Tuesday, October 25, 2011
From here in French about a week ago:
From the 1st of January 2012, future naturalized French citizens must demonstrate proficiency in the language to obtain citizenship. The two decrees regarding this say that: "All applicants must possess a knowledge of the French language, characterized by an understanding of the key points of the language necessary for carrying out everyday life and everyday life situations, as well as the ability to discuss simply and coherently on topics of personal interest".
The level will not be evaluated any longer in an interview. Applicants for French citizenship must show a degree "at or above the required level", namely the level of compulsory schooling (level B1), and an oral proficiency of the language. For those without a degree, they will have to have a "certificate" delivered by "authorities recognized by the state as being able to import "French language integration"". The list of these agencies is available on the website for the Office français de l'immigration et de l'intégration (OFII).
Since 2003, more than 100,000 people have obtained French nationality each year. According to the business daily Les Echos, citing an estimate from the Ministry of the Interior, "there are around a million foreigners in the country that do not speak French."