mercoledì 14 aprile 2010

Intermediate Italian II

Intermediate Italian II

B2 level (Common European Framework of Reference for Language)

Credits: 4

Prerequisites: B1 level course (instructor approval required)

Course Description:

This course is dedicated to developing advanced skills in Italian grammar, spelling, phonetics,
composition – conversation, listening, reading, and writing. The stress is on the ability to
communicate well in simple conversations in a range of real-life situations. A working knowledge
of the basic structure and grammar of Italian is strengthened with regard to the more elaborate
syntactic structures, and the expressive and descriptive range (spoken and written) of the student’s
vocabulary is enlarged. Through language, students underscore their wider comprehension of Italian
culture, which at this level permits them to engage in Italian with such topics as social issues,
current events, and regional differences.
• The course meets 8 hours per week from Monday to Thursday (2 hours per day) for a total of 12
weeks per semester.
• Most classroom sessions are divided into two study units:
- The first study unit consists in the presentation of grammatical structures and exercises.
- The second study unit is dedicated to writing and conversation exercises that encourage the
students to actively apply the grammatical rules learned previously to real-life settings.
The classroom sessions are not rigidly divided between grammar and conversation, but each unit
reinforces the other in order that students begin to speak and think in Italian. In addition, one day
per week is regularly devoted to conversation. Other teaching aids are regularly used: audio-visual
materials, tapes, films, newspapers, magazines, etc. Extended-length teaching aids will be
accompanied by handouts and assignments.

The course includes readings of Italian short stories; these will be analyzed in class in terms of
language and content, and will be incorporated in further activities (reading aloud, dialogue, etc.)
Magazine and newspaper articles, other short stories in Italian or movies (in this case, a film is
shown before the discussion session) will be assigned to increase students’ range of vocabulary and
to present contemporary Italian culture to the students. After each lesson students are assigned
written homework which can be either short compositions, grammatical exercises, readings from
literary texts, newspaper article or research on a topic suggested by the professor.

Course objectives:
- extend proficiency and expressive range in the Italian language in practical, everyday
situations beyond the threshold level
- deepen grammatical competency; student will be able to construct correct sentences and
dialogues across the grammatical spectrum (correct use of nouns and adjectives, pronouns
and prepositions).
- heighten reading skills in relation to standard and literary prose.
- perfect listening skills at normal native conversational speed
- develop basic written compositional skills employing a wide lexical, termporal and
structural range

Course requirements:
Consistent and engaged participation in class is a must. Therefore, attendance
will be rigorously checked and excessive absences will incur sanctions. Students must be prepared
and ready to respond actively in class, and they have to keep up with homework. The textbook and
workbook assignments for each unit (indicated on the schedule) are an essential means of
reinforcing both grammar and spoken Italian. For the same purpose, occasional supplementary
assignments, for instance a short story text, may be given. Students will regularly produce written
compositions on themes related to the textbook and to class activities. The first third of the course
consists of an extensive review of basic grammar and composition in order to bring all students up
to the same level. Please note that the main part of the syllabus is in Italian.

Note on participation:
All Italian language courses at AI are conducted in Italian, with only minimal
English used and then only for clarification. By speaking, hearing, and writing only in Italian, each
student learns to use the language with ever-increasing confidence and proficiency. For this reason,
the textbook is also in Italian. Thus, success in the course calls for careful preparation of
assignments and - no less - prompt, frequent and willing interaction in class. Students will be
speaking in class and will be called upon in a friendly learning environment. They should ask
questions when the material is not clear. They should not suppose that a mark is given for every
word spoken, and fear to speak. Very simply, if the language is not used it cannot be learned.
Correction is a necessary part of the learning process in any language course, not a personal
criticism. That process does call for memory work and may be frustrating in the short term. But the
rewards of increased autonomy and deeper cultural understanding in your host country will be
perceptible each week and will further motivate you. Students are invited to discuss any learning
challenges, or other situations affecting their performance, in private meetings with the instructor.
Tests and Exams: Every Thursday there is a test to verify the student’s progress and
comprehension. All tests emphasize the latest material covered but are inevitably cumulative in
nature. The examinations will include some combination of the following: a variety of question
types (multiple choice questions, fill-in-the-blank, “find the mistake”, etc.), writing tasks (questions,
brief written composition; brief dictation or transcription of audio material) and oral examination
(student with instructor).

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