This is one of the questions that comes back very frequently, and new comers do not know always how to compare them. To begin with, all of them are certificates that validate the knowledge of French language of a candidate during an examination. However, there are some differences. Let's go there.
DCL (Diplôme de compétence en langue), DELF (Diplôme d'études en langue française) and DALF (Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française) are diplomas (degrees) that certify your knowledge in French language, and given by the French ministry of education. These are diplomas like your bachelors or masters, and hence have a validity for a life time.
For example, if you have done a bachelors with major in Chemistry, that bachelors degree will be valid even 30 years later, irrespective of your knowledge in chemistry at that time. DCL, DELF and DALF certificates, thus, do not have an expiry date.
On the other hand, TCF stands for Test de connaissance du français, which is a test to see your knowledge of French. It's result can be used in France to show one's French language proficiency and in Canada for immigration.
Similarly, the TEF stands for Test d'évaluation de français and was designed by the Paris chamber of commerce. The TEF has two other variations for Canada. The TEF Canada is designed by the IRCC - Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and the TEFAQ by the MIFI - Ministry of immigration , Francisation and Integration.
TEF Canada and TEFAQ can be handy for people who are thinking to immigrate to Canada. The TEFAQ is for people who want specifically to migrate to Quebec. Nevertheless, Canada does also recognise the DELF / DALF diplomas.
Unlike the DCL / DELF / DALF though, the vaidity of the result of TCF / TEF is only two years.
Thus, if two people need to prove their French language proficiency 3 years after appearing an exam, one with a DCL / DELF / DALF and another with a TCF / TEF, the second one will have to appear the exam again, as by then his / her certificate will become void.
Last but not the least - we hear time to time a narrative from some people that DCL / DELF / DALF exams are tough to clear. In our school we wondered from where this narrative has come, because every single student who took their French language lesson with us and went for DELF thereafter, cleared their DELF exams with good percentage of marks.
We have a 100% success rate for Centre Zenith in DELF as of now. For DCL, we are a recognised centre of preparation for the DCL examinations and will start our first session from the exams of March 2023. We and confident that we will continue with our excellent success rate in DCL exams as well.
WHAT ARE THE LEVELS AND WHERE THOSE LEVELS TAKE US ?
Le CECRL (Cadre européen commun de référence pour les langues) or the CEFRL (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) is a guideline of levels of an European language learned by a foreign learner and was put together by the Council of Europe. Six levels were identified : A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2.
The A level is the basic level, the B level is the intermediate level and the C level is the expert level.
To know more about the 4 different levels of the basic and intermediate ones, you may click on the links below.