Italian Language Certification – CILS, CELI & other Certificates

Italian Language Certification: CILS, CELI & other Certificates

The certifications on the mastery of the Italian language are numerous and are issued by the university institutions or by cultural institutions of various kinds (Italian Academy of Language, Dante Alighieri Society).
Italian Language Certification

CELI

(Certificate of the Italian Language)

Certifications of knowledge of the Italian language (CELI) are certificates of the general Italian for schooled adults. Through the CELI, skills and abilities of the use of the Italian language are attested, and can be used in the field of work and study. In addition to the traditional CELI certifications, there are also the CELI Immigrati (immigrants) and CELI Adolescenti (adolescents). The CELI Immigrati is intended for foreign citizens who immigrated to italy, it is also available to students with very little education. The CELI Adolescenti is aimed at children between the age of 13 and 17.

The differences between these two types of certifications are different textual genres and tasks without changes within the exam. The CELIs are adapted to the levels of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), so they are divided into six levels:

  • CELI Impatto (Level A1 of the CEFR) – basic level for foreigners without any knowledge of the Italian language.
  • CELI 1 (Level A2 of the CEFR) – elementary level recommended to foreigners able to formulate short sentences but not a speech.
  • CELI 2 (Level B1 of the CEFR) – intermediate level useful to master the language without too much strain.
  • CELI 3 (Level B2 of the CEFR) – higher intermediate level useful to master the language without too much effort.
  • CELI 4 (Level C1 of the CEFR) – advanced level – can understand and produce long and complex pieces and conversations.
  • CELI 5 (Level C2 of the CEFR) – level of command of the language in complex situations.

The Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) recognizes the CELI 3 as a valid certificate of knowledge of the Italian language for the purpose of studying at University in Italy, while the CELI 4 and the CELI 5 confirm an equal knowledge of the Italian language to Italian students.

It is necessary to mention that each faculty can request specific entrance tests. The CELI exam takes place in three annual sessions (spring, summer and autumn), in Italy at the University at the University of Perugia for Foreigners, in the numerous authorized offices and also abroad in the Italian Culture Institutes.

CILS

(Italian Certificate as a Foreign Language)

Created by the University of Siena, the CILS certification attests one’s linguistic-communicative competence in Italian as their second language. The CILS Certification is the first Italian language certification to have applied six levels of linguistic-communicative competence from the Common European Framework of Reference and to have offered specific certifications for foreign workers in Italy.

So there are 6 levels of CILS certifications:

Beginner

  • CILS A1 (Level A1 of the CEFR): children module, adolescent module, module for integration in Italy, adult module
  • CILS A2 (Level A2 of the CEFR): children module, adolescent module, module for integration in Italy, adult module

Indipendent Learner

  • CILS One (Level B1 of the CEFR): adult module, adolescent module
  • CILS Due (Level B2 of the CEFR): adult module

Advanced Learner

  • CILS Three (Level C1 of the CEFR): adult module
  • CILS Four (Level C2 of the CEFR): adult module

Through the examination the linguistic-communicative competences and the four basic skills are evaluated, therefore the exam is divided into four sections (oral, written, morphosyntactic and lexical competence, comprehension of written texts, comprehension of oral texts). The exam consists of both closed questions (multiple choice questions) and semi-structured questions (re-elaboration of texts starting from data elements) and open (free development of a topic).

Each part of the examination is evaluated independently, so to pass the exam you must have obtained the necessary grade in each section. If this is not the case, then it is possible to retake then necessary sections.

CILS certifications are recognized both in the workplace, in education and at university. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recognizes the CILS A2 certification module as a valid certificate of competence in the Italian language to obtain the EC Residence Permit for long-term residents. The exam for the CILS takes place at the University of Siena and also at the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci.

AIL

(The Italian Language Academy)

The AIL is an association of schools, institutions and national and foreign experts working in the field of teaching Italian to foreigners and in the field of certifications. The AIL certifications are internationally recognized and are addressed to people for whom Italian is a second language or a foreign language.

