The University of Parma hosts approximately 260–300 Erasmus students every year, 54% of whom are Spanish-speakers. These students need to be placed in Italian language courses according to the CEFR levels. We noticed however that the same multiple-choice, on-line placement test, administered to students from both the Germanic/Slavic and the Romance linguistic areas, sometimes gives surprising results, assigning a B1 level to absolute beginner Spanish-speaking students. This paper presents the results of a longitudinal study, which led to the preparation of a consolidated test that has proved to be reliable and valid for both Germanic/Slavic and Romance linguistic areas. The presentation will illustrate the various developmental phases of the overall project and the results achieved, analyzing the data relating to the use of the service as well as its future prospects.
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