About this courseSkip About this course
Benvenuti e Benvenute! (Welcome!)
Learn how to perfect your skills in Italian (speaking, listening, reading and writing), and by the end of this course you will be able to express opinions and hypotheses, and sustain an argument using a variety of registers. You will also expand your vocabulary to include topics beyond everyday conversation.
This language course offers a variety of tools that will help you learn in different ways:
- Situational videos (called Ciak!, which means “clapperboard” in Italian): you will follow eight Italian students in their daily lives and interactions on our campus. What a great way to learn authentic conversational Italian!
- Downloadable Podcasts: become a participant in each Ciak! video and practice Italian when and where you want on your portable device!
- Grammar charts, with or without audio files: study and review grammar through concise, clear and downloadable pdf files, and practice pronunciation with our embedded audio files.
- Short video lessons: as if in a real classroom, learn each new topic with the teacher’s direct guidance.
- Video interviews: learn from various native speakers as they talk about different aspects of Italian culture.
- Short “Letture” (readings): practice reading comprehension while learning about aspects of Italian culture.
- Discussion board: your chance to communicate (in Italian!) with other students on a variety of suggested topics.
- Ready to test your skills? Practice and review with a variety of self-correcting activities.
Italian culture is also an integral part of this course. Through interviews and readings you will learn about:
- the challenges that the Italian economy is currently facing;
- the origin and nature of the Italian Constitution;
- Italian environmental challenges and solutions;
- the significance of Dante’s journey in the Divine Comedy;
- the “Commedia dell’Arte”, an Italian theatrical genre;
- the origins of the Mafia;
- the “Taranta” or “Pizzica”, a traditional style of music and dance from Southern Italy;
- the recent immigration and the Italian citizenship law.
Whether you are a traditional, visual or auditory learner, you will find the tools that best fit your unique way to learn a foreign language.
Buono studio e buon divertimento!
What you'll learnSkip What you'll learn
- Express your opinions, feelings, likes and dislikes, and make hypotheses on a variety of subjects, including current issues affecting your hometown and the world.
- Enhance your Italian writing skills.
- Understand simple texts written for native speakers, such as newspaper or magazine articles.
- Important grammatical structures, such as the subjunctive in all its tenses, hypothetical clauses, imperatives, present and past gerunds and infinitives, and the passive voice.
- Italian culture, including the economy, environmental challenges, theater, opera, the Mafia, dance, and law.
With Italian Language and Culture: Advanced you will learn how to perfect your skills in Italian (speaking, listening, reading and writing): by the end of this course you will be able to express opinions and hypotheses on a variety of subjects using both formal and informal ways of communicating. You will also expand your vocabulary to include topics beyond everyday conversation. Italian culture is an integral part of this course: through interviews and readings you will learn about many aspects of Italian art, history, politics and contemporary society.
The course will stay open from February 11th, 2019 until August 31st, 2020 as a self-paced course: this means that you can cover the material at your own speed within the above timeframe. Although we estimate that, studying 3-4 hours per week, it will take you about 8 weeks to complete the course, you are under no obligation to finish within this suggested time. Please see the detailed syllabus below for suggestions on how to divide the material over 8 weeks.
You may decide to study towards a Verified Certificate of Completion ($49), or to learn for your personal enrichment and pleasure.
To receive a Verified Certificate of Completion you must obtain a final score of 60% on Tests. You may drop 2 Tests.
The course consists of six Units. Each Unit is broken down in 5-6 lessons (9.1, 9.2, 9.3, etc.).
Each lesson presents its content in multiple ways. These can be viewed and studied in any order you prefer.
Below is a quick overview of the various components of each unit.
Ciak! videos: original videos shot on our campus with native and near native speakers of Italian. Each Ciak! video is followed by two downloadable Podcasts. These will be ideal for your on-the-go practice.
Grammar charts: grammar explanations, examples, and charts are available for review with audio files of each example and verb conjugation within the course, and can be downloaded in PDF file format.
Slide Shows with animation: grammar explanations with images and animation.
Videos (Slide Shows with Narration): narrated grammar explanations.
Esercizi: online exercises with immediate feedback.
Vocaboli nuovi: new vocabulary lists are available as PDF files, slide show presentations, and videos with narration.
Discussione: creative writing prompts.
Lettura: readings delivered as PDF files, slide show presentations, and videos with narration.
Intervista: interview with a native speaker on a variety of cultural subjects.
Meet your instructors
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"The course is beautifully designed and organized. Material is presented in multiple ways to reinforce the content and to reach participants with different learning styles."
"It has been an unexpectedly fun, engaging, interesting, and challenging course in its depth and breadth."
"The best course I've ever found in teaching a foreign language! Should be an example for many other language teaching programs! Doing this course is fun because of the diversity of exercises which I have never found elsewhere."
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you may enroll in all three courses (beginner, intermediate, advanced) if you wish, and work towards a Verified Certificate of Completion for all or any of the three courses.
2. How can I determine the appropriate level (beginner, intermediate or advanced) to enroll in?
Generally speaking, if you have completed one or two years of Italian in high school, or one or two semesters at the university level, you should be ready for the intermediate course. If you have completed two or three years at the high school level or three/four semesters at the university level you should be ready for the advanced course.
If you are not sure, we recommend that you enroll in the beginner or intermediate level first, explore the content of that course, and decide whether you feel you are sufficiently familiar with that level to enroll in the higher level. You may also decide to enroll in all three levels at the start, and proceed through each level at the same time if you wish to review material in depth.
3. Can I start at any level or must the three courses (beginner, intermediate, advanced) be taken consecutively?
You may start at any level. When you are finished with one level, you may or may not decide to enroll in the next level.
4. Can I enroll in the intermediate level without completing the beginner level, or in the advanced level without completing the intermediate level?
Yes, you may enroll and complete the courses in any order you wish.
5. Upon completion of the course, will I receive a Verified Certificate of completion?
You will receive a Verified Certificate of Completion provided you meet the course requirements (see syllabus by clicking the Syllabus tab at the top of the course page). You may decide to work towards a Verified Certificate of Completion at any point during the course by clicking "Upgrade to Verified" on your dashboard. The cost of the certificate is $49.
6. Can I receive a Verified Certificate of Completion after the course is archived?
No, enrollees are eligible to receive a Verified Certificate of Completion only during the period that the course is live on the edX platform (2/11/2019 - 8/31/2020).