French (français [fʁɑ̃sɛ] or langue française [lɑ̃ɡ fʁɑ̃sɛːz]) is the “Romance” language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages.
A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.
There are several types of French learners/speakers : from natives to professionals. And, did you know that these French learners could be categorized into four types?
Français langue maternelle (FLM) refers, in general, to the language learned by somebody in his family environment, from early childhood, in a non-formal way. We call a native speaker to someone who has learned the language in his familial home .
i. Français langue seconde (FLS)
A language learned as a second language, after the learning of the mother tongue. It will be used to one degree or another as a language of learning or schooling.
For example, in Mali, French is a second language because it is not only the official language of the country, but also the administrative, political, and economic language, and it is spoken by the majority of the population.
ii. Français langue de scolarisation (FLS)
It is the French taught to non-French speakers as a factor of immersion in a school or university curriculum.
Français langue étrangère (French as a foreign language) is the use of French by non-native speakers in a country where French is not normally spoken, similar to English as a foreign language.
The Centre international d’études pédagogiques (CIEP) of the French Ministry of Education conducts various diplomas / exams to measure language proficiency of non-francophones such as DILF, DELF/DALF, TCF /TEF, etc…
Français sur Objectifs Spécifiques (French for Specific Purposes) is French language instruction focused on a particular field. For example, a non-French speaker may come to France to study cooking, in which case he or she will want to take a course in French for the restaurant industry (especially the lexicon).
PERSONAL NOTE :
I first learned French in school as a second language and it was more of a compulsion for me.
But little did I knew that I would eventually fall in love with this Gallic language and would learn it as a foreign language clearing all the DELF-DALF certifications in the first attempt, becoming a near-native proficient user.
I would love to know the kind of French user (FLE/FLM/FLS/FOS) you are and your motivations to learn the language… 🙂