The Italian Language Academy follows the differentiation of linguistic and communicative levels established by the European Council, but it also offers the possibility of obtaining diplomas in business language.

The DILC B1 exam is recognized by the Swiss Federal Office of Vocational Training and Technology in all the commercial professional schools of the Swiss Confederation.

Due to a great interest in the renewal of the residence permit, the DELI A2 Integration exam was created. The AIL privileges the aspects of practical communication in daily and business life.

So there are certifications for the following levels:

  • DELI A1 (A1 level of the CEFR) – beginner level
  • DELI A2 (A2 level of the CEFR) – limited level
  • DELI A2 integration (A2C level of the CEFR) – limited level
  • DILI B1 (Level B1 of the CEFR) – intermediate level I
  • DILC B1 (Level B1 of the CEFR) – intermediate business level
  • DILI B2 (B2 level of the CEFR) – intermediate business level I
  • DALI C1 (Level C1 of the CEFR) – advanced level I
  • DALC C1 (C1 level of the CEFR) – advanced business leve
  • DALI C2 (Level C2 of the CEFR) – advanced level II

The exams take place four times a year, on the same day in the various locations accredited all over the world. The texts are unique and their correction and final evaluation are carried out in the Florentine headquarters to ensure fair marking. All locations offer preparation courses for each level of examination.

PLIDA

(Italian Language Project Dante Alighieri)

The PLIDA certificate attests competence in Italian as a foreign language and is issued by the Dante Alighieri Society. PLIDA is officially recognized as the certification of competence in the Italian language by the Ministry of External Affairs and can be used for university enrollments or to obtain long-term residency permits.

PLIDA Juniors is the Italian certification for adolescent students (13-18 year olds). The difference between the examination of PLIDA and PLIDA Juniors is in the choice of texts and the context of their use.

So texts that may be unrelated to the general experience of this age group are not used. The PLIDA exam agrees with the proposals of the Common European Framework of Reference and is therefore divided into six levels:

Beginner Italian

Contact level

  • PLIDA A1 (A1 level of the CEFR)
  • PLIDA JUNIORS A1

Survival level

  • PLIDA A2 (Livello A2 del QCER)
  • PLIDA JUNIORS A1

Basic Italian

Limited level

  • PLIDA B1 (Level B1 of the CEFR)
  • PLIDA JUNIORS B1

Progressive level

  • PLIDA B2 (Level B2 of the CEFR)
  • PLIDA JUNIORS B2

Basic Italian

Advanced level

  • PLIDA C1 (Level C1 of the CEFR)

Fluent level

  • PLIDA C2 (Level C2 of the CEFR)

The exam is divided into four phases that correspond to four basic skills (listening, reading, writing, speaking) through which linguistic knowledge is assessed. The exams related to the first two levels are based on exercises with images and grids that help with the understanding.

The listening test takes place with the actors in the first level and for the other levels a spontaneous speech extract is used. The PLIDA exams take place in the authorized centers(authorized by the Central Office), including the University for Foreigners Dante Alighieri of Calabria.

IT

(Italian certification)

The IT certificate is a certificate of general competence in the Italian foreign language, offered by the University of Roma Tre. This certification is recognized by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, and deals with the implementation, administration and assessment of certification tests of Italian as a foreign language.

The IT exam is divided into five levels that are in accordance with the levels proposed by the Common European Framework of Reference:

  • A1 (Level A1 of the CEFR) – certificate of basic competence in Italian as a foreign language (three parts: listening, reading and writing, speaking)
  • A2 (Level A2 of the CEFR) – certificate of basic competence in Italian as a foreign language (three parts: listening, reading and writing, speaking)
  • B1 (Level B1 of the CEFR) – certificate of elementary competence in Italian as a foreign language (four parts: listening, reading and writing, uses of Italian language, face-to-face communication
  • B2 (Level B2 of the CEFR) – certificate of intermediate competence in Italian as a foreign language (listening, reading, composition, face-to-face composition)
  • C1 (Level C1 of the CEFR) – certificate of advanced competence in Italian as a foreign language (listening, reading, composition, face-to-face composition)
  • C2 (Level C2 of the CEFR) – certificate of Italian as a foreign language (five parts: listening, reading, uses and forms of Italian, composition, speaking)

