DILC: B1 level exam of Italian for commercial purposes

Nowadays there are many different institutions offering examination in Italian language, mostly the Italian Universities which offer courses for foreigners (Siena, Perugia, Roma); in their offer we find basicly one exam each per ELP (European Language Portfolio) level, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2.
The Accademia Italiana di Lingua (AIL) a free association of private schools in Europe, has in its catalogue also two exams of Commercial Italian, the DILC (Diploma Intermedio di Lingua Italiana Commerciale) and the DALC (Diploma avanzato di lingua italiana commerciale). Next week a group of 23 students coming form a “Lycee” in Geneve will sit for the DILC at Scuola Toscana.
A B1 Exam in Commercial Italian is quite an exclusivity of AIL – usually the commercial exams are at the top of the range, you are supposed to be already very fluent in Italian – and after that can start with the business Italian.
But, as a matter of fact, reality is often different, many people do not have too much time to study, and must start using Italian in their work as soon as possible ; Europe is full of small business where the knowledge of another language – even an approximate knowledge – can be a competitive advantage. Think of all the people working in the tourism business, or in touristic places, think of members of various family businesses which export their goods, thimk of professionals who go abroad… DILC is designed for them, the syllabus was created on their needs.
In this exams there are small (but real) texts to be understood in their general meanings, short communicative sentences to be written (memos, signs, etc.) and a short letter (or email), there is a bit of technical lexicon. The comprehension texts are real exchanges where you have to gather the important information ( a telephone number, a price) and then there is the spoken part, where the students work in pairs ( so they can help each other – and the exchange “inter pares” is more realistic ) and they have to roleplay some typical work situation (negotiating, convincing, etc)
It is definitely my favourite exam – probably the most useful – as a matter of fact, more than 300 students did it since its creation in 2006 and has been recognized by the UFFT (Swiss Federal Office for professional education and technology) as final Exam of Italian as second national language for all the professional commercial schools of Helvetic Confederation.

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