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COURSE NAME: "Introductory Italian I"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2019

INSTRUCTOR: Ada Bertini Bezzi
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 2:30-4:20 PM
PREREQUISITES: This course carries 4 semester hours of credit, except for Summer sessions, when it carries 3 semester hours of credit.

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 very 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
SPAZIO ITALIA VOL 2 + ESERCIZIARIO + DVDMaria Gloria Tommasini, Mimma Flavia DiacoLOHESHER9788820133498  
Grammar.it - Grammar for English -speakersGruppo CSCBONACCI978-88-7573-430-5  

Test (3) 20%
Mid-term Exam 20%
Final Exam 25%
Oral Proficiency 15%
Participation 10%
Homework 10%

A Excellent command of the language consistent with the level of proficiency. Appropriate command of sentence structure, lexis, register and id
B Very good command of the language consistent with the level of proficiency, showing facility and very few errors. Ability to handle sentence structure naturally, and to demonstrate some awareness of stylistic variation. B = Good 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. B- = Satisfactory command of the language, consistent with the level of proficiency. Work will not be coherent but comprehensible; sentence structure will be simple; medium frequency of grammatical and other errors
C Evidence 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. C, C- = Some evidence of the ability to control the language for the purpose of effective communication, consistent with the level of proficiency. Some awareness of sentence structure and high frequency of grammatical and other errors.
D Little 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.
F No evidence of the ability to control the language; failure to make oneself understood.

You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed. 

Students are supposed 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 (3) unjustified 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
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  Come ti chiami? – Role play: a. Come ti chiami? b. Chi è? c. Chi sei? d. Di dove sei? e. Come stai? – Oral presentation: Introduce yourself f. Some useful expressions. - Alfabeto – Role play: a. Come si scrive? b. Come si pronuncia? - Fonetica (hard sounds and soft sounds). Listening Comprehension Activities – Numbers from 0 to 20.

Assignments Correction – Che cos’è? a. Feminine nouns ending in –a; Masculine nouns ending in –o. b. Feminine articles la and una; Masculine articles il and un. – Classroom Vocabulary – Com’è? a. Feminine and masculine adjectives ending in –a and in –o. Writing Activity: describe your classroom. – Restaurant Vocabulary. Role play: At the restaurant. – Numbers - Personal Pronouns – The verb Avere. Role play: Quanti anni hai? – Some expressions using Avere – Nouns and adjectives ending in –e – Che giorno è ogg? Days of the week, months, dates. Role play: Quando è il tuo compleanno? – Masculine and Feminine Nouns beginning with a vowel – Role play: Qual è il tuo indirizzo?

WEEK 2 Assignments Correction –Masculine Nouns beginning with S + Consonant and Z - Role play: Domanda e risposta. Articles Review – Role play: Al Bar –  Che cosa sono? a. Plural Nouns and Adjectives. B. The plural of the definite articles. C. The verb Essere – Dov’è? Role play: Asking for directions on the street.

Assignments correction - Adjectives to describe a person – Oral presentation: Describe yourself – Writing Activity: Describe your roommate. Listening Activities: 1. Un bel ragazzo romano ; 2. Chi è? – Role play: Che cosa ti piace fare? – Role play: Un pezzo di pizza da portare via. - Writing: Parla un po’ di te.

WEEK 3 Assignments correction – Review – Video 1: Chi sono?

Test 1 – In-class discussion on a given cultural subject.

WEEK 4 Test 1 correction – a. Listening activity on a given story. B. Questions on the listening activity. C. Reading comprehension of the listening activity. – The present tense of the verbs ending in –ARE . Learning how to conjugate a verb. Listening activity: Chi lo fa?

Assignments Correction – Vocabulary: Andiamo a fare la spesa! Role play: Fare la spesa – On-site activity: Al Supermercato.

