BA Latin and Italian / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Italian Language 1

Course unit fact file
Unit code ITAL51011
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


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 and understand basic spoken Italian to cope with real-life situations


A booklet with a detailed week-by-week language programme of grammar activities for the course will be distributed at the start of the academic year during week 1 of classes.

Students will also be expected to buy the following core text for the course:  

Gruppo Italiaidea, New Italian Espresso (Updated Ed.), Florence: Alma Edizioni, 2020 

Teaching and learning methods

The course unit consists of face-to-face lectures and language tutorials in spoken and written Italian, including language simulations, short essay writing and manipulation of texts.

The course also uses Blackboard extensively to supplement, support, and manage aspects of learning and teaching.  

Given the nature of language learning, students are expected to attend all classes and to prepare adequately for them in order to be able to participate actively in class work and group activities.

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

Assessment task  

Formative or Summative 

Weighting within unit (if summative) 

Take-home activities 



Linguistics exercise 



One piece of ACW (reading & writing) 



One class test (listening & grammar) 



An oral examination 



A grammar / written examination 



Resit Assessment:

A grammar and writing examination


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: Gruppo Italiaidea, New Italian Espresso (Updated Ed.), Florence: Alma Edizioni, 2020  

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

Lazzarino, G., Prego! An Invitation to Italian, 8th edn (McGraw-Hill, 2012) & Lab Manual 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., Nuova grammatica pratica della lingua italiana. Esercizi – test – giochi (Florence: Alma, 2015)

Dizionario inglese-italiano, italiano-inglese, 3rd edn (Turin: Paravia and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010 ebook)

Study hours

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

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Monica Boria 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.

Free Choice only by agreement with the Programme Director for Italian and the Language Tutor, Monica Boria

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