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CULP: General Language Courses - Italian

Italian is a Romance language spoken by about 60 million people in Italy, and by another 10 million Italian descendants in the world, making it spoken by a total of 70 million native speakers. It is also spoken by an additional 125 million people as a foreign language. It is the official (and/or primary) language of Italy, San Marino and the Vatican, it is one the official languages in Switzerland and it is also used in Monaco, Malta as well as by immigrants and their descendants in the United States, Canada and Australia.

Italian derives from and it is the closest modern language to Latin. Italian has a long history, but the modern standard of the language was largely shaped in the 14th century by authors such as Dante Alighieri, Francesco Petrarca and Giovanni Boccaccio (among others). All Romance languages spoken in Italy as a vernacular, other than standard Italian are termed "Italian dialects".

Today, Italian is the language usually associated with music (Verdi, Puccini, Monteverdi, Rossini ...), renaissance art (Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Mantegna, Botticelli, Bellini...), history and architecture (from the Etruscans to ancient Rome and the renaissance to classicism and modernity), the fashion industry (Valentino, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Benetton, Trussardi, Bulgari...) as well as excellent cuisine, general well being, beautiful cities (Florence, Venice, Rome, Bologna, Pisa, Siena, Arezzo...) and countryside ("Il paese più bello del mondo!").

At the Language Centre you can use our extensive collection of resources (some are available online) as well as enroll in one of our courses. The courses start from the absolute beginners and go to the intermediate 2. We also offer a course of Italian language through cinema. This course requires some familiarity with the language and culture as it is delivered completely in Italian. At basic and intermediate 1 level the syllabi are functional-notional with a pronounced focus on spoken language. The intermediate 2 course features a more topical and intellectually stimulating syllabus that aims at developing all four language skills.

All Italian courses are supported by multimedia online materials.


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Qualifications framework level: CEFR A1

Prerequisites

For absolute beginners (ab initio learners) or for those with very little knowledge of the language.

Educational Aims

At the Basic 1 level the main aims are:

    • To develop a basic understanding and an appreciation of the salient linguistic features;
    • To enable the learner to communicate in a range of predictable every-day situations;
    • To introduce students to the cultural background of Italy within the context of language teaching.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the Course students will be able to:

Listening/Speaking Understand some basic instructions or take part in a brief informal conversation on a predictable topic.
Reading Understand a set of basic notices and instructions.
Writing Write a brief informal e-mail on a predictable topic.

Topics

The Course introduces students to the following functions and notions:

      • How to say hello, present themselves, to tell their origin, age and ask people relevant questions to get same information.
      • To converse about work/study as well as family and languages spoken.
      • To be able to describe a dwelling, give/ask for address; ask/explain who people live with.
      • To talk about preferences, interests, sport, hobbies, weekend activities.
      • To place orders at the bar, talk about likes, dislikes, ask people what they want to drink; to make a restaurant booking, read the menu, place an order, ask for the bill.
      • To talk about their work/study.
      • To ask for directions, understand indications, traffic signs, call a taxi, explain where to go.

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Qualifications framework level: CEFR A2

Prerequisites

For those who already possess an A1 level and/or for those who already speak cognate Romance languages (i.e. Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian) and are willing to do some self-study in preparation for the course (please see the Language Centre online resources).

Educational Aims

At the Basic 2 level the main aims are:

    • To develop a basic understanding and an appreciation of the salient linguistic features;
    • To establish the learner as a fairly confident language user in a range of predictable every-day situations;
    • To introduce students to the cultural background of Italy within the context of language teaching.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the Course students will be able to:

Listening/Speaking Understand basic instructions or take part in a basic factual conversation on a predictable topic.
Reading Understand a set of basic notices, instructions or information.
Writing Write a brief informal letter or e-mail on an every-day predictable topic.

