In 2009, when the DELF junior and scolaire was flourishing and the number of candidates was increasing year on year, the diplomatic posts, the French cultural network abroad, as well as other French learning locations, expressed their desire to be able to offer an official certificate to young learners of French as a foreign language.
To meet all of their partners’ expectations, the CIEP created three exams corresponding respectively to levels A1.1, A1 and A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, intended for candidates enlisted in first-stage schooling: the DELF Prim was born.
This version of the DELF aimed to verify the communication skills acquired in French classes. The target audience is essentially elementary school pupils within and outside of Europe. Some candidates also come from specialised children’s courses set up in the Alliance Française and Institut Français networks, as well as in foreign centres of excellence. In France, the CASNAVs (academic centres for the education of new arrivals) from different Local Education Authorities facilitate the DELF Prim exam test period and thus allow thousands of children to be awarded their first official qualification.
The first DELF Prim sessions took place in June 2009 in 8 countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Iran, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Spain and Venezuela) with one thousand children taking part. In 2019, the results of 10 years of the DELF Prim are very positive: 170,000 certificates have been awarded to young learners of French worldwide during this period. Today, more than 32,000 children aged between 6 and 12 years old enrol for the DELF Prim exam each year from the 117 countries that organise sessions.