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Surely the only way to really learn a language is to study it in the country where it is spoken. The experience of living in Rome, or even making an extended visit, is severely limited for those who don't speak Italian. And Rome has many excellent schools, which serve not only as a place to learn the language, but as cultural centers, offering introductions to the cooking, art and history of Italy.

Some helpful definitions:
CEF The Common European Framework, establishes six standard levels of language proficency, set by the Council of Europe.
CILS (Certificazione di Italiano come Lingua Straniera) This is the certification in proficiency in the Italian language necessary for enrollment in Italian universities and for some employment opportunities.
IT, similar to the CILS, it is an exam given twice yearly to certify competence in Italian.
DITALS A professional certification for teachers of Italian as a second language.
TEFL certificate. Awarded to those who successfully complete a course in teaching English as a second language.
A number of professional organizations establish and monitor the quality of instructions. These include:
ASILS (Association of Language Schools of Italian as a Foreign Language) Formed several years ago by a group of language schools to establish criteria for teaching. Only six schools in Rome qualify for this association.
ELITE (European Federation of Associations for Teaching Mother Tongue to Foreign Students)
EQUALS (European Association for Quality Language Services)
IALC (International Association of Language Centres)

Founded in the 1870s by Maximillian Berlitz, whose revolutionary method, based on active interaction as opposed to rote memorization, set the standard for learning a new language, the schools, now worldwide, use a refined, multi-faceted program employing CDs, videos and other contemporary technologies, in one-on-one and small group settings. The Berlitz centers in Rome offer a two-week semi-private crash course, ideal for those who need to develop some Italian proficiency in a hurry. And the minimum two-week total immersion option allows students to speak the language all day long, right from the beginning, straight through lunch with the instructors, all of whom are native Italian speakers. A la carte, group and half-day options are also available. For visitors to Rome, Berlitz will arrange accomodations and even pick you up at the airport.
via Virgilio 8 tel 06 687 2561 (Prati)
viale Pasteur 77 (EUR) tel 06 592 0900

Centro Torre di Babele
In a charming art deco villa in northern Rome, surrounded by gardens, Torre di Babele is one of the most highly accredited language schools in Rome. A founding member of ASILS, the official Association of Italian language schools in Italy, the school is accredited by ELITE, the European Federation, the Università per Stranieri in Siena, approved by the Sweden’s CSN (Swedish National Agency for higher Education) and recognized by the German Federal States for Bildungsurlaub. It is an authorized center for the DITALS exam, which certifies teachers of Italian as a second language and is an authorized examination center for the CILS certificate. The teaching method stresses communication and conversation, learning the language through speaking, listening, reading and writing. Group courses begin every two weeks with an an average of seven to eight persons per class, and include intensive, super intensive and long term programs. For those with at least an intermediate knowledge of Italian, seminars are organized on Italian literature, architecture, art, cinema, cooking and wines. And all students are encouraged to participate in the school's program of concerts, guided tours, museum and theater visits and out of town excursions. A new program for people over the age of fifty offers a two-week learning vacation with language classes, seminars, excursions and guided tours. Hotel or apartment accommodations are provided. Located in a quiet residential area near the Villa Torlonia with easy transportation to the historic center.
via Cosenza 7  tel  06 44252578  or 06442 52 491  www.torredibabele.com

Ciao Italia
One of the only six language schools in Rome belonging to ASILS as well as ELITE. The classes are small and the teaching method encourages an easy fluency in the language. The school is recognized by the Bildungsurlaub of Hamburg and Frankfurt and it is included in the list of schools of the Italian of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Many embassies and large corporations send staff to the school to learn Italian. Courses are available for beginning through advanced students, and preparation for the CILS and IT exams is provided through the Università di Roma Tre and Università per Stranieri di Siena. All sorts of additional activities are available to students, many of them free of charge, including Italian movies with introduction, lectures, parties, lunches with teachers, nights in typical clubs, wine tasting at the school, guided tours by an art historian as well as special prices for theatres, opera, concerts, restaurants and sports-clubs and cooking courses (not professional) in a private home. A library, videotheque and Internet facilities are available to students in the afternoon. There is a special summer course in the medieval village of Cetona, Tuscany, combining painting and intensive one-on-one Italian lessons. Available as a weekly or weekend program.
Via delle Frasche, 5, (Monti, near the Coliseum) tel 06 481 4084,

Learn Italian online: self-study courses, tutored courses, private lessons, Italian coaching programs, based on a method developed for the United Nations in New York, with dialogues, audio clips, pronunciation guides, voice recording system, videos, self-administered exercises and exams, and easy-to-understand grammatical explanations. Available at beginning, intermediate and advanced levels. www.cyberitalian.com

Dante Alighieri
Standard, semi-intensive and intensive courses are offered from September through July, as well as classes in Italian history, literature and art.
Piazza Firenze, 27 (historic center near via del Corso) tel 06 687 3722.

DILIT International House  
Established in 1974, Dilit (Divulgazione Lingua Italiana), was one of the first language schools in Italy to teach Italian as a Foreign Language. It is part of International House, an international organization of 120 language schools, and serves as an examination center for the CELI examinations of Perugia University and the CILS examinations of the Università per Stranieri di Siena, a member of EQUALS, ELITE and ASILS. Courses start every two weeks and are offered as intensive, non-intensive or combination programs. Business Italian, and a special vacation/study program for persons over the age of 50 are also offered.
Via Marghera, 22  (near the main train station) tel 06 446 2602 www.dilit.it

Founded in 1986, the school has an annual enrollment of some 400 private students and 500 students from businesses and government organizations. The school offers a TEFL program leading to certification in the teaching of English as a second language, and the ACE program, developed by the Centrex for English Language Studies in Education, University of Manchester, UK, which offers a variety of teaching awards leading up to the Master of Arts degree in English Language. The school also offers refresher courses for teachers of English and a special two-week program, conducted in England, and funded by the European Union.
Via E. Q. Viscount 20  (Prati) tel  06 32 15 740 www.interlingue-it.com

International Language School 
Founded in 1985, ILS is recognizedby the Italian Ministry of Public Education and is the seat of English language examinations for the University of Oxford, London and the Royal Society of Arts. Certification as a translator is offered through the Institute of Linguistics Educational Trust of London.
Via Tibullo, 10 (Prati) tel 066830 7796 www.ils-roma.it

Istituto Italiano
A member of the ASILS and the IALC, this school offers preparation of students for the University of Siena’s CILS examinations.
via Machiavelli, 33 (beetween San Giovanni and Santa Maria Maggiore) tel 06 704 52138, www.istitutoitaliano.com

Italia Idea
Since its opening in 1984, some 1500 students from all over the world have attended this school each year. Italia Idea teaches credit courses for Rhode Island School of Design, Cornell University and introductory Italian for students of religious sciences at the Venerable English College. In 1995, the school designed a full immersion course for cabin crew members of British Airways. And their twenty-episode Italian language television course, "I Montalcini," was shown worldwide in the fall of 2000 in collaboration with Radio-Televisione Italiana (RAI). Classroom size is limited to no more than ten students and lessons are conducted entirely in Italian. Students are offered a curriculum tailored to their individual needs and time constraints. Intensive and extensive courses are available as well as special courses in Italian cinema, art history, business Italian, and preparation for the CILS exams. A "walking Italian" course combines language lessons with delightful walks through Rome. In-office classes are available to businesses. One-on-one lessons are ideal for people with busy schedules. The all-female staff includes twelve teachers, a director — and an Italian chef! Besides the language classes, activities include excursions, guided tours, luncheons, trips to other cities, cooking classes, wine tastings and screenings of Italian films. A library and videotheque are available to students.
via dei Due Macelli, 47  (near the Spanish Steps) tel 06 699 41314 www.italiaidea.com

