jeudi, juillet 31, 2008

08.07.31: DELF B2: Epreuve Production Orale

Last day of DELF-ing exams arrives.

Just to add the next chapter of the story, here is how it goes ...

Arrive at l'Alliance Française 1/2 hour before scheduled exam time. Sit in the hallway for 1 hour with other prospective delf-ers. Young woman sitting next to me is Italian, needing to demonstrate a level B2 Delf to gain admission into a university in Angers. Didn't ask what she is going to study, instead we joked about the high level of dis-organization that is Rome. She also commented that it was likely significantly more difficult for an anglo-phone to learn french than an italo-phone. We all start from somewhere. That knowledge helps me not at all today.

One-by-one we are called into the exam prep room. The examin-atrice asks me if I received her e-mail, which previously required 10 mintues of telephone conversation. I said: Thank you very much. I am given a command to choose one of 6 face down blue cards. The card I choose happens to have the numbers 9 and 10 on the face side. The examin-atrice then shows me 2 titles corresponding to articles 9 and 10, and commands that I choose one of the articles for my exam topic du jour. I choose bio-diversité in the title. The subject of the other was not immediately obvious from the title.

I now have 30 minutes to prepare myself to talk for 20 minutes. In my 20 minutes épreuve, I should demonstrate that I well understood the point of view of the article, that I have my own opinion about the subject that I can express well in an organized fashion, that I can understand and respond to topical questions from a bona-fide française, and that your average french person would not have extreme difficulty to understand my admittedly heavily anglo-phonic accented prononciation of french words. Whatever.

I did the best that I could. I spoke for 10 minutes non-stop at the outset to express my point of view. At which point the examin-atrice said:
    "OK, that was perfect."
I didn't know if this was just another sort of cute meaningless french phrase, intended to put me at ease, or if in fact she was commenting on my presentation skills. I said:
    "That was perfect?"
She said:
    "Yes, that was 10 minutes, perfect. Now I need to ask you some questions ....."

OK, all in all, not a complete flop, from my point of view.

Scores available at the end of the month. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, here is the text I was presented as the basis of my impassioned discourse on the why-we-don't-need-yet-another-org to say what is already being promoted by several other important scientifique organizations ...

Happy reading,

Un appel international en faveur de la biodiversité
Caroline de Malet 15/10/2007 Mise à jour : 16:35 Le Figaro
LA TERRE est «au seuil d'une crise majeure» ! C'est en ces termes que dix-neuf scientifiques issus de treize pays lancent un appel à la communauté scientifique mondiale, en l'exhortant à parler d'une même voix pour orienter les politiques mondiales de la biodiversité. Publiée aujourd'hui dans la revue Nature (1), leur déclaration exige que soit «comblé de toute urgence le fossé entre les sciences de la biodiversité et les politiques». Car, soulignent les auteurs de cet appel, «la quasi-totalité des domaines concernés est en forte régression et de nombreuses populations ou espèces risquent de disparaître au cours du siècle. Malgré cette évidence, la biodiversité reste largement sous-évaluée et insuffisamment prise en compte par les politiques publiques comme par les entreprises».

Les signataires de cette déclaration proposent donc que soit mise sur pied une instance qui fédère le point de vue de la communauté scientifique et oriente les décisions politiques.