Davide Pio Boeri - DELF Success Stories

Davide would like to go on with D.E.L.F/D.A.LF. training and have the level certified by taking the exams. Furthermore, he needs French for his daily private and business life. He moved to France and has a strong need to improve his vocabulary.

Fun fact: The DELF is a French exam which has been established more than 20 years ago in France and is recognised all around the world. The FIDE is a Swiss exam that was created less than 3 years ago and is only recognised within Switzerland at the moment. DELF goes with questions based more on business, theoretical, and philosophical topics. 

Davide took his DELF exam on 24 March 2022 at Alliance Française, Annecy, and informed us in April of the results. Since the recording of the interview, Davide passed DALF C1 exam in August 2022! Your Super Prof Laurence and the whole Prêt à Parler are super proud of your achievement! Toutes nos félicitations, Davide!

Here is what Davide has to say about his experience learning French online and preparing for his exam with us:

"Prêt à Parler offers a superior service. The IT tools are very helpful and easy to use.

My learning progress is confirmed by my environment. My teacher - Laurence - impresses me with her knowledge, friendliness, and flexibility. After each lesson, I feel better prepared for my upcoming exams"


Isabelle: Bonjour chers Prêts à Parleurs et Prêtes à Parleuses et bienvenue à cette quatrième interview du FIDE Success Story. Aujourd'hui, j'ai un grand plaisir à vous présenter notre super client, très adorable et formidable, c'est un grand plaisir de travailler avec lui. Il s'appelle Davide Boeri.

C'est un Suisse allemand originaire de Berne, donc sa langue maternelle est le bernois. il habite maintenant à Divonne-les-Bains, il travaille à Versoix, il avait besoin d'améliorer son français et de préparer son examen du DELF. Donc, aujourd'hui, nous n'allons pas parler du FIDE, mais du DELF, un autre examen très important dans la francophonie.

C'est un examen qui est reconnu partout à travers le monde, donc c'est un bon diplôme à avoir quand on a besoin du français pour le travail ou pour la vie quotidienne. Le FIDE est aussi très important, surtout en Suisse. Avec Davide, nous allons parler du DELF ce matin.

Bonjour Davide, vous allez bien?

Davide: Bonjour Isabelle, oui très bien, merci et vous?


Isabelle: I know that for you Davide, your mother tongue is Swiss-German but you were kind enough to do the interview in English, because most of our followers and our future clients listening and our all the people who are subscribed to the Youtube channel are mostly English speakers. So, this is wonderful for us to be able to do the interview in English, thank you so much.

I have another question for you Davide. Tell me, why did you have to pass your DELF exam, what was the reason behind passing this exam? 

Davide: Well, I wanted to improve my French in order to feel more comfortable using it in my professional and private environment.

Isabelle: Can you tell me more about the learning points that you wanted to improve, the key learning points - was it more grammar, vocabulary, the confidence, what were the most important points that you wanted to improve with private lessons for French?

Davide: Well, all of them which you have just mentioned. It is of highest importance to me that I improve in as well in grammar, also having the necessary vocabulary to be able to conversate on an appropriate level I'd say.

Isabelle: Yeah. And why the DELF? Do you need the DELF for your work at the moment? Is that mandatory in order to keep growing within your company, or that was a personal decision to pass the DELF exam?

Davide: It was more a personal decision, I was looking for a label which is recognized throughout the world and DELF for me is really the reference in, as a French diploma.

Isabelle: Yes, absolutely. So the DELF exam has been put in place over 20 years ago. It's something which was created in France and which is internationally recognized. Whereas when we prepare for the FIDE exam, this is just recognized within Switzerland. However, if I can make a little explanation about the difference, for people who are preparing for the FIDE, who need to apply for the Permis C or the Swiss naturalisation, I always recommend that you pass the FIDE exam as opposed to the DELF, because FIDE is really about the everyday life in Switzerland, so it's even more useful for someone who prepares for the Permis C.

However, for you Davide, what you wanted was to go a little bit deeper in your knowledge of French and therefore past level B1 we recommend to do the DELF because there is no other higher level with FIDE, it stops at B1, and DELF can go to B1, B2, C1 and even C2 and rare are the people, the applicants who do the C1, and even rarer the C2.

