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In today’s world, speaking one foreign language is not enough. Students who speak several languages will increase their chances of finding a job, whether at home or abroad. Learning another language enriches the mind and opens up new horizons, both personal and professional.
While any language will be useful for some jobs or for some regions, French is the only foreign language that can be useful throughout the world as well as in the United States. French as a foreign language is the second most frequently taught language in the world after English. The International Organization of Francophone has 51 member states and governments. Of these, 28 countries have French as an official language. French is the only language other than English spoken on five continents. French and English are the only two global languages.
The ability to speak both French and English is an advantage for finding a job with the many multinational companies using French as their working language, in a wide range of sectors (retailing, automotive, luxury goods, aeronautics, etc.). France, as the world’s fifth biggest economy, attracts entrepreneurs, researchers and the cream of foreign students.
One example of the importance of French can be seen in a recent listing of international jobs (8/30/05) distributed by the US State Department: 204 required or preferred French, 71 a UN language (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish), 53 Spanish, 19 Arabic, 9 Portuguese, 12 Russian, 4 German, 3 Italian, Chinese 6.
France is the world’s top tourist destination and attracts more than 79,5 million visitors a year. The ability to speak even a little French makes it so much more enjoyable to visit Paris and all the regions of France (from the mild climes of the Cote d’Azur to the snow-capped peaks of the Alps via the rugged coastline of Brittany) and offers insights into French culture, mentality and way of life. French also comes in handy when travelling to Africa, Switzerland, Canada, Monaco, the Seychelles and other places.
|Beginner||A1||Can recognise and use familiar words and simple phrases for concrete purposes. Can introduce himself or someone else. Can ask and answer basic questions about home, family, surroundings, etc. Can communicate in a basic way when the other person speaks slowly and clearly, and is ready to repeat or reformulate to help communication.|
|Elementary||A2||Can understand isolated phrases and common expressions that relate to areas of high personal relevance (like personal or family information, shopping, immediate environment, work). Can communicate during easy or habitual tasks requiring a basic and direct information exchange on familiar subjects. Using simple words, can describe his or her surroundings and communicate immediate needs.|
|Intermediate||B1||Can understand the main points of clear standard speech on familiar subjects in work, school, leisure activities, etc. Can manage in most situations that come up when travelling in a region where the language is spoken. Can produce a simple and cohesive text on familiar subjects or subjects of personal interest. Can narrate an event, an experience or a dream; describe a desire or goal, and outline reasons or explanations behind a project or idea.|
|Upper Intermediate||B2||Can understand the main ideas of concrete or abstract topics in a complex text, including a technical article in the user’s area of expertise. Can communicate with a degree of spontaneity and fluency during a conversation with a native speaker, in a way that is comfortable for everyone. Can speak in a clear, detailed way on a number of subjects; express an opinion on current affairs, giving the advantages and disadvantages of the various options.|
|Advanced||C1||Can understand a wide range of long and complex texts, including any subtextual or stylistic nuances. Can express him or herself freely and fluidly, without obviously fumbling for words. Can use the language effectively and fluently in a social, professional or academic context. Can speak in a clear, organised way about complex subjects, developing a well-structured argument.|
|Master or Proficient||C2||Can effortlessly understand almost everything he or she reads or hears. Capable of a coherent summary of events or arguments from oral or written sources. Can express him or herself precisely in a spontaneous, fluent way, conveying finer shades of meaning precisely.|