Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


ITAN202 Intermediate Italian B or equivalent


ITAN203 Italian for Social and Professional Purposes

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.

This unit, linked to B2 on the expanded Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and ACFTL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language), emphasises academic Italian and provides students with the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of Italian culture. Students will engage in the critical study of social and cultural issues related to the Italian-speaking world and learn to develop a critical argument in Italian. Their research will connect their growing knowledge of Italian-speaking societies to broader global issues.

The aim of this unit is to enable students to develop more sophisticated linguistic skills and extend their knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the cultural diversity of Italy.

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 - use an extensive variety of Italian vocabulary and grammatical structures to communicate on social and cultural topics (GA4, GA5)

LO2 - identify and apply an understanding of some practices and perspectives of different cultures and societies of the Italian-speaking world (GA1, GA4, GA6)

LO3 - communicate in Italian using discipline-related and persuasive language in an academic setting (GA3, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8)

LO4 - apply intercultural awareness to academic communication in Italian (GA4, GA5, GA8)

Graduate attributes

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

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

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

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 


Topics will include:

  • Approaches to Italian culture and society
  • Italian cultural influences
  • Selected topics from the art history of Italy
  • Geography – national, regional or urban
  • Academic cultures, educational systems and practices
  • Genres in academic writing
  • Academic vocabulary


Language Functions and Competencies:

  • Listening and notetaking
  • Researching and presenting a short paper
  • Developing an argument
  • Outlining and defending a point of view
  • Comparing and contrasting
  • Reflecting on cultural differences

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 practise 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 and to facilitate the communicative interactions between students that will help them develop accuracy and fluency. In the course of this unit, students will have the opportunity to produce multiple forms of academic Italian by practising each stage in the creation of academic knowledge: identifying an area of interest; undertaking research and notetaking; developing lines of argument; and reviewing and reflecting to foster greater understanding (in this case, greater understanding of the significance of cultural differences). Students are encouraged to be active participants and work individually, in pairs and in groups. Through this interaction, the key competencies of listening, speaking, reading and writing will be developed. 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 directly aligned with the learning outcomes and are sequenced to further extend the student’s language skills in Italian and bring intercultural awareness to their developing ability to use academic communication in the Italian language. Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their independent learning skills and strategies, and their ability to reflect upon intercultural communication, by completing a final research project.

The first assessment task, a researched debate on a social or cultural topic, develops students’ research skills, engages them in consideration of Italian society and culture, and provides an opportunity for students to practice oral skills (LO1, LO2). The second assessment task, an oral presentation on a research topic, further develops research skills, and practices formal, academic oral communication (LO1, LO2, LO3, and LO4). Students demonstrate their research skills and their ability to use persuasive language in an academic setting and reflect on intercultural difference by completing their final research project (LO1, LO2, LO3, and LO4).

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Debate: An informed debate about cultural aspects of Italy. This task assesses proficiency in listening, reading and writing.


LO1, LO2

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA6

Assessment Task 2

Presentation on research topic: A researched oral presentation about cultural aspects of Italy. Requires students to demonstrate their research skills, their ability to use persuasive language in an academic setting and reflect on intercultural difference.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8

Assessment Task 3

Individual Research Project: An essay on an approved topic that presents an argument following Italian writing and academic conventions


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA3. GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8

Representative texts and references

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

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

Barański, Z. G., & West, R. J. (2001). The Cambridge companion to modern Italian culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Foot, J. (2003). Modern Italy. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Gambescia, C., Stein, M., & Hart, L. (2018). La dolce vita university: An unconventional guide to Italian culture from A to Z. Palo Alto, CA: Solas House.

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

Paoletti, J. T., & Radke, G. M. (2011). Art in Renaissance Italy (4th ed.). London: Laurence King.

Pausini, C., & Merolla, C. (2019). Interpretazioni: Italian language and culture through film. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.

Proudfoot, A., & Cardo, F. (2013). Modern Italian grammar: A practical guide (3rd ed.). London; New York: Routledge

Saggese, R. (2014). Practice makes perfect: Italian reading and comprehension. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill

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