Institut Français and Sorbonne Abu Dhabi celebrate the Awards of French Studies Diplomas to 1014 Students
The Embassy of France in Abu Dhabi held yesterday, Wednesday October 2nd, a ceremony in honor of students qualifying for the Diploma in French Studies (diplôme d’édutes en langue française – DELF). Denis Douveneau, director of the French Institute and cultural counselor at the French Embassy in the UAE, awarded the diplomas to 1014 students, in the presence of Pr. Eric Fouache, Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi (PSUAD) Vice-Chancellor, as well as PSUAD faculty and staff, and proud parents and friends.
Cultural counselor Douveneau noted that DELF and DALF (diplôme approfondi de langue française) are rigorous study programs that challenge students to unlock their potentials while conferring to them a sense of pride and personal achievement. He underscored the tangible social value of these diplomas, value that has been perceived and acknowledged by the Emirati youth.
Mr. Douveneau observed that over one thousand students sit for the DELF examination every year in the UAE and that, this year, 1014 students signed up for the Abu Dhabi and Dubai sessions. Such massive enrollment is testimony to the global appeal of these diplomas which are recognized and accredited by the French Ministry of National Education.
“Truly, completing the DELF is in itself a commendable achievement, even more so given this year’s impressive student test scores, making this a particularly excellent group of graduates, each and every one of whom deserves their brilliant success.
“Official qualifications, such as DELF and DALF, certify a learner’s language assimilation and proficiency. They also allow learners to accurately gauge their knowledge of and competence in the French language, and are rewarding on a personal, educational, and professional level.
“Such diplomas are increasingly prized in today’s training-oriented and multidisciplinary society. Language learning is no longer limited to school where each institution applies its own criteria for linguistic skill testing,” said Mr. Douveneau, noting that over three million students from around the world have taken the DELF/DALF examinations at more than 1000 available testing centers in over 160 countries.
The French cultural counselor highlighted the level of modernity attained by the UAE over the past few decades while preserving national identity, heritage, and values. Similarly, he commended the UAE’s great strides in terms of development across the board, whether in education, health, infrastructure, services, and other areas, which constitute major and impressive achievements. Mr. Douveneau noted that cultural and educational development efforts have been significant and that France was proud to have contributed to these efforts, namely through PSUAD and world-class mathematics and physics programs. France, he said, is wagering on the future and the new generation. He observed that construction of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which is currently underway, constitutes a further dimension and an unprecedented opportunity for cultural collaboration between the two countries.
Pr. Eric Fouache, PSUAD Vice-Chancellor, emphasized that DELF and DALF diplomas are official qualifications awarded by the French Ministry of Education to certify the proficiency of candidates outside France in the French language. These diplomas are viable for admission into French universities, and can be used for immigration and citizenship procedures.
“The keen interest of the Emirati youth in studying the French language stands witness to the depth and strength of the ties between the UAE and France, and confirms that they are built on a firm foundation of shared interests and mutual understanding and respect at all levels. Indeed, they are an exemplary model for positive relations between any two countries.
“DELF programs are taught in the UAE and Paris correspondingly, in order to ensure consistency,” he said, observing that French is an old, rich, and highly-nuanced language. This type of qualification is aligned with the strategies of PSUAD as an Emirati university with a French curriculum that is constantly striving to engage cutting-edge cognitive and linguistic trends and skills to enable its students to make use of the latest research in their studies.
Pr. Fouache explained that the majority of students who enroll at PSUAD do not speak French and that the number of non-francophone students is high, some of whom are Emirati or GCC nationals while others are international students. Such students are admitted into the French department but are required to attend intensive French language courses allowing them, within a year, to speak French fluently and attain the level of proficiency needed to follow a French curriculum. At the end of the year, students are awarded an internationally-recognized university diploma by PSUAD which gives them access to the university’s bachelor degree program.
Pr. Fouache said that the French Studies program, in compliance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CERF), is developed according to strict procedures and is administered by a team of qualified instructors and experts in teaching French as a second language selected by a panel in Paris, based on Paris-Sorbonne quality standards.
Meanwhile, the graduating students voiced, in a special message, their gratitude to all their instructors for urging them to strive for excellence and for generously imparting their knowledge to them so that they, in turn, can pass on what they learned to others.