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CISLA: new CILS examination centre

CISLA: new CILS examination centre recognized by the Università per Stranieri di Siena.

CILS - a certificate of Italian as a second language - measures and assesses the level of competence a student has reached in Italian language. It is useful for those whose work and study puts them in daily contact with Italy, or simply for those who wish to evaluate their competence in the Italian language.

The certificate awarded by the Università per Stranieri di Siena is legally recognised as an official certification of linguistic communicative competence. The Foreign Ministry, through the various cultural institutions present abroad, coordinates examination centres across the world for those wishing to undertake the CILS examination.

The certification system of CILS follows the guidelines laid out in Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment , the European initiative in evaluating linguistic competence. As such there are six recognised levels of competence, each of which is autonomous and complete in itself and each adapted to the various social, professional and intellectual needs of the student.

CILS - Certificate of Italian as a Foreign Language

CILS A1 and CILS A2 are aimed at those who are taking their first steps in the process of learning Italian. The A1 level indicates that the student has just begun to engage with Italian as a second language, while the A2 level indicates a slightly more involved engagement and attests to a competence which is still in the stage of being formed. Neither level assumes an autonomous communicative ability. Both A1 and A2 of the CILS certification process are modularly structured, differentiated according to the needs and exigencies of the student. There are modules aimed at the children of immigrants who live in Italy, modules aimed at the adults whose first language is markedly different from Italian (Japanese, Chinese, etc.) and for children of emigrants from Italy who now live abroad.
The examination at these levels lasts approximately two hours.

The Livello Uno (First level), which corresponds to the B1 level as indicated in Framework, assesses the users basic level of competence needed to use Italian with autonomy in authentic everyday contexts.
The examination lasts approximately three hours.

The Livello Due (Second level) corresponds to B2 of Framework and is an intermediate level. Users at this level of competence are able to demonstrate the ability to use the fundamental basics of the language in a wide variety of contexts and situations. At this level, users are capable of using Italian to communicate effectively whilst staying in Italy, be it for reasons of study, work or pleasure. Possession of the certificate at this level allows students from outside the EU to register at university courses without having first to undertake an assessment of their Italian.
The exam lasts about four hours.

The Livello Tre (Third level) is equal to C1 in Framework and represents a superior competence in using the Italian language. The user at this level is able to use Italian effectively in a much wider range of contexts, including atypical situations, formal contexts, in dealing with public bodies, and other such milieu.
The examination lasts about five hours.

The Livello Quattro
(Fourth level) - C2 in Framework - is a advanced level approaching native speaker level. The user has a completely independent use of Italian in all formal and informal situations and the capacity to effectively use Italian in professional contexts.
The examination lasts about five and a half hours.

All Italian citizens resident abroad and non-Italian can take the CILS examinations. There are no limits with regards to age and it is not necessary to hold any educational certificate or qualification. Nor is it necessary to have first successfully completed a CILS examination at a lower level than that being studied for. Each candidate is encouraged to prepare for the CILS examination in the way which is most adapted to his or her needs and wants.

To obtain a CILS certificate it is necessary to pass the relevant examination. This consists of a listening lest, a reading test, an analysis of the structures of communication, a writing test and a speaking test. All these papers are produced and evaluated at the Certification Centre of the Università per stranieri di Siena according to the guidelines laid down by the EU. Certificates are granted when a student reaches a minimum score on each paper. When retaking the examination in cases where the minimum score was not achieved in all papers, candidates take only those papers where the score was insufficient. Once a pass has been achieved in any given paper, that result lasts one year, after which candidates must retake the whole examination to obtain the certificate.

Examination take place in official centres across the globe. These centres also deal with registration for the exams. The cost of the examination is calculated on the basis of the GDP of the country in which the candidate presents himself. In cases where students are retaking only those parts of the examination which were failed at the previous attempt, the cost thereof is calculated at one-fifth of the total cost for each paper taken.


Examinations take place twice a year - in June and December - at the same time in all examination centres.

Next Examination dates:
6 june 2008
5 dicember 2008

CISLA organises intensive courses as preparation for the CILS examinations. All five areas (listening, reading, analysis, writing and speaking) are developed. The courses are organised so as to coincide with the actual examination dates and therefore serve as an excellent practice.

For all information regarding dates, course costs, and registration details.
You can also contact us directly at:

Via Cavour, 7
Tel/Fax +39-0883-403205


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