The IT exams are intended for foreigners who must attach the certificate to the residence permit application (A2), students who want to study in an Italian University (B2), Italian non-Italian and foreign teachers working in the Italian environment (C2). The exams take place several times a year at the University of Roma Tre at the University Linguistic Center and at other affiliated institutions, but also abroad in the Italian Cultural Institutes and other various affiliated institutions.

DITALS

(Certification in Didactics in Italian as a Foreign Language)

The DITALS Research and Service Center deals with the design, development and administration of the DITALS Certification, its promotion and training activities in Italian as a second language (L2). They are integrated by a series of services, documentation activities on essays, miscellanies, magazines related to the disciplines covered by the DITALS Certification and manuals for teaching Italian L2.

There are three types of DITALS through which are attested the necessary skills to become a professor in Italian for foreign students.

  • DITALS di BASE certifies an initial competence in teaching Italian to foreigners and is intended for teachers that are not Italian mother tongue.
  • DITALS di I livello attests a specific didactic competence in teaching Italian to foreigners aimed at specific recipients (children, adolescents, adults and the elderly, immigrants, university students, learners of Italian origin, homogeneous mother tongue learners: Chinese, Arabic, Japanese , Russian, German, tourist-hotel operators, Catholic and USA students – University Study Abroad)
  • DITALS di II livello certifies advanced competence in teaching Italian to foreigners and is aimed at teachers who work in any context of teaching and with any group of learners. The tests of the DITALS exams are held twice a year on the dates scheduled by the DITALS Certification Center, they can be taken in Siena or in one of the centers affiliated with the Center, in Italy and abroad.

CEDILS

(Certification in Didactics of the Italian language to foreigners)

The CEDILS Certification is a certification of competence in teaching Italian as a foreign language or second language, issued by the Itals’ Laboratory of the Ca ‘Foscari University of Venice. The CEDILS exam is divided into five tests and lasts five hours.

There are four written tests (questionnaires on general topics of language teaching, teaching of authentic material, critical commentary on teaching materials, schematization of a grammatical or sociolinguistic aspect of Italian) and an oral examination (3/4

minutes of audio recording on topics regarding Italian culture and civilization). The CEDILS exam takes place twice a year in Venice and once a year in the various registered offices in Italy (with different dates for each location). It is also possible to take the exam abroad, at the request of schools, Italian Cultural Institutes or groups of teachers.

The exams are evaluated by the ITAL Laboratory of the University of Venice and transmitted directly to the candidates. In the case of a positive result, the candidates will also receive the CEDILS certificate. It is possible to access the certification exam with a degree and also without prior experiences of teaching Italian to foreigners or other foreign languages. CEDILS is the shortest and less burdensome way of getting a teaching certificate. The CEDILS is useful for graduates without teaching experience of Italian L2 or other foreign languages.

DILS-PG (The Didactics of the Italian Foreign Language)
The DILS-PG certification is aimed at Italian or foreign teachers and is divided into two levels:

  • Level 1- DILS-PG Basic
  • Level 2- DILS-PG

The basic DILS-PG (1st level) is addressed both to mother tongue and non- mother tongue Italians. It is for Italian teachers who teach foreigners and have only recently started their profession or have a limited experience mostly levels A1-B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).
The DILS-PG II level is aimed at foreign Italian teachers, native and non-native speakers with specific training in the sector or a wide and consolidated experience at all levels of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).
The DILS-PG certification can be evaluated in competitions, selections and job interviews both in Italy and abroad.

The DILS-PG is recognized as a qualifying title for teaching Italian as a second language and represents a qualification that can be evaluated in competitions for public schools. The exams take place once a year at the examination centers in the world, including Italy, as well as at the University for Foreigners of Perugia.

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