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PLIDA now in Houston

The ICCC in Houston is one of the four Dante Alighieri Certification Centers in the US, where it is possible to take the tests for the PLIDA (Dante Alighieri Italian Language Project) examination.The PLIDA Certification Center at the ICCC in Houston announces the first examination session on May 28th 2011. For 2011 the deadline to register for the test in May is April 15th.

The PLIDA Certificate attests competence in Italian as a foreign language (therefore designed for foreigners, not Italians living abroad) according to a scale of six levels. The levels advance from A1 to C2 and correspond to the levels established by the Council of Europe (Common European Framework for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment. Modern Languages Division, Strasbourg, 2001).
Beginning Italian
PLIDA A1 = “Contact level”
PLIDA A2 = “Survival level”

Fundamental Italian
PLIDA B1 = “Threshold level”
PLIDA B2 = “Progress level”

Professional Italian
PLIDA C1 = “Effectiveness level”
PLIDA C2 = “Mastery level”

The Levels

The A1 level attests the ability to use familiar everyday expressions aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type and to ask and answer questions about personal details. At this level of competence, interaction with Italian speakers can take place provided the other person is prepared to help.

The A2 level attests the ability to communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on areas of most immediate relevance, such as personal and family description, shopping, local geography and employment.

The B1 level indicates the ability to understand written and spoken texts on familiar matters. At this level, one is able to engage effectively in a conversation as a tourist, to express opinions and to give simple explanations.

The B2 level attests the competence in the language which is necessary in a traditional scholastic context (to register with school or universities), to pursue post-graduate learning (such as professional and training courses), as well as to prepare for work activities that involve interaction with the public. At this level, one can interact with Italian speakers fluently and spontaneously and use the language for work related activities in one’s own field.

The C1 level marks a strong confidence with the Italian language and culture, such that it can be used in all working environments (professional, commercial, industrial and administrative). One can understand and produce a wide range of demanding, longer texts and recognise implicit meanings in complex writings such as literary works.

The C2 level certifies a high linguistic competence comparable to that possessed by an Italian cultured speaker and applicable in any and all professional settings. It is the level required to teach Italian as a foreign language and to qualify for professional assignments of a high degree.

The Certification test is designed on the principles of the communicative approach and it is based on real-life tasks which test the ability to apply knowledge of the language within the chosen level, in the four linguistic skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking.

To register for an examination, it is not necessary to have passed the previous levels.

Each candidate chooses the level of Italian for which he/she thinks qualified, and can enter for more than one level at the same time if desired.

Each level consists of four Tests that assess language competence in the four skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking.
The time allocated to complete the whole 
examination runs from a minimum of 90 minutes (for the first level) to a maximum of 210 minutes (for the sixth level).

A candidate must attain a minimum total score of 72/120 for the four language skills.

For each language skill the minimum score accepted is 18/30. If a candidate does not reach the minimum score for each of the four skills, but passes three out of four Tests, he/she can use the results as credits in the immediately subsequent session.

The PLIDA Certificate is an official Diploma issued by the Dante Alighieri Society on the basis of a formal agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (n° 1903 of Nov. 4, 1993) and with the approval of the University “La Sapienza” of Rome (June 29, 2004).

PLIDA is also recognised by the Ministry of Employment and Welfare (decree of October 18, 2002) and the Ministry of Education, University and Research (February 11, 2004), as a certification which enables foreign students to enrol at the University with facilitations regarding the Italian language admission test (Reg. No. 1906 of October 9, 2006 and Reg. No. 1291 of May 16, 2008).


The JUNIORES PLIDA is intended for young people from 13 up to 18 years of age; its tests are constructed using contexts close to teenagers’ world (school, sports, family, etc.).
PLIDA Juniores levels go from A1 to C1.


The COMMERCIAL PLIDA is intended for those who study and use Italian in the business and finance world.

The Diploma certifies proficiency for 3 of the 6 levels established by the Council of Europe in the Common European Framework for Languages: B1, B2 and C1.

For further information, please see the web-site of the the Dante Alighieri Society: (you can find more information about us and the certification under PLIDA).


Sessions will be offered twice a year at the Italian Cultural and Community Center (ICCC), in May and December. The deadline to enroll to the 2011 Spring session of May 28th is April 15th. 

The first PLIDA Certification Exam will be offered for the first time this current year on Saturday 28th of May 2011 and continue offering sessions twice per year, one during the Spring and one session during the Winter.  The deadline to enroll to the Spring session of the 28th of May 2011 is 15th of April 2011.   The candidates can view samples of previously administered PLIDA Exams, on the Societa’ Dante Alighieri website at

            The ICCC will also offer multi-levels preparation classes to obtain the PLIDA Certification.  It is important to know that this course is not necessary to apply for the PLIDA Exam and it is made available for any candidate who would like to receive a targeted and intense instruction to prepare for any parts of the Exam they are interested to take.  

The first course will start on the 24th  of March 2011 at the Italian Cultural and Community Center from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  The cost for the course is $175 and includes material and 8 classes for a total of 12 hours of intense instruction on the main parts of the exam each candidate is interested to take. There will be a placement test during the first class to determine the level of each candidate and the instructor will be available to suggest the most appropriate level of the PLIDA exam for each student.  This is just intended to be a suggestion; therefore, every candidate will make the final decision for his/her Exam’s level.  
Any candidate interested in taking advantage of these targeted Exam instruction can register at the ICCC from Monday to Thursday from 4:30pm to 6:30pm (713 524 4222).

For further assistance and questions about the PLIDA certification contact 
Maria Gloria Borsa, PLIDA Responsible for the Dante Alighieri 
[email protected] 
Tel 832 382 2746 between 4:00pm to 
6:00pm local time

For information about the courses organized by the ICCC School of Italian: 
Lucia Khurana, [email protected]
Luciano Topi,
[email protected]
call or write to 

1101 Milford Street 
Houston TX 
Tel.713 524 4222
Fax 713 524 6121