Italian OFA

Introduction

As of academic year 2021/22, an Italian language proficiency test is compulsory for all foreign students admitted:

  • to all English-language Master's Degree courses
  • to the Laurea (equivalent to three-year Bachelor of Science) in Architectural Design - EN
  • to the Laurea (equivalent to three-year Bachelor of Science) in Civil Engineering – EN

Foreign students will therefore have to demonstrate their knowledge of the Italian language before sitting the degree examination and completing their studies.

Who is not required to demonstrate knowledge of Italian language

Those who fall into the following cases are not required to demonstrate knowledge of the Italian language:

  • those with Italian citizenship
  • those who have obtained a baccalaureate or equivalent qualification awarded in the Italian language
  • those who have obtained a degree or equivalent in Italian
  • those who have attended a pontifical school in Italian
  • those who are resident in the Canton of Ticino (official language Italian)

Those who do not fall into any of these cases are enrolled with an OFA additional educational obligations (OFA) in Italian.

What to do to remove the Additional Educational Obligation (OFA) in Italian

Holders of a B1 level certification recognised by the MUR on the basis of the document "foreign students", quality system CLIQ (Certificazione Lingua Italiana di Qualità), may submit their certificates to the Student Secretariats through the following link: www.polimi.it/contatti-studenti

Those who do not have one of the certifications recognised by the MUR can take a free Italian course (the level of which will be determined on the basis of the preliminary level test) organised by the Politecnico di Milano.

For further details about the Italian language course organized by Politecnico di Milano, please refer to: italian-courses(at)polimi.it.

For this purpose, the student is required to:

  • register and take the preliminary level test
  • attend at least 75% of the assigned course
  • register and take the exit test, which is considered passed if the student demonstrates that they have maintained or exceeded their starting level (minimum A1)

By passing the exit test, the student has removed the educational obligation in Italian. Those who do not have 75% attendance or who do not pass the exit test can either retake the course (by repeating the preliminary level test) or take one of the MUR-recognised B1 level certifications themselves.

Target platform

Students wishing to attend the course, are asked to interact with the Language Course Directory available in Online Services under ‘International Mobility’..

The phases are managed through the platform. In detail and in chronological sequence:

  1. registration and testing
  2. result and programme display, choice of days for lectures and confirmation of registration
  3. final course details displayed, i.e. classroom or link, textbook title

Students are advised to check the dates of the time slots of the course they are interested in.

Course features

  • When: every semester
  • Registration opening: end of August (1st semester) - end of January (2nd semester)
  • Method: online, live lectures
  • Frequency: 2 lectures per week from 18:15 to 20:15 for a total of 40 hours per course
  • Days: a choice of two days: Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday
  • Levels offered:
    • beginner A1
    • basic A2
    • intermediate B1
  • Lectures. Development of the following skills: listening, reading, speaking and comprehension, language structures and grammar. Regardless of the level, lectures aim to improve communication skills useful in working contexts
  • Curriculum objectives:
    • surviving: understanding and processing everyday sentences and expressions to satisfy basic needs (use of goods and services); 
    • socialisation: development of new skills for using the language in a social way (making new experiences); 
    • familiarity: gaining fluency in more elaborate communicative situations and being able to use the language flexibly and effectively for professional and academic purposes. 

Preliminary Level Text

It is not a proficiency test, nor does it have any official value; it is aimed at identifying the starting level of each student and assigning the relevant course. 

The test is grammatical in nature and consists of 50 multiple-choice questions in ascending order of difficulty, organised in 5 sections (6 minutes per section). 

Scoring

  • 0 to 17 points - beginner A1  
  • 18 to 34 points - elementary A2  
  • 35 to 50 points - intermediate B1 

Exit test

Those with 75% attendance on the course will be eligible for the exit test.  

Available dates and how to register will be announced by the relevant office by email. 

The test consists of three types of tests: listening, reading and language structures. 

 

  • Listening: 2 audios with 7 multiple-choice questions per audio - 14 questions in 30 minutes. The delivery system stipulates that each listening test is allocated a total of 15 minutes and that the student can listen to the audio again. At the end of the first listening test, the system will offer the next listening test.
  • Reading: 2 sections with 7 multiple-choice questions per section - 14 questions in 30 minutes. 
  • Language structures: 4 microtexts with 5 cloze questions per microtext - 20 questions in 30 minutes. 

A total of 48 questions to be answered in 90 minutes. 

For each type of test, the questions are presented in ascending order of difficulty. 

Scoring 

  • Up to 11 points - beginner A1 
  • Between 12 and 32 points - elementary A2 
  • Between 33 and 48 points - intermediate B1 

The test will only be considered passed if the result achieved is equal to or higher than the level obtained in the preliminary test; this will allow the removal of the educational obligation in Italian. It is pointed out that no certification will be issued.