Course syllabus



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ITALIANO 107 - Italian Language Beginners 2


Course Staff:

Gabriella Brussino


Office hour:     Tuesday 3-4 pm, Arts2 room 515.


Course Delivery Format: 

4 hours of class



Course description:

This first-year language course follows the guidelines set out by the Council of Europe's official language policy document “Common European Framework of  Reference for Languages: Learning,Teaching, Assessment” and seeks a balance between the communicative and structural elements of language learning. Its aim is to guide learners to become aware of their personal learning style and strategies, and to support them in their independent learning while they are developing their individual linguistic system. The language acquisition process takes place and is reinforced through daily contact with the target language and through the interactive computer component. The structures of the language emerge from the linguistic encounters in class, where language teaching is embedded in the socio-cultural context of contemporary Italy. The multimedia component reinforces, tests and contextualises language learning done in the classroom.  


Required TEXTBOOKS, available from Ubiq:    
•    T. Marin and S. Magnelli. The Italian Project 1b, Edilingua, 2013.



Course outcomes:

At the end of the course, students are expected to meet or exceed the academic standards of level A2 as set out by the Council of Europe’s Language Policy Unit endorsed by the Ministry of Education of Italy.  Achieving level A2 means that the learner:

  • Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment).
  • Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.
  • Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.


Workload and deadlines for submission of coursework:           

Students are expected to attend ALL four contact hours in class plus practice at home doing activities and tasks from the workbook, which will serve as preparation for the 10 weekly online mini-tests, beginning in week 1.It is recommended that students do the exercises on the workbook daily (pp. 89 to 149 of the textbook) and check the correct answers in the workbook answers (Modules - Italiano 107). The University of Auckland's expectation is that students spend 10 hours per week on a 15-point course, including time in class and personal study. Students should manage their academic workload and other commitments accordingly. 

STUDENTS WITH IMPAIRMENTS are asked to discuss privately with the course convenor (face–to-face and/or by email) any impairment-related requirements regarding delivery of course content or course assessments. Please contact the Course Convenor as soon as possible if you have any impairment-related need.


The online mini tests :

  • The online mini tests are weekly tests, they start at the end of week 1 and finish at the end of week 10.
  • There are 10 questions and you have no time limit to answer each of them.
  • Some of the words or contents will be new to you and will require consultation of textbook or dictionary. DON'T PANIC! The new vocabulary tests your ability to understand or work out the meaning of simple new input, a skill we work on in class, and you will learn from the first minitest feedback to cope with new input.
  • Some of the questions review the work done for the section from your workbook. It is a good idea to do the prescribed exercises on your workbook before taking the minitest.
  • You may consult a dictionary and your text book.
  • You have 3 attempts to complete the test. The best mark will be your final mark.
  • The questions are randomly chosen from a question bank, every attempt will have a different selection of questions. 


Course Method:

In communicating with Italians, language learners have to meet linguistic challenges such as understanding information presented to them in terminology meant for native speakers, make sense of it, speak or act accordingly. We aim at promoting the ability of learners to manage under such demanding circumstances by simulating this process in class, with the support of the teacher and