Topics

The Course introduces students to the following functions and notions:

    • How to say hello, present themselves, to tell their origin, age and ask people relevant questions to get same information.
    • To converse about work/study as well as family and languages spoken.
    • To be able to describe a dwelling, give/ask for address; ask/explain who people live with.
    • To talk about preferences, interests, sport, hobbies, weekend activities.
    • To place orders at the bar, talk about likes, dislikes, ask people what they want to drink; to make a restaurant booking, read the menu, ask about the dishes, place an order, talk about food, ask for the bill and ask for info re the bill.
    • To talk about their work/study, the timetable and to talk about their professional past.
    • To ask for directions, understand indications, traffic signs, call a taxi, explain where to go.
    • To talk about the past in general and tell stories.
    • To buy food and clothing items, inquire about prices, size, quantity and get other relevant information.
    • To understand information relevant to travel, holiday and stay in hotel.
    • To talk about health and fitness, describe ailments, understand instructions and discuss them.

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Qualifications framework level: CEFR B1

Prerequisites: CEFR A2

Educational Aims

At the Intermediate 1 level the main aims are:

    • To build on a basic understanding and an appreciation of the salient linguistic features;
    • To establish the learner as a confident language user in a range of predictable everyday situations;
    • To equip the learner with the skills and knowledge to deal with straightforward job applications and interviews;
    • To increase students' knowledge of the cultural background of Italy within the context of language teaching.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the Course students will be able to:

Listening/Speaking Express opinions on abstract/cultural matters in a limited way or offer advice within a known area, and understand instructions or public announcements.
Reading Understand routine information and articles, and the general meaning of non-routine information within a familiar area.
Writing Write letters or make notes on familiar or predictable matters.

Topics

The Course will include:

    • To be able to introduce oneself, giving information about one's age, origin and where one lives;
    • To be able to describe one's routine, free time and weekends;
    • To be able to describe one's work experience including studies/jobs, and writing a mini CV;
    • To be able to describe what one used to do before the current work/study situation, one's current responsibilities, and to produce a CV for an interview;
    • To be able to identify a suitable job from a website, apply for it and attend a job interview;
    • To be able to talk about one's health, request medication and understand instructions given by a doctor or pharmacist;
    • To be able to discuss life styles and fitness routines;
    • To be able to recount an accident in general and to follow the diagnosis and treatment;
    • To be able to recount an incident in detail, describing the setting and elaborate what could have happened in another circumstance;
    • To be able to analyse how life used to be in the past and compare it with the present, recounting historic events;
    • To be able to comment on one's plans and wishes, and to analyse what one would do in a variety of hypothetical situations.

Syllabus:

Italian Intermediate 1

Sample Past Paper:

  Listening Comprehension | Reading Comprehension


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Qualifications framework level: CEFR B2

Prerequisites

Students who have successfully completed the Intermediate 1 course in the Language Centre, or have acquired a proficiency equivalent to B1 in Spanish.

Educational Aims

At the Intermediate 2 Level the main aims are:

    • To develop a fairly advanced understanding of the language structure and vocabulary;
    • To develop the ability to engage in conversation in Italian, where the learner is able to express his or her opinion in a variety of topics;
    • To develop in the learner an awareness of the different varieties of Italian, when it concerns the lexicon and the phonological systems.
    • To develop an awareness of the cultural diversity among Italian speaking countries and regions.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the Course students will be able to:

Listening/Speaking Understand spoken Italian in a variety of both predictable and unpredictable linguistic situations and be able to express themselves in a variety of situations where a fair amount of detail is necessary.
Reading Understand written Italian when texts are intended for native speakers, where visual information is not necessarily available and where the text relies on language structure and lexical refinement to convey specific messages.
Writing Write both formally and informally to a single recipient in a variety of topics, using the appropriate register and formulae to achieve communication.

