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Certification of Italian as a Foreign Language

The Certificates of Italian are titles attesting the degree of communication skills in Italian as a Foreign Language. Potential recipients include foreign citizens, Italian citizens residing abroad (of Italian origin), and foreign immigrants in Italy. No previous degree is required to take the exams.

For the administration of the exams through the Italian Culture Institutes, the Italian Ministry of
Foreign Affairs has signed agreements with the following institutions: 

Università per Stranieri di Perugia (CELI – CIC) 

Università per Stranieri di Siena (CILS) 

Università degli Studi Roma Tre (IT - ele.IT) 

Società Dante Alighieri (PLIDA)

Certifications of Italian as a Foreign Language

CILS Certificazione di Italiano come Lingua Straniera             

CELI Certificato di Conoscenza dell'Italiano come Lingua Straniera

In our Italian Cultural Institute it is possible to sit the CILS (a certification issued by the Università per Stranieri di Siena), and the CELI (a certification issued by the Università per Stranieri di Perugia). CELI and CILS evaluate and certify competency levels in the Italian language. They are recognised by the Italian Government on the basis of an agreement with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Who needs the certification?
CELI and CILS Certifications are useful to those who study Italian, who work and study within an Italian context, and to those who wish to evaluate and certify their level of competency in the Italian language.There are no age limits and applicants are not obliged to possess educational certificates or degrees. Preparation can also be done autonomously as levels are independent of each other so a student can sit a higher level without having sat any of the previous levels.

CILS and CELI can be used when applying for a job, for teaching Italian, for entry into an Italian university or in any situation where it is necessary to give formal proof of competency levels in the Italian language. The Ministry of the Università e della Ricerca recognises the CILS and CELI as a certificate of admission for foreign students to Italian universities: having the CILS 2 or the CELI 3 means that students both within and outside the European Community are exempt from taking other tests of linguistic ability which universities may ask for. Italian companies recognise the CILS and CELI too.

CILS and CELI exams, according to the European Framework, evaluate:
listening, reading and comprehension, writing, oral skills, grammar and lexicon.
The CILS and CELI certification system covers all six levels of linguistic competency − as stated in the European framework. The 6 levels in CILS and CELI have a linguistic competency that gets progressively higher. Levels are autonomous of each other. Each level shows a communicative capacity specific to different contexts. 

                                              Next Exam Sessions:                                                              

             CILS:  9 June 2016. Registration will be open until 28 April 2016

             CELI: 20 June 2016. Registration will be open until 9 May 2016 

              For further information and registrations, please contact our Institute at:        

Tel (+65) 63363705 / Fax (+65) 6336 5305; Email:

For further information please, click Here 

The correspondence of the Italian Certifications to the Common European Framework

Università per stanieri di Perugia Università per stranieri di Siena Università degli studi Roma Tre Dante Alighieri
Level A1 (Basic User)
CAN understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. CAN introduce him/her and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. CAN interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
Level A2 (Basic User)
CAN understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment).
CAN communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.
CAN describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
Level B1 (Independent User)
CAN understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. CAN deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. CAN produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. CAN describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
Level B2 (Independent User)
CAN understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. CAN interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. CAN produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
CELI3 CILS Due-B2 ----- PLIDA B2
Level C1 (Proficient User)
CAN understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. CAN express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions.
CAN use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. CAN produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.
CELI 4 CILS Tre-C1 ----- PLIDA C1
Level C2 (Proficient User)
CAN understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. CAN summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. CAN express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in more complex situations.