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Dante Alighieri Fellow Allison Longley Heading to Camerino

Allison Longley at Rome

This fall, Allison Longley could be the first of a long series of Dante Alighieri School fellows.

Longley won one month of intensive Italian language courses offered in November by Scuola Dante Alighieri di Camerino, Italy. The fellowship is awarded to the student who has shown special interest in Italian language and has successfully completed level A1 by November 2011.

Longley was chosen by teachers at the Dante in Cambridge and will have the opportunity of deepening her knowledge of Italian culture, art history, literature, music, gastronomy and educational programs during several excursions in the country.

As part fo the fellowship, Longley will benefit of five guided tours through the Marche region and spend three weekends in main artistic centers such as Rome, Florence, Bologna, Gubbio, Assisi, Venice, San Marino and Siena, where she will experience cultural events, folkloric festivals and magnificent works of art.

Students awarded at Italian Classes of Dante in Cambridge

In addition to the partnership between Cambridge and Camerino, the local Dante Alighieri is also currently administering exams for PLIDA — the certificate that attests competence in Italian as a foreign language according to a scale of six levels.

This session, Christine Spinelli, Peter Czarnecki, Judith Tavano and Abigail Jefferson took the 1st level A1. Many more students will be taking the second level A2 after this spring session.

The PLIDA Certification is an official diploma issued by the Dante Alighieri Society through a formal agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with the scientific approval of the University “La Sapienza” of Rome. PLIDA is also recognized by the Italian Ministry of Employment and Welfare and by the Ministry of Education, University and Research.

Students who may want to be certified include those planning on studying at Italian universities (those that accept PLIDA Certification as proof of competency), high school and college students seeking college credit, individuals interested in Italian language for business or training reasons, and others wishing to be certified for personal reasons (level A2 of the PLIDA Certification is valid toward an application for the Italian Permit of Stay).

Students communication during the break at Italian classes at Dante of Cambridge

The PLIDA program follows the guidelines of the European Committee for the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Hence, the program focuses on the development of the four basic linguistic competencies (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) with a particular accent on cultural matters.

In Dante Alighieri classes, students listen to Italian songs and conversations, watch Italian movie excerpts, present their projects, and — most importantly — are constantly engaged in group or paired activities. Students learn to hone their language skills in a fun, engaging, and culture-oriented environment, progressively improving their expertise in each of the above competencies.

About Emanuele Capoano

Emanuele is a correspondent for the Tuscan magazine LoSchermo.it and is also a theatrical actor. Before coming to Boston to teach Italian, he was a freelance radio journalist in Florence, Italy.