WEEK 5 Assignments Correction – The verb Andare. Role play: Andiamo a visitare Roma! – Vocabulary: Colazione, Pranzo e Cena. Role play: Che cosa mangi? – Reading activity: Gli italiani a tavola – Interview your classmate – Listening comprehension: Le abitudini degli italiani. Review - Writing: Describe a given person

Test 2 – In-class cultural discussion

WEEK 6 Test 2 correction – Il mio appartamento. Apartment vocab. Oral presentation : Describe your apartment using c’è and ci sono – Vocab. to describe a town. Writing activity: Describe your hometown – The 3 conjugation –are –ere –ire. – Time words (adverbs of frequency) – Role play: 1. Ogni quanto? 2. Da quanto tempo?

Video 2: Case e apprtamenti –  All’Università – Role-play – Vocab. Le atiività a scuola – Listening: Davanti alla biblioteca – Video 3: A scuola – I verbi in –isc. Role play: Che cosa preferisci? – Role play: 1. Che ore sono? 2. A che ora? – The verb Fare. Idiomatic expressions made with Fare – Listening: 1. Che cosa fai nel tempo libero? 2. Che cosa fai il fine settimana? – Writing: La mia vita a Roma.

WEEK 7 Assignments correction – Midterm Review - Oral Exam 1

Midterm Exam

WEEK 8 Midterm Exam correction – Marco e la sua famiglia. Family Vocab. – Listening: Una famiglia italiana – Video 4: Felicita e la sua nuova famiglia. – Gli aggettivi possessivi – Listening: Chiara descrive i suoi parenti – Reading: La famiglia italiana.

Assignments correction – Vocabulary and Role-play: In un negozio di vestiti – Listening: Che bel vestito! – Direct pronouns: lo la li and le – On-site activity: Andiamo a fare shopping in Via dei Giubbonari!

WEEK 9 Mi piace e mi piacciono. Role-play: Ti piace o ti piacciono? – Writing: Come ti piace vestirti? -Le stagioni e il tempo. Vocabulary: Che stagione preferisci? - Listening: Che programmi hai? – Video 4: Come sono? Che cosa portano?

Test 3 - In class cultural discussion

Al telefono. Role play: Making plans on the phone. – Vocabulary: Le faccende di casa. – I verbi Dovere, Potere e Volere. – Listening: 1. Prima di uscire. 2. In famiglia chi lo fa? – Writing: Che disordine!

Assignments correction – Le preposizioni articolate – Gli avverbi di luogo – Writing: Descrizione di una stanza con gli avverbi di luogo – I verbi Conoscere e Sapere - I verbi Venire e Uscire – Role play: Intervista.

WEEK 10 Assignments correction – Review - Writing: La mia famiglia

Test 4 – In-class cultural discussion

WEEK 11 Test 3 correction –  Il fine settimana  – Il passato prossimo – Listening: 1. Quando? 2. Che giornata ieri! 3. Un lungo messaggio

Reading: La musica in Italia – Discussion – Listening: Un giorno come gli altri – Role-play: Quando è stata l’ultima volta che ...? – Video 5: Che cosa hanno fatto? - Reading: Una lettera di una donna a una rivista – Writing: Rispondi alla lettera.

WEEK 12 Assignments Correction –  Una mattina tipica. I verbi riflessivi. – Le attività di tutti I giorni – Vocabulary: Cosa facciamo ogni giorno? - Listening: 1. Giorno dopo giorno! 2. Cosa fanno?

Writing: La mia mattina tipica – Vocabulary: 1. Le parti del corpo – 2. Ho mal di testa – 3. La farmacia – Role-play: In farmacia – Video 6: Attività giornaliere.

WEEK 13 Assignments correction – Writing: Lo scorso fine settimana – Video: Trailer of an Italian Movie. Reconstruction of the plot in the Past tense.

Past tense of reflexive verbs – Listening: Corrado è andato a una festa– Reading and writing activities on an article in the past tense.

WEEK 14 Avverbi di modo ending in –mente – Reading: articles from an Italian newspapers – Oral presentation on the articles – How to write a text-message in Italian.

Oral Exam – Final Review