BA Politics and Italian

Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
Italian Language 1

Unit code ITAL51011
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Italian Studies
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This is a course unit for complete beginners in Italian, which aims to give students sound foundations in the language and develop basic writing, reading, speaking, and aural skills, as well as an introduction to the basics of Italian phonetics and linguistics.

The course is intended to develop competence in the Italian language by fostering students’ command of a variety of grammatical structures; by the end of the course, students will be able to write and speak confidently about simple aspects of personal and contemporary Italian life in line with level A1-A2 of the Common European Framework for Languages.



i.     To demonstrate an understanding of the essential linguistic structures of Italian by completing a variety of grammatical exercises involving manipulation and reformulation

ii.    To read selected texts in Italian of an appropriate level of difficulty

iii.   To translate accurately from and into Italian short passages of an appropriate level of difficulty

iv.   To use basic spoken Italian to cope with real-life situations

Knowledge and understanding

The course will develop:

  • An active and in-depth knowledge of the topics covered by the set textbook
  • An active knowledge of Italian grammar and basic awareness of the different registers of language
  • The ability to communicate with a degree of confidence and accuracy in written and spoken Italian, in a variety of real-life situations, at levels of appropriate difficulty
  • Knowledge of aspects of the culture, communities and languages of Italy
  •  An awareness of, and responsiveness to, the nature and extent of cultural diversity
  • An active knowledge of Italian linguistic diversity and some key linguistic features of the language.

Intellectual skills

This course develops abilities to:

  • Use language creatively and precisely for basic purposes and audiences
  • Extract and synthesise basic key information from written and spoken sources
  • Organise and present ideas within the framework of a structured argument at levels of appropriate difficulty
  • Engage in critical and analytical thinking

Practical skills

These include:

  •  Use and present material in the target language in written and oral forms in a clear and effective manner
  • Ability to manage own learning
  • Use target language source materials appropriately
  • Access electronic resources and use information and communication technologies (ICT) appropriately, including the Internet and  Blackboard

Transferable skills and personal qualities

These include:

  • Communication and presentation skills: oral, written and IT
  • The ability to work creatively and flexibly with others as part of a team
  • Mediating skills and qualities of empathy
  • Self-reliance and adaptability
  • Intercultural awareness
  • Autonomy and independence
  • Time management skills

Employability skills

Communication skills are developed through teamwork and individual contributions and participation in oral classes conducted by a native speaker; self-management skills are promoted through independent work and the production of a portfolio of language activities, and IT skills through web and computer assisted language learning. Finally, creative skills are fostered through creative weekly writing and a task-orientated approach.

Assessment methods

Aural examination Formative
Independent language learning 25%
Linguistics exercise Formative
Oral Exam 20%
Written Exam 55%


Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Individual written feedback on completed and marked assignments plus face-to-face discussion if desired.


In-class comments on homework, presentations and other exercises.


After each of the scheduled assignments, global feedback on frequent errors or omissions to indicate problem areas and allow questions and discussion (delivered orally in class/posted to blackboard/as a handout).



Recommended reading

-        CORE TEXT: De Rôme, D., Soluzioni. A Practical Grammar of Contemporary Italian, 4th edn (New York, NY; Oxon: Routledge, 2018)

-        Adorni, S., and K. Primorac, English Grammar for Students of Italian (London: Arnold, 1995)

-        Chapallaz, M., The Pronunciation of Italian (Cambridge: Heffers, 1986)

-        Fernandez-Toro, M., and F. Jones, DIY Techniques for Language Learners (London: Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research, 2001)

-        Nocchi, S., Grammatica pratica della lingua italiana. Esercizi – test – giochi (Florence: Alma, 2009)

Dizionario inglese-italiano, italiano-inglese (Turin: Paravia and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001)

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 11
Seminars 11
Tutorials 33
Independent study hours
Independent study 145

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Salvatore Campisi Unit coordinator

Additional notes

In order to meet the learning outcomes students are required to engage in regular independent language learning devoting an average of five hours per week to work on the various language skills outside of class contact time.

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