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Italian for Art History: Elementary - LFA00256L

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  • Department: Language and Linguistic Science
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Cinzia Bacilieri
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: F
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

Designed for post-beginner/elementary level students who completed Italian for Art History Level 1 or 1-2 years of Italian studies (CEFR A1-A2). The course has been created in collaboration with the History of Art Department as a Language for Specific Purposes course to enable students to carry out research on the topic of History of Art in Italian, as well as to maximise the benefits of future trips to Italy.

Related modules

Prerequisite study:

  • Italian for Art Historians Level 1 OR Italian for Art History: Beginner

  • 1-2 years of Italian studies (CEFR A1-A2)

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

The module aims to enable post beginner/elementary level Italian students to further their language skills competence particularly relevant to History of Art as a discipline.

In the module, students will deepen their knowledge of famous Italian monuments and artworks spanning from Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art up to Modern Art (e.g. Futurismo italiano, Architettura fascista), together with artists’ biographies and art critics’ texts. A component of this module will be spent on developing key translation skills related to History of Art through authentic material. Finally, students will gain familiarity with vocabulary related to current heritage protection laws (such as conservazione, vincolo e tutela dei beni culturali) in Italy and the concept of ‘glorification of art’ such as valorizzazione e glorificazione etc.

This module will steadily build the knowledge, skills, and strategies necessary to communicate and interact in Italian over the course of a semester. It will focus on developing a communicative competence at elementary level, to about A2-level standard of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Students will engage, individually and in groups, in communicative activities and tasks emphasising three modes of communication: 1) reception activities (oral, audio-video, and reading comprehension); 2) production activities (oral and written production); 3) interaction activities (oral, written and online interaction).

The medium of instruction is English and Italian.

The module will:

  • Explore the role of art within Italian society throughout history with a particular focus on key periods and their art production, such as Greek and Roman archaeology, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque art, Fascismo and Futurismo etc.

  • Illustrate the concept of heritage protection and related laws e.g. ‘conservazione dei beni culturali’.

  • Enhance employability skills by enabling students to apply for a job (CV writing and interview skills) in a museum, archive or art gallery in Italy as well as giving a guide tour in Italian as a tourist guide.

  • Develop translation skills vital for an art historian when working on original sources and archive material, such as extracts from Vasari and Palladio’s work, contemporary art critics or Touring Club guides.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students will acquire the following skills:

Language skills:

  • An ability to understand fully complex and authentic extracts from Italian travel guides or websites and passages related to Italian Art. This may include biographies, descriptions and analyses of works of art, catalogue entries and technical information about the properties of works of art and architectural structures.

  • Develop an understanding of grammatical structures and especially the verb tenses most commonly found in History of Art-related material.

  • An ability to apply meta skills, such as dictionary and translation skills specific to History of Art, ability to recognise cognates, and translate complex texts written by Italian art critics or art historians.

  • An understanding of the key concepts regarding heritage protection in Italy and related laws e.g. beni culturali, museificazione, valorizzazione, tutela e vincolo.

  • Analyse the link between glorification and mystification of Italian art and artists (e.g Leonardo da Vinci etc) and their impact in the perception of Italian art abroad and within Italy.

  • Develop general communicative skills to make the most of future study trips to Italy:

    • Ability to understand short texts dealing with everyday topics and to read short, simple stories involving familiar, concrete situations described in everyday language.

    • Ability to produce simple texts on familiar topics and give their impressions and opinions (e.g. lifestyles and culture, stories), using basic everyday vocabulary and expressions.

    • Ability to give a short presentation and to manage simple, routine exchanges of ideas and information on familiar topics.

    • Ability to recognise basic cultural conventions associated with everyday social exchanges (e.g. different greetings, celebrations, festivals, social/regional traditions, etc) and to apply them appropriately.

Employability skills:

  • Social cultural and global awareness

  • Presentation skills

  • Communication

  • Creativity and innovation

Module content

  • 3 one-hour seminars per week

  • Independent study in the form of preparation for class discussion is an essential part of students’ commitment

  • Particular emphasis is given to enable post-beginner/elementary level students to develop and enhance previously acquired specialist language skills particularly relevant to Art History, both on research and employability skills

The History of Art-related topics covered might include:

  • Description of a range of Italian monuments and famous artworks.

  • Biographies of artists, historical figures and art historians

  • Key words related to Italian heritage protection (I beni culturali italiani: conservazione, valorizzazione e fruizione del patrimonio culturale, tutela e vincolo).

  • The concept of ‘glorificazione e mistificazione dell’arte e degli artisti italiani’ (e.g. the case of Leonardo da Vinci and his art).

  • Employability Skills: giving a guided tour for Italian tourists in a museum or art gallery and describing to them artworks.

  • Employability Skills: CV writing and interview skills to apply for a job in an Italian museum, art gallery or archive.

Translation skills: art critics, Touring Club Italiano & famous work by Italian Art Historians and architects such as Vasari’s Le Vite and Palladio’s I quattro libri dell'architettura.


Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Italian for Art History Level 2
2 hours 60
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Oral Presentation
N/A 40

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Italian for Art History Level 2
2 hours 60
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Oral Presentation
N/A 40

Module feedback

Formative assessment and feedback

  • Formative tasks done individually or in groups throughout the module.

  • Feedback will include written comments and oral feedback during class discussions.

Summative assessment and feedback

  • Students will be given written feedback and marks for their work within the University mandated schedule.

Indicative reading

In addition to the general language textbook, a bespoke booklet will be provided for the module in relation to the History of Art component.

The module will also include practice at translating passages from:

  • Touring club Italiano

  • Codice dei beni culturali e del paesaggio (2004)

  • Vasari, Le Vite

  • Palladio, I quattro libri dell’architettura

  • Angelino & Porreca, Progetto Cultura Italiana: L'Italiano Attraverso la Storia Dell'Arte

  • Porreca, L’italiano per l’arte

  • Fantozzi & Lolli, Beni culturali, ambiente, paesaggio

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.