Ab initio Italian language skills



This module is intended to develop language skills at a very quick pace and introduce the structures, lexicon and skills necessary to communicate in the foreign language. The focus will be on a more formal analysis of the language as a system. It will equip students with the knowledge, tools and techniques necessary for effective independent language learning. Students will learn to analyse, understand and practice grammatical structures in different contexts.

 After satisfactorily completing the course you should be able to:

  • analyse language in context including grammatical concepts and terminology
  • show an understanding of key aspects of Italian structures
  • communicate in the foreign language using grammar appropriately
  • reflect on the skills required for effective language learning
  • acquire language independently through personal reading and listening




  • Ab-initio Italian language and society



Contact hours

The module lasts for three terms, 3 contact hours per week per term.

Teaching programme

A focus early on in this module will be to facilitate and support the development of your time management and independent study skills. This will help you to manage the fast pace and challenge of starting a new language ab initio. Methods of support will include:

  • provision of self-access learning materials for independent study via the VLE
  • peer support and mentoring
  • small group teaching for a more personalised and differentiated methodology

Teaching materials



  • L’italiano all’università Livello 1 & 2 (for English Speakers) ISBN-13: 978-9606931246 and ISBN-13: 978-9606930690 Libro per lo studente + CD, Edilingua Pantelis Marin (30 Jun. 2013)


  • 1) Grammar book:Grammatica italiana: D. Aust e M. Zollo, Azione Grammatica! (ISBN 978 0340 915 271)
  • 2) A bilingual dictionary, one of the following:
    • The Collins Italian Dictionary. Collins. Glasgow.
    • The Oxford-Paravia Italian Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Oxford.
    • Collins Italian Dictionary and Grammar: 120,000 translations plus grammar tips (Collins Dictionary and Grammar)
  • 3) A monolingual dictionary is strongly recommended, e.g. Garzanti, Devoto Oli.

www.wordreference.com and www.garzantilinguistica.it are also excellent free online dictionaries.

Assessment and feedback

Assessment and feedback

Formative work and feedback

  • Weekly formative exercises carried out. 
  • Written comments and mark on University scale given to individual students for practice essays, with opportunity for individual consultation.
  • Model answers may be given for class exercises with class discussion of difficulties.
  • Formative Written work will be returned within 2 weeks.
  • Oral commentary and dialogue within class on oral and written work. Given immediately both to individuals and to the group.
  • Oral commentary and dialogue on seminar presentation, written feedback sheet given to the individual presenter following the seminar.

Summative Assessment and feedback

There are two components to the final assessment:

  • A portfolio of exercises, to be submitted in week 10, Term 2
    • Weight: 60%
  • A closed 3-hour exam, taken in Term 3
    • Weight: 40%
  • Individuals will be allowed to see their exam paper with comments, under supervision, at an appointed date after the external examiner has reviewed the papers.

About this module

  • Module name
    Ab Initio Italian Language Skills
  • Course code
    I24C (LAN00024C)
  • Teacher
    Cinzia Bacilieri
  • Term(s) taught
    All terms
  • Credits