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ITAN200 Elementary Italian B or equivalent

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, education, government and industry. An intermediate level of mastery in a language enables students to express their own points of view and participate in society and the workplace as independent language users.

This unit is designed for students at an intermediate level of Italian and is linked to ‘B1’ level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). This unit is for beginners progressing through the levels of proficiency but also for students with advanced standing who may enter at this point.

On completion of this unit, students should have extended their grammatical, lexical and syntactic command of the Italian language. They should be able to confirm understanding and seek clarification in their spoken interactions, express and respond to feelings and attitudes, give or seek opinions and solve practical problems. Students should be able to read simple news articles and write brief reports in a standard format. While the focus is on language, the unit includes relevant 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 sufficient Italian language skills to share cultural knowledge, obtain an understanding of the values and opinions of Italian cultures and societies, and increase their ability to effectively interact in Italian.

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 - Devise and implement personal strategies to increase the range of vocabulary and grammatical structures they can use (GA1, GA4, GA5)

LO2 - Use written and spoken Italian accurately and in accordance with relevant social and cultural conventions in social, work, study, and personal contexts (GA1, GA4, GA6, GA8)

LO3 - Evaluate and debate topical social issues in contemporary Italian culture in simple Italian (GA1, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8).

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 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8     locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 


Topics will include:

  • E-mail terminology and protocols
  • Telephone etiquette
  • Media and technology
  • Fiction and short stories
  • Books and newspapers
  • The environment
  • Travelling in Italy

Content on intercultural difference and diversity will be integrated in selected topics.

Language Functions and Competencies:

  • Writing and responding to formal and informal emails
  • Making arrangements by telephone
  • Identifying different types of text
  • Reading and writing a summary
  • Reading and writing short narratives
  • Expressing a point of view
  • Agreeing and disagreeing
  • Giving reasons for and against a particular point of view
  • Asking for, giving and denying permission
  • Describing places

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is designed to be offered fully online and will include synchronous delivery of unit content, collaborative online learning activities and other technology-enabled learning synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities to foster interaction between students.

The approach to language learning and teaching taken in this unit is the ‘communicative approach’ which focuses on developing students’ competence in ‘real life’ communication. This approach 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. 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. For example, audio-visual language material based on everyday contexts will be used as key learning and teaching resource. Students are encouraged to be active participants and work individually, in pairs and in groups. Through this interaction, students will develop key competencies of listening, speaking, reading and writing, and build their independent language learning skills. Teaching and learning activities include weekly online exercises in the Learning Management System, interactive language practice and assignment preparation.

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 assessment tasks in this unit are chosen to develop different domains of language acquisition and are sequenced to support students in developing intermediate proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening to Italian. A key focus of the assessment for this unit is the development of students’ ability to evaluate and debate contemporary Italian social issues, a skill that also strengthens students' intercultural communication skills.

Assessment Task 1 requires students to complete a written response to an audio-visual text on a contemporary Italian social issue or issues (LO1, LO2, LO3). Assessment Task 2 requires students to deliver a group presentation, and then answer questions that arise in response to the presentation. This assessment task assesses students’ listening and speaking skills and cultural appreciation (LO1, LO2, LO3). Assessment Task 3 is a task that builds on the skills and knowledge developed through the unit: in addition to assessing students’ listening, reading, and writing skills and vocabulary and grammar use, it also evaluates students’ ability to discuss contemporary Italian social issues (LO1, LO2, LO3).

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Written response to an audiovisual presentation on a contemporary Italian social issue. Requires students to demonstrate listening and writing skills, as well as develop knowledge of social issues in Italy.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8

Assessment Task 2

Preparation and delivery of a short group presentation, followed by a question period. Requires students to demonstrate listening and speaking skills, as well as cultural appreciation.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8

Assessment Task 3

Assessment of vocabulary and grammar, and of proficiency in listening, reading and writing. Includes evaluation of students' ability to discuss contemporary Italian social issues.


LO1, LO2, LO3,

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8

Representative texts and references

Balì, M., Rizzo, G., & Ziglio, L. (2018). New Italian espresso workbook: Intermediate and advanced: Italian course for English speakers. Firenze Alma Edizioni.

Balì, M., Rizzo, G., & Ziglio, L. (2018). New Italian espresso textbook: intermediate and advanced: Italian course for English speakers. Firenze Alma Edizioni.

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

Bulhosen, P., Riu, L., & Logi, F. (2010). Pocket Oxford Italian dictionary: English-Italian (4th ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. DOI:10.1093/acref/9780191739552.001.0001

Guastalla, C., Naddeo, C. M., & Wallnofer, G. (2013). Habemus papam. ALMA Edizioni. (B1) Alma Comics

Maiden, M., & Robustelli, C. (2013). A reference grammar of modern Italian (2nd ed.). London; New York, NY: Routledge.

Naddeo, M. (Ed.) (2017). Storie per ridere. ALMA Edizioni. (A2-B1)

Oddo, F. (2012). Il manoscritto di Giotto. Edilingua. (A2-B1)

Scarso, S. G. (2015). Barocco siciliano. (Giallo all’italiana series). Barcelona: Casa delle lingue. (B1)

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