And you are, you will tell me a little bit more about this later on, but you are quite a special learner and that is why I appreciate our chat today because not many people dare to do the DELF exam, they find it's quite difficult. So, if we come back to the language itself, your mother tongue is German, Swiss German, it was also Italian, from what I understood in kindergarten, but knowing that your mother tongue is Swiss German, did you consider French as a challenging language? What was your rapport to this language?

Davide: Well, French grammar is in fact quite challenging, but I'm lucky to have an Italian background, which helps me a lot with the French language, and my rapport to this language is that I live in France and I work in the French part of Switzerland, and therefore it's a must if you want to have social contacts, and also on the professional level you just need to be able to express yourself in French.

Isabelle: And also probably being Swiss, where French is one of the main languages, the official languages of the country that was probably a language you were introduced to from an early age. Did you learn French when you were in school as well?

Davide: Yes, we had French lessons, and it was not always just fun, especially the vocabulary sections but yeah, every language needs to be learned.

Isabelle: Absolutely. So, before you reached out to us you already had some basics of French. You were already almost at level B1, so, a very strong, solid A2, which means when you have A2 you are able to really get by in your everyday life. You were already living in France, so you already spoke French quite well, you were quite comfortable with it. Then you wanted to get to the next level with the DELF B1, so can you tell me why did you reach out to Prêt à Parler to prepare for the DELF exam?

Davide: Yes, a colleague had taken some lessons at Prêt à Parler before and she was really, fully satisfied and her advice finally convinced me to choose Prêt à Parler. If I remember well that was Natalie, is that correct?

Davide: Exactly, yes!

Isabelle: And she now lives in Zurich, is that correct? She's still there now?

Davide: She's still there, yeah.

Isabelle: Yes, so another colleague of yours living in the German part of Switzerland and it was such a pleasure to work with her, so we love love love when it's also a word of mouth, when people hear for us through a word of mouth. That's lovely.

Can you tell me, you're recently passed the DELF B2 exam. And successfully, congratulations about that. We'll talk about that a little bit later. But there are many typical scenarios in the DELF exam, it's quite a complex challenging exam, especially the B2.

Can you tell me more about the exam itself, and one typical scenario question which was, that you did, and that you still remember from the time of the exam?

Davide: Well, the DELF B2 exam consists of different parts, there are oral and writing comprehension and production tasks. And my oral production task was about a document published in a newspaper, and I had to, to read it, and to build kind of a pros and cons regarding this article, have an 8-10 minutes monologue, and then a conversation with the examiner.

Isabelle: Okay, and the conversation with the examiner was more personal questions, you had to talk about yourself, or it was having to express your opinion on a specific topic?

Davide: A little bit of both. First, it was related to the document, and then we opened up the discussion to more personal points.

Isabelle: So, the level of comfort and confidence when you speak French is quite important when you do this part of the exam, the oral part, would you say?

Davide: Yes, yes, I do confirm, you need to be able to express your point and to deliver reasons why you're rather pro or why you are con.

Isabelle: Exactly, so it's a bit like a debate, you had to prove, to explain and support your opinion regarding a specific topic. Which is something that's very useful in our everyday life, or at work cos we have to prove our point or defend our ideas all the time, right?

Isabelle: Correct, yeah. I would love to know Davide, how did the exam preparation program that you did with Super Prof Laurence help you to answer this question and the DELF exam itself?

Davide: Okay, yeah, the preparation with Laurence was just excellent. She has an admirable patience which is very important because sometimes I do not really speak French and a perfect methodical approach. She trained me on my French skills and on the exam methodology and this gave me the necessary self-confidence I needed on the day of the exam.

Isabelle: Mhm, absolutely! And I would say there are so many different types of learners as well. For you Davide, you needed something very structured, very methodical, this is how you work and we discussed it before, it's also a more Swiss-German approach which I really appreciate because I also like to be very organised and to have a structure, but there are other learners who do not work that way and they need something more flexible and go a little bit more without knowing that they're talking about grammar.

And so, with Prêt à Parler we have Super Prof Laurence who is very methodical, and we have other teachers who are also integrating grammar points without really telling you that you're working on grammar. So, there are so many different ways to learn French, and here at Prêt à Parler we really try to adapt to the learning style of each of our learners.

So I'm glad that the experience for you was really personalized and customized to your needs. Okay, that's really good. I'm glad to hear that Super Prof Laurence was able to help you, and I'm even more glad to know that you passed first of all, the B2 exam, and later on we'll talk about the C1. But can you tell me how did you feel about your DELF exam before preparing for it with us, and after doing the preparation program with Prêt à Parler? What was most helpful for you? 

