Investigating error typologies into Italian test performances of Arabic speakers


  • Luana Cosenza University for Foreigners of Siena, Italy
  • Paola Masillo University for Foreigners of Siena, Italy


Language, Assessment


Our paper aims at analysing the error typologies produced by Arabic learners of Italian as a foreign language. There are published studies of common errors for Arab students of Italian (Della Puppa, 2006; Giacalone Ramat et al. 2001). However, this study introduces the standardized language assessment, namely the CILS test of Italian, as context of research.

The study uses error analysis as a method to improve didactic strategies for teachers considering the detected language needs and profiles of Arabic learners.

The data is a representative sample of 200 test takers of CEFR level B2, that is the level that guarantees the access to the Italian universities to foreign students.

First, the study investigates the test outcomes in the four language skills (listening, reading, written and oral production) and the use of language, and then focuses on the exam scripts, in order to identify different types of errors that occur repeatedly. 

Author Biographies

Luana Cosenza, University for Foreigners of Siena, Italy

Luana Cosenza, PhD in "Linguistics and teaching Italian as second language", University for Foreigners of Siena. She graduated from the University for Foreigners of Siena in Linguistics and Intercultural Communication, with a specialization in Arabic language and culture. Her main research focuses on Arabic language teaching for professional purposes, language policy in education and migration context, plurilingual education in pre-school context.  




Paola Masillo, University for Foreigners of Siena, Italy

Paola Masillo, PhD in "Linguistics and Teaching Italian as second language", University for Foreigners of Siena. She graduated from the University for Foreigners of Siena in Linguistics and Intercultural Communication, with a specialization in Language Testing and Assessment. Her main research focuses on learning Italian as a foreign/second language, language assessment and language policies. She is currently a post-doc research fellow at the University for Foreigners of Siena.


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How to Cite

Cosenza, L., & Masillo, P. (2019). Investigating error typologies into Italian test performances of Arabic speakers. Arab Journal of Applied Linguistics, 4(2), 54–86. Retrieved from

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