Entrance test, access to the next levels and final test
The first day of the Italian course all students, except absolute beginners and those who wish to attend individual classes, must take a test to determine their level of proficiency in Italian and are subsequently admitted into the courses.
At the end of each two week cycle there is an assessment test for access to the next levels.
The tests are oral and written.
The entrance test
There are different types of written tests: Cloze test on grammar, vocabulary exercises, composition of sentences, exercises for the transformation of a text, open-ended questions, written comprehension, written production.
During the oral examination, the examiner will interview the student and fill out a predefined form with questions on the reasons for studying Italian, usual occupations, previous experience of language learning and so on.
The interview is a fundamental tool to test the oral skills of the student; it so happens that some students have very different levels with respect to different skills: for example, a good knowledge of grammar and less oral communication skills, as often happens for Oriental students; or excellent skills in oral communication but low knowledge of the structures and consequent difficulty in correcting frequent grammatical errors, as occurs for those students who've been living in Italy but who have never studied the Italian language.
The test will help determine the student's level of competence in Italian. This is needed in order to arrange the classes. With regard to special needs that may arise, students can also be assigned to two different classes, one for the grammar and writing skills and the other, of a different level, for conversation and oral skills.
In some cases, the school organises extra afternoon lessons for small groups, held in the students' native language, in order to reinforce the learning of grammar and syntax and speed up admittance to the group. This is especially true for Oriental beginners.
Test to move to the next levels and final test
Depending on the levels, teachers review the progress of individual students with methods provided by the programme using observation skills, written and oral tests for Italian comprehension, the written test, vocabulary exercises and structured exercises on grammatical forms taught during the course.
The programme of the first three levels does not provide for assessment of written skills. The test results are then transcribed on a special score card indicating whether the goals regarding each single skill have been reached (R) or not reached (NR).
The assessment testis a final test for those who have finished the course.