Davide: Well, a good preparation is really essential to pass the exam. I appreciate the perfect support provided by the school. This support is not only limited to the great IT tools, but especially includes Lovely Botardo, which is the head of customer support at Prêt à Parler. She is always there to help me out and to answer all my questions.

Isabelle: Aww, it's so true, and she really has the perfect name for customer support, she is just lovely.

Davide: Absolutely, yes.

Isabelle: When I actually saw her application and I saw her name, I thought, she must be lovely, I need to hear her, and she was absolutely perfect. Perfect fit.

Davide: Oh yes.

Isabelle: You know Davide, I tried to create a little family with Prêt à Parler, because to me it is my first family before I had my children. For me Prêt à Parler was like my first baby and I really treat everybody within my company, whether it's the admin, or the teachers or the clients of course, really as part of the family. Could you feel that the care and support that you received was um, maybe different from other language schools that you've attended before?

Davide: Yes, absolutely. It was not only a great customer experience, but it was more kind of being a part of one team. And I really felt the support to help me to reach my goals not only as a customer but really as a member of the team.

Isabelle: That's lovely to hear, thank you so much, I'm so glad you had this positive experience with us. Would you say that it's possible to prepare for the DELF B2 without any support, without the help of a private teacher?

Davide: Well, everything is possible in life but if you want to be sure or to have a high chance of success, then I really recommend to have a teacher and in the best case if possible to have private lessons, because one huge advantage is that for example, Laurence, she can focus her attention on my personal needs and we move ahead at appropriate speed. So that's really, that's a luxury solution which I only can recommend to take private lessons because of the reasons I just mentioned, yeah.

Isabelle: It's probably a way to fast-forward your success and to secure it, as well. There is a sentence I heard recently which I found was really appropriate. It's not about reaching perfection, it's about being, reaching or aspiring to be successful, or to aspire to success. Donc, recherchez le succès, pas la perfection. That's what we try our best to do with each of our clients. So I'm so glad to hear that you were successful in April with your B2 exam.

Can you tell me a bit more about the exam, so when and where did you pass your DELF exam, and what were your results? 

Davide: Well, I passed my DELF B2 exam last April in Annecy, that's a city in France, and I got 92.5 points out of 100.

Isabelle: Congratulations, that's fantastic.

Davide: Thanks a lot.

Isabelle: And B2 is hard, B2 is hard and I know that now you're preparing for the C1 really you are a rare bird, un oiseau rare, I don't even know if you can say that in English, I'm just translating. It's quite rare for French learners to go to C1, especially if you don't need to do it, if there's no push from your company, or for your work, so I can only encourage, I can only tell you how happy and proud we are of you for doing this.

Hopefully maybe you'll want to do the C2 and then you'll know as much as all the teachers soon. So you're going to do this exam in the near future. Probably June of July, this summer. Can you tell me what motivated you to want to pass this even more challenging exam? Is it something which helps you to stay motivated with French? I'd love to know more about that.

Davide: Well, luckily, I do not need an exam to stay motivated to learn French, um, my fiance is French-speaking, so this is the best motivation to go ahead with learning French and yeah, I think if you're living in a French-speaking country then you need to realy to be able to have a conversation with locals and this combined with my fiance motivates me to move ahead.

Isabelle: That's lovely. You are so right, love is the best motivator.

Davide: It is.

Isabelle: Ah, it is! And also it's the best way to keep practicing every day. Do you speak in French together at home?

Davide: Yes.

Isabelle: Yes, exactly, that's why your accent is so good as well, cos you keep hearing it, you have a my guess is you also have a musical ear, you can hear the differences and all the different nuances in all the languages that you speak and you are a polyglot, so it also helps.

I have two last questions for you Davide, thank you so much for your time. What would you like to tell other expats, other French learners who are currently hesitating to take online private lessons with us at Prêt à Parler?

Davide: Yeah, I'd like to share really my thoughts. If you are looking for a high quality, flexible and customer-centric language school, then do not hesitate to choose Prêt à Parler. And private lessons are really the best way to have a tailor-made program and therefore to achieve your goals in an efficient manner.

Davide: Yes, yes, absolutely.

Isabelle: Thank you so much Davide. Knowing that your mother tongue is Swiss-German,

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