spirit to do better as quoted by Grayson Marshall, a legendary basketball player,
“If people are not laughing at your dreams, then they are not big enough.”
Be consistent and be prepared for the DELF Writing Exam!
If you want to improve your French writing skills, the real key, like I said before, is being consistent. If you write a little bit every day, you will find that it gets easier. (I do only 10 minutes of Chinese since 145 days now and it is really impressive how much vocabulary I know now!)
Improving French writing skills shall not happen in a day or overnight. It requires sustained efforts for a long time as the saying goes,
“Paris ne s’est pas fait en un jour! which means Paris was not made in a day!
I understand that some of the French words can be very difficult. It can be frustrated and overwhelmed with all the lessons.
So if you feel overwhelmed to learn the lessons by yourself and need some guidance, check my French online course and I will help you to score in DELF Exam.
and if you need help for the DELF Listening Exam check out our other Blog post