Topics

The Course introduces students to the following functions and notions:

Introducing oneself, introducing others, talking about our origin and our mother tongue, explaining why we study Italian, talking about the family, describing our home town and our country, talking about the community where we live, describing our accommodation, comparing means of transport, describing travel destinations, telling about a travel experience, choosing appropriate accommodation, describing our profession or topic, describing current activities, describing our previous training, summarising our work experience, taking a job interview, describing a field of study, describing a work routine, talking about our spare time and pastimes, talking about our plans, describing life in the past, understanding the importance of a historical event, talking about historical facts and their relevance, comparing life before and after a historical event, talking about our plans for the future, talking about what we would do if something happened, expressing good wishes, describing a personal incident, commenting about something that happened to someone we know, expressing surprise, describing a pain, asking for a prescription, describing what happened to us, explaining the causes and consequences of an accident, understanding a diagnosis, following instructions to improve one's health, explaining what we do to stay in shape, understanding advice to stay in shape, giving advice, analysing causes and effects for being in shape, understanding alternative medicines, studying distinctive features of cities in Italy, understanding the context of opinions on current topics, debating about topics of local and international relevance.

Syllabus:

Italian Intermediate 2


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Qualifications framework level: CEFR C1

Prerequisites: CEFR B2

Educational Aims

At Advanced level the main aims are:

    • To develop the language skills needed to understand and express complex ideas and opinions in real-time oral/aural situations and to improve the presentation skills in the target language;
    • To deepen the knowledge and enhance the appreciation of the cultures of the countries where the language is spoken, as well as of the varieties of the spoken language;
    • To equip learners with the necessary knowledge, learning tools and skills that will establish them as independent and successful lifelong language learners.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the Course students will be able to:

Listening/Speaking Contribute effectively to meetings and seminars within own area of work or keep up a casual conversation with a good degree of fluency, coping with abstract expressions.
Reading Read quickly enough to cope with an academic course, to read the media for information or to understand non-standard correspondence.
Writing Prepare/draft professional correspondence, take reasonably accurate notes in meetings or write an essay demonstrating the ability to communicate.

As well as to...

Communicate fluently whilst maintaining a high degree of grammatical accuracy;

Apply their language skills effectively in a broad variety of contexts including academic ones;

Use relevant language registers and acquire an understanding of the main aspects of the historical, political, economical, cultural and linguistic situation of the countries where the language is spoken;

Understand current affairs and other audio/visual items from the media;

Conduct research in the target language;

Speak in public and deliver presentations in the target language;

Acquire necessary skills to retrieve and use multimedia online resources in the target language;

The Course aims to empower the learners and establish them as life-long language learners.

Syllabus:

Italian Advanced

The Advanced courses run by the Language Centre lead to an official, award-bearing University qualification called the CULP Award, which is issued by the University of Cambridge, and which corresponds to C1 level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Advanced is the only level, which leads to a CULP Award. The Language Centre issues Certificates of Proficiency for all the other levels.

Advanced Assessment Framework


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Italiano e Cinema

Prerequisites

A content-based language course for students who already have a good command of the Italian Language (at least B1 and preferably B2).

The course is based around classic Italian films that are readily available from the John Trim Centre for Independent Learning at the Language Centre.

Italiano e Cinema will begin with a general introduction to the Italian language with special reference to film-related terminology.
Every film will be introduced by a session (2 lessons) devoted to its linguistic features and a range of relevant listening, reading and subsequently communicative exercises. After the viewing of the film (students will do this in their own time at the John Trim Independent Learning Centre here at the LC) there will be a session devoted to the artistic (director, actors, style of expression etc.) context followed by a further discussion about the film's aesthetic, wider cultural, historical and political implications. All teaching and discussions will be in the Italian language and students will be expected to actively participate and contribute.

Syllabus:

Italiano e film


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Standard - Michaelmas-Lent 2017/18

  Mon. Wed.
Basic 1 15:00 - 17:00
[LC TR3]
 
Basic 2   17:00 - 19:00
[Classics
R2.03 TBC]
Inter 1 17:00 - 19:00
[LC TR3]
 
Inter 2 17:00 - 19:00
[English GR04 TBC]
 

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