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COURSE NAME: "Introductory Italian I"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2018

INSTRUCTOR: Anna Mauceri Trimnell
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 9:20-11:10 AM
PREREQUISITES: This course carries 4 semester hours of credit, except for Summer sessions, when it carries 3 semester hours of credit.
OFFICE HOURS: M/W 2:45-3:45 pm

This course is designed to give students basic communicative ability in Italian. By presenting the language in a variety of authentic contexts, the course also seeks to provide an introduction to Italian culture and society. Students work on all four language skills: speaking, listening comprehension, reading, and writing. Note: This course carries 4 semester hours of credit during the Fall and Spring terms, 3 hours in Summer.

Upon completing this course, students will possess the ability to:

  • Satisfy a limited number of immediate needs.
  • Understand and convey some spoken Italian through the knowledge and usage of familiar and memorized structures, on the most common features of daily life that require the interchange of simple and direct information.
  • Understand the general meaning of oral announcements and brief texts on familiar subjects with simple morphology and lexicon.
  • Produce one-paragraph texts with limited formulaic information by using elementary functions


  • In-class listening activities: Students will listen to the instructor and to recorded texts the duration of which will be at least 250 words. Students will have to answer (orally and in writing) an increasing number of questions that test their comprehension of what they have heard.


  • In-class oral activities and exams: Students will be examined singularly and in pairs. The type of tests will be: conversation between two students, monologues, role playing. The multiplicity of situations and the request to express personal opinions will increase from elementary level to advanced level. Conversations, monologues and role playing will be elicited by visual stimuli, texts, or questions from the instructor.


  • In-class activities and exams: Students will have to read an increasing number of texts of increasing length, complexity and of different genres. They will have to answer in writing several questions that test their comprehension of what they have read.


  • Homework assignments and exams: Students will have to answer written questions and produce written texts of increasing length, formality and complexity on topics of every day life.
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
New Italian Espresso TextbookGruppo ItaliaideaAlma Edizioni 9788861823549  
New Italian Espresso - Workbook Gruppo Italiaidea Alma edizioni 9788861823570  

TestsThe three tests are designed to evaluate the student's knowledge of the grammar, vocabulary coverd, their reading comprehension and written ability.25%
Final examThe final exam is designed to evaluate the student's knowledge of the grammar and vocabulary covered, their reading and listening comprehension, and the written ability25%
Oral Proficiency and presentationsIn-class oral activities and presentation. Students are examined singularly and in pairs or small groups. The types of tests are: conversation between the two students or the small groups, monologues, role playing. Conversations, monologues and role playing are elicited by visual stimuli or questions from the instructor.15%
Class participation and Homework Students are expected to come prepared to class and participate in all activities. Active participation is crucial, since the learning process requires considerable practice.10%
Midterm examThe midterm exam is designed to evaluate the student's knowledge of the grammar and vocabulary covered up to this point, their reading and listening comprehension and written ability.25 %

AExcellent command of the language consistent with the level of proficiency. Appropriate command of sentence structure, lexis, register and idiom
BGood command of the language, consistent with the level of proficiency. Competent manipulation of sentence structure, with some evidence of development and complexity; small occurrence of grammatical errors. Work will be broadly coherent and comprehensible, good manipulation of sentence structure; grammatical and other errors will not impede comprehension.
CEvidence of the ability to control the language for the purpose of effective communication, consistent with the level of proficiency. Work will be comprehensible; sentence structure will be very simple and grammatical and other errors will be frequent but not as serious to impede comprehension
DLittle evidence of the ability to control the language for the purpose of making oneself understood. Little awareness of sentence structure and numerous grammatical and other errors
FNo evidence of the ability to control the language; failure to make oneself understood.

Students are expected to come prepared to class and participate in all activities. Active participation is crucial, since the learning process requires considerable practice. Regular attendance is an essential component of class participation. Students are allowed three  absences. The final grade will be lowered by 2 points for each additional absence.

Make sure your travel plans do not interfere with the class schedule. 

