How to join AIL

The following are eligible for membership: Language schools, cultural centers, organizations that work with Italian language and culture and teachers of the Italian language.

Dear Colleague,

The Accademia Italiana di Lingua (AIL) was founded in Florence, Italy in 1984. The AIL is non-profit organization comprised of schools, institutions and experts (both Italian and international) which operate within the field of certification. The AIL has twenty-two members to date.

The AIL created the various exams in order to certify the candidate's knowledge of the modern Italian language. (Previously, the only available certifications were the Diploma of the University of Perugia, characterized by both literary and metalinguistic tests and the Certificate of the International Certificate Conference, available only at intermediate level.) Unique to the AIL exams is the emphasis at every level on aspects of both everyday and business-specific communication.
Each AIL exam center offers preparation courses for each exam level which incorporate sample tests equipped with the audio cassettes for the listening portion of the exam.
There are four AIL Diplomas:

DELI- Basic Level
Portfolio Europeo delle Lingue: A1/A2
Schneider/North: N3
Suggested preparation time: 100-120 hours

DILI- Intermediate Level
Portfolio Europeo delle Lingue: B1
Schneider/North: N6
Suggested preparation time: 240-300 hours

DILC- Intermediate Business Level
Portfolio Europeo delle Lingue: B1/B2
Schneider/North: N7
Suggested preparation time: 280-340 hours including 40 hours of business Italian

DALI- Advanced Level
Portfolio Europeo delle Lingue: C1
Schneider/North: N9
Suggested preparation time: 450-500 hours

DALC- Advanced Business
Portfolio Europeo delle Lingue: C1
Schneider/North: N9
Suggested preparation time: 500-550 hours including 80 hours of business Italian

Admission to the exams is open to all students of Italian or anyone who wishes to take the exam. Neither enrollment at a school nor the preparation course are required in order to take the exams; you just need to enroll at an AIL institution.

Flexibility plays a key role in the AIL organization. All AIL centers are equipped with all materials necessary to administer the exams. Furthermore, with an advance request and a minimum number of participants, the AIL permits exams to be administered on special dates.

The structure and content of the exam render the AIL certification valid in several countries (especially in the workplace).

The AIL is recognised in many Swiss schools and public institutions (Italian is one of the official languages of Switzerland) and in these institutions the internal Italian exams have been replaced by those of AIL. In particular public schools of commerce (Zurich, Bern, St. Gallen, Chur, Aarau etc.), high schools and teacher training institutions for regional Swiss schools (Uri and Graubünden).

Exams are held regularly in various Italian and Swiss cities (where Italian is the official language) as well as in Austria, Croatia, Greece, Japan, Slovenia and Holland.

Candidates come from all over the world; recently there has been a significant increase in students from Northern Europe and from Japan.

According to the AIL statute, each institution that wishes to administer the "Firenze" exams must become a member of the association and pay yearly dues.

Prior to acceptance, each potential member will receive an inspection visit by an AIL associate who's duty it is to ensure that the organization and didactics of the courses correspond to the previously determined criteria (see the AIL Professional Code of Conduct). Following the inspection visit, the application for membership will be given to the General Assembly for consideration. All expenses incurred by the AIL associate during the inspection visit (including room and board) are the responsibility of the applicant.

Every spring the AIL meets in Florence for the General Assembly and Workshop. Existing as well as aspiring members are invited and encouraged to participate in the Workshop. New members are required to attend the Workshop.

The length of the preparation courses varies from country to country according to the frequency of the Italian lessons. (As previously indicated, there are sample tests available for every level. )

For example, candidates who attend Italian language schools for foreigners in Italy attend regular courses until one month prior to the exam. The candidates spend the last month attending a preparation course specific to the AIL exam level they wish to complete.

Schools abroad (professional and night schools, the Dante Alighieri Society, Università Popolari, etc…) generally organize specific preparation courses that can last from six months to a year.
While the needs of the exam candidates vary greatly, in recent years there has been a notable increase in the number of candidates who need the certification for work purposes. It is for this reason that the DILC and the DALC (Exam for Business Italian) have enjoyed the success of being the forerunners of Italian certification.

We are convinced that certification in Italian as a second language will continue to develop in the future, and likewise are sure that it will be increasingly important to have a very flexible system for the execution of such exams. Therefore, we are working towards the possibility of offering unconditional entrance to the exam, more exams in a year and increasing the number of exam centers worldwide. We strive for a uniformity in our exams that above all tests language in terms of  fluency and communication. Last but not least, we strive to facilitate the bureaucratic process in every way.

If you are interested in becoming a member of AIL, you may request the following documents:

Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have concerning the "Firenze" Diplomas. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Chiara Poggi,

Board of Directors for the AIL exams
Accademia Italiana di Lingua® - AIL


Italian language diploma

Italian language exams