Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

Learning an additional language facilitates a rich engagement with the worlds of others. The positive intercultural values and the analytical, conceptual and communication skills developed by students who learn additional languages are highly valued by employers in business, government and industry. Taking the first steps in learning someone else’s language opens up new relationships as well as new understandings of one’s own culture and that of others.

This unit is designed for beginners and is linked to the ‘A1’ level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The unit focuses on developing students’ Italian language skills across the listening–speaking–reading–writing spectrum of competencies. Students will be exposed to fundamental phonetic, lexical, and structural elements of the Italian language. While the focus is on language, this unit will also include cultural and social elements, to increase students’ intercultural awareness and their ability to interact effectively with Italian-speaking communities.

The aim of this unit is to provide students with the ability to understand and use familiar expressions and basic phrases in everyday social contexts. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Recognise individual sounds and common stress patterns in Italian (GA5)

LO2 - Demonstrate a basic knowledge of vocabulary and language structures through the use of simple phrases and sentences in familiar everyday contexts (such as greetings, introductions and ordering a meal) (GA5)

LO3 - Identify important aspects of Italian culture and society reflected in the Italian language (GA1, GA4, GA5)

LO4 - Communicate in Italian at the level of proficiency linked to selected ‘Can do’ statements at A1 level in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) (GA5)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 


Topics will include:

  • Greetings and Introductions
  • The geography of Italy
  • The Italian alphabet and sound system
  • Common stress patterns in Italian
  • Family
  • Countries and nationalities
  • Professions and workplaces
  • Meals, food and beverage
  • Leisure activities
  • Numbers 1 to 100
  • Time expressions
  • Reflections on intercultural communication and the experience of learning another language

Language Functions and Competencies:

  • Greeting people and introducing yourself and others
  • Describing oneself and family members
  • Asking and answering questions about nationality and profession
  • Visiting an Italian restaurant and ordering a meal
  • Talking about free time and leisure activities
  • Telling the time
  • Using polite expressions and forms of address

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The unit is delivered in different modes. Students will study in one of these modes. The modes are: 

  • Online live mode delivered in a normal university semester.
  • Intensive online live mode delivered outside the normal university semester.
  • Intensive multi-mode delivered both online and face to face on the ACU Rome campus.


The unit is designed to be offered online and will include synchronous delivery of unit content, collaborative online learning activities and other technology-enabled synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities to foster interaction between students. The approach to language learning and teaching in each mode of delivery is the ‘communicative approach’ which focuses on developing students’ competence in ‘real life’ communication. In keeping with this approach, learning and teaching strategies have been chosen to bring real-life communicative contexts to the classroom (as seen in the topics chosen for this unit), and to facilitate the communicative interactions between students that will help them develop accuracy and fluency. Students are encouraged to develop the key competencies of listening, speaking, reading and writing through interactive engagement with real-life situations; be active participants and work individually, in pairs and in groups; use audio-visual language material based on everyday contexts as a key learning and teaching resource; and complete interactive language and learning tasks and assignment preparation, including weekly online exercises in LEO.

Multi-mode – Study Abroad Experience

This unit offers a Study Abroad Experience when delivered in intensive multi-mode for students wishing to have a language and cultural immersion experience. It includes an onshore component delivered online, and an offshore component delivered face-to-face on the ACU Rome campus. This study mode emphasises using language for meaningful purposes in authentic situations, and encourages students to practice and experiment with communicating through the use of activities that have real purpose and a real-life communicative context. Students will develop their independent learning skills, intercultural awareness and critical thinking, and participate in cultural and community engagement activities.

This is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total across the semester.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The communicative approach to language learning emphasising real-life contexts and interactive learning that informs the teaching of this introductory unit also informs the design of its assessment tasks, which have been planned to build on the knowledge and skills developed in interactive lecture and workshop activities. The assessment tasks have been designed to provide the feedback students need to develop independent language learning skills, such as listening to and contrasting sound systems, discriminating sound and intonation patterns, improving communication skills, and extracting meaning from written and spoken texts. Through completing each of the assessments, learners can track and test their developing language proficiency.

Assessment Task 1 is designed to assess students’ listening and reading skills in relation to everyday communication topics (LO1, LO2). Assessment Task 2 is a speaking task that is used to assess students' ability to communicate orally in everyday contexts in ways that demonstrate awareness of important cultural aspects  (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4). Assessment Task 3 is a task that builds on the skills and knowledge developed through the unit: it assesses students’ proficiency in reading, writing, and listening to Italian.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Listening and Reading Task on everyday topics: requires students to demonstrate basic knowledge of vocabulary and language structure.


LO1, LO2


Assessment Task 2

A speaking task that is used to assess students' ability to communicate orally in everyday contexts in ways that demonstrate awareness of important cultural aspects. Examples of such a task could include a guided interview, video blog or role play.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA4, GA5

Assessment Task 3

Summative assessment task: requires students to demonstrate appropriate proficiency in listening, reading and writing.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA4, GA5

Representative texts and references

Bulhosen, P., Logi, F., & Riu, L. (2010). Pocket Oxford Italian dictionary: Italian-English (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. DOI:10.1093/acref/9780191739569.001.0001

Bulhosen, P., Riu, L., & Logi, F. (2006). Pocket Oxford Italian dictionary: English-Italian (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. DOI:10.1093/acref/9780191739552.001.0001

Bultrini, P. and Graziani, F. (2014). New Italian espresso workbook: Beginner and pre-intermediate: Italian course for English speakers. ALMA Edizioni.

Bultrini, P., & Graziani, F. (2014). New Italian espresso textbook: beginner and pre-intermediate: Italian course for English speakers. ALMA Edizioni.

Guastalla, C. (n.d.). Roma 2050 d.C. ALMA Edizioni. (A1) Alma Comics.

Maiden, M., & Robustelli, C. (2013). A reference grammar of modern Italian (2nd ed.). Routledge.

Nanetti, S. (2014). La festa dell’uva (1a edizione). (Giallo all’italiana series). Casa delle lingue. (A1)

Nanni-Tate, P. (2019). Practice makes perfect: Italian verb tenses, premium. (3rd ed.). McGraw-Hill.

Ragazzini, G. (2015). Il Ragazzini: Dizionario Inglese-Italiano, Italiano-Inglese (Quarta edizione). Zanichelli.

Saggese, R. (2021). Easy Italian reader: A three-part text for beginning students. (3rd ed.). McGraw-Hill. (A1-B1 ebook)

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