If you should miss a class, please contact another student to find out what was covered that day so that you will be prepared for the next class. 


- leave the room as it is distracting to the professor and to your classmates;
- answer your cell phone, read or send text messages; 
- use your computer for anything not related to the class (e.g. Facebook)

The JCU Foreign Language Resource Center offers tutoring sessions free of charge. The FLRC is located at the Tiber Campus on the first floor. To schedule an appointment with a tutor (or a writing coach for upper-level courses), please use the online booking system.

How to get the most out of your tutoring session:

  • Come early in the semester. You will benefit more from tutoring if you come when you first begin having problems. 
  • Come prepared. Bring your textbook, notes, and review sheets with you. 
  • Attend classes regularly. Tutoring is designed to supplement class instruction, not to replace it.
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.


Week 1 (September 3, 5)

Primi contatti

Greeting people upon arriving and leaving. Introducing oneself. Asking about pronunciation, spelling, meaning. Asking about someone’s place of origin (and answering).

Grammar: present tense of essere, chiamarsi and first conjugation verbs (singular forms: io and tu). The alphabet.

Week 2 (Sept. 10, 12)

Primi contatti (cont.)

Asking how to say something in Italian. Giving one’s phone number, asking someone to repeat something.

Grammar: Negation non. Prepositions di/in. Numbers from 0-20.

Week 3 (Sept. 17, 19)

Buon appetito!

Ordering in a café and in a restaurant. Asking for things in a polite way. Pointing at close/far away objects.

Grammar: plural and singular nouns; interrogatives: che cosa, che, quanto. Demonstrative (singular) pronouns: questo, quello.

September 19            TEST 1


Week 4 (Sept. 24, 26)

Buon appetito! (cont.)

Getting someone’s attention, asking for the bill, thanking someone, asking for price.

Grammar: definite and indefinite articles. Cardinal numbers from 20 to100.

Week 5 (October 1, 3)

Io e gli altri

Introducing someone; describing people’s activities on a specific day of the week. Asking and giving personal details.

Grammar: third singular person of regular and irregular verbs.

Week 6 (Oct. 8, 10)

Tempo libero

Talking about free time and leisure activities.

Grammar: Present tense: plural persons of first, second and third conjugation verbs.

Complete conjugation of avere, andare, fare, essere, stare, bere, sapere.


Adverbs of frequency.

October 10           TEST 2


Week 7 (Oct. 15, 17)

In giro per l’Italia

Describing a city, a neighborhood, a street.

Asking and telling time

Grammar: present tense. Complete conjugation of dare, dire, rimanere, uscire and venire.

C’è/Ci sono

Noun-adjective agreement

Week 8 (Oct. 22, 24)

In albergo

Understanding hotel brochures, describing one’s favorite hotel, describing a room. Talking about one’s holiday activities.

Grammar: present tense. Modal verbs dovere, potere and volere. Adverbs: bene and male.

Week 9 (Oct. 29, 31)

Midterm review



Week 10 (November 5, 7)

In albergo (cont.)

Asking for and giving timetable information, talking about one’s holiday activities.

Grammar: prepositions: a (+ definite article) + time. Compound prepositions

Week 11 (Nov. 12, 14)

Un fine settimana

Describing a perfect weekend. Talking about past actions and understanding descriptions of past events.

Grammar: past tense (passato prossimo). Forms and agreement of the past participle, irregular past participles.

Week 12 (Nov. 19, 21 )

Un fine settimana (cont.)

Specifying when a past event took place. Asking for and providing information on means of transport, prices and time.

Grammar: verbs taking essere as an auxiliary.

Ci vuole/Ci vogliono

November 21 TEST 3     


Week 13 (Nov. 26, 28)

Vita quotidiana

Describing one’s work habits and working hours. Commenting on someone else’s lifestyle. Describing and asking about someone’s daily routine.

Grammar: present tense of reflexive verbs.

The date. Possessive adjectives: singular and plural forms of mio and tuo.

Week 14 (Dicember 3, 5)

December 3 Oral presentation
December 5 Final Review

December 10-14 Final Examination