Kappa Language School
In the heart of Monti, Rome's most vibrant neighborhood, the school uses its own fun and effective methods to teach Italian to an international cliente, with a variety of courses tailored to the needs of each individual student at any level of fluency. Kappa is an official PLIDA Certification Center and part of the Dante Alighieri Society's network, offering preparatory lessons for the PLIDA Certification Exam as well as the exam itself. Students also have the ability to obtain the A2 Certificate, which is essential when applying for long-term residence permits. All Kappa teachers have a Siena university DITALS Certificate for teaching Italian as a foreign Language. Students are given the chance to choose between standard courses, intensive courses, private tutoring, lessons via Skype and more. Lessons are often combined with guided tours and live events, both in Rome and in the city surroundings, in order to promote knowledge of Italian culture and lifestyle. A friendly environment, young and qualified Italian language teachers, affordable prices.
Via del Boschetto, 32 (Monti) tel 06 488 5753 www.kappalanguageschool.com

Koiné – Italian Language Centre

Located at just 300mt from the Colosseum, the School offers DITALS training, Italian and other language courses, tours of Rome, multi-cultural events where our Italian and foreiign students enjoy together the local life and exchange their favourite languages. Our Italian courses are based on dynamic teaching methods and a stimulating language programme that incorporates student’s interests with various aspects of italian life. The method consists of a communicative and humanistic-affective approach to allow our students to learn a foreign language without discouragmentt or the fear one naturally feels at all ages. Our language tutors are DITALS educated at University for Foreigners at Siena and members of APIDIS (Italian Teachers for Foreigners Professional Association) and ANILS (Foreign Language Teachers Association) with significant teaching experience. Their work is based on the passion and love for their own language and culture.   Book now for the best learning experience in Rome and make new friends from all over the world.
Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano n. 48 tel 06 96038365


Leonardo Da Vinci
Leonardo Da Vinci has four schools, in Rome, Florence, Milan and Sienna, offering standard (minimum two weeks four lessons a day, five days a week) and intensive (from two to 24 weeks, six lessons a day, five days a week) courses, as well as specialized advanced classes in vocabulary such as medicine, business correspondence, and Italian for tourism, banking, law, fashion, opera, theater and film.
Piazza Orologio, 7 (near Piazzaz Navona) tel 06 688 925 13 www.scuolaleonardo.com

Scuola Romit
Founded by four young Italian teachers, the school offers courses not only for those who want to learn the language, but also for anyone who'd to have a better knowledge of the culture, customs and traditions of Italy. Classes combine communication and grammar, focusing on language that is useful in everyday real life. Courses and activities relate to Italian art, literature, cinema, theatre, cooking and fashion. A special feature of the school is the availability of online lessons via video chat for those who are too busy to show up in person. But it's much more fun to participate in the classes and the after school social activities organized to help students use the language and explore the city. In a historic palazzo in Monti, the school has a little private garden for relaxing, WiFi connection and a library.
Via Del Boschetto, 68 (Monti) tel 06 955 83082 or 349 6366429 www.scuolaromit.com

Training: ItClub
In the beautiful Palazzo Doria Pamphili, the school offers intensive group courses at every level, lasting from two weeks to six months, as well as tailor-made courses and evening classes. Extra curricula activities such as parties and guided tours, are organized every month.
via del Corso 303 (near Piazza Venezia) tel 06 697 9211 www.trainingclub.com/itclub

Trinity School
The school offers an exceptionally flexible roster of courses, from individual lessons to "mini'collettivi" classes of three to eight students, and a “training on the job” in which a teacher “assists” the student while he or she is at work here in Rome.
via dei Mille 35 and via Bachelet, 12 (near the main train station) tel 06 44703040, www.trinityschool.it

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In Rome Now Travel Guide: Rome, Italy Italian Language Schools