CILS B1 Cittadinanza (Citizenship): Speaking Part
If you’re here, it’s because you’ve already scheduled (or plan to schedule) your Cils B1 Cittadinanza exam in order to obtain your Italian citizenship.
This post aims to dispel any doubts and help you succeed in the speaking portion of the Cittadinanza exam. As you are aware, the Citizenship exam also includes reading, listening, grammar, and writing sections; however, many students find the speaking portion to be the most intimidating, as you will be put on the spot, right in front of the examiner, and will be prompt and asked to discuss topics in a foreign language.How does the exam work?
The CILS B1 Cittadinanza (speaking part)
The total time for the exam is 2.05 hours. The entire exam is made up of different tasks, but in this article, we will concentrate on the speaking task, which is the final part of the exam. The speaking section is only 10 minutes long and consists of two tasks
- task 1: a brief introduction of yourself
- task 2: a topic of your choice to develop in the shape of a conversation with the examiner
My recommendations are based on my private client experience teaching CILS preparation classes. These suggestions and resources are intended for students who already have a good intermediate or pre-intermediate level of English. If you are a beginner, move on to general Italian (A1-A2) and return to this page once you have mastered intermediate Italian.
Tips and Ideas for Task 1 (talking about yourself)
- Get ready to talk about yourself; this will be the examiner’s first question.
- While introducing yourself, I suggest mentioning : your name, your age, where you live, your job/your studies , if you have a family or not, and the reason why you’re sitting for the exam
- My recommendation is to also explain how you’ve learned Italian so far and why. This is a fairly easy topic to discuss and will easily help you speak more and make a good impression on the examiner.
Tips and Ideas for Task 2
- There are four topic questions that are different. Choose the one you’re comfortable talking about.
- If you get a Yes-or-No question, say more than just a quick “Ye” or “No.” Give a reason or comment, e.g Is vegetarian food healthy? Yes, because it can contain a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Throughout this task, the examiner will interrupt you to ask you questions about the topic you choose. If you can’t understand his or her questions, ask him or her to repeat them. Use the following questions: Mi scusi non ho capito la domanda, può ripetere? / Mi scusi non ho capito cosa significa la parola “X”, puoi aiutarmi?
- Always address the examiner in the formal form “Lei“.
How to Perform Well in the Speaking Part of the Exam
- Have a solid grasp on intermediate Italian grammar topics. To pass this test, your Italian level should be between A2 and B1.
- Complete as many practice tests as you can and have your teacher correct them.
- Examine the available CILS B1 Cittadinanza prep-textbooks to become acquainted with the test structure (Percorso CILS B1 Cittadinanza, Pronti per il test B1 Cittadinanza)
- Practice your Italian speaking skills by writing down your responses to speaking prompts.
Why is writing the way to pass the exam?
Imagine if your teacher asked you an impromptu question about the traffic situation in your hometown and you had to respond for at least five minutes. How would you handle it? Maybe your Italian is good enough to discuss traffic and cities, but you don’t have a formalized opinion about it, even in your native language.
This is where writing comes in.
When writing, you’ll have all the time you need to formalize your ideas and thoughts, look up words in a dictionary, and possibly have your sentences corrected by a teacher who can point out common errors, polish imperfections, and help you elevate the level of your sentences and fluency.
When you’re writing you’re essentially warming up for you speaking part.
A good exercise is simply to answer in writing to the most common speaking prompts used in the exam.
List of common topics used in the CILS B1 for Citizenship test
- Ti piace viaggiare? (racconta un tuo viaggio).
- Ti piace leggere o andare al cinema (racconta un libro che hai letto o un film che hai visto).
- Ti piace cucinare? (racconta una ricetta e/o una storia legata alla cucina o al cibo)
- Ci sono delle differenze tra la cultura italiana e la tua? (racconta una somiglianza e una differenza tra le due culture)
- Fai la raccolta differenziata? Quali sono le principali regole da seguire? Pensi che sia una cosa giusta? Nel tuo Paese è presente?
- Preferisci la città o campagna? Spiega i perché della tua risposta.
- Hai la patente di guida italiana? Ci sono delle differenze tra l’esame di guida in Italia e quello nel tuo Paese?
- Quando cerchi una casa da prendere in affitto o comprare a che cosa fai attenzione? Quali sono le tue esigenze?
- A PDF file most common speaking prompts used in the CILS B1 Cittadinanza exam followed by my answers in intermediate Italian (with tips and tricks on how to pass the exam).
- A sample test of the CILS B1 cittadinanza (link here)
- Information on my 1-to-1 exam preparations classes
- Useful CILS B1 prep textbooks and guides
These are the upcoming dates for the CILS Cittadinanza Exam in 2022 and 2023, both in Italy and abroad
- December 15th
- February 16th
- April 23rd
- June 8th
- July 20th
- October 23rd
- December 5th
Remember that you must register for the exam at least 40 days before the exam.
The exam costs around between 120 and 180 USD, this varies slightly depending on the examination center.
This page contains an up-to-date list of CILS B1 Citizenship examination centers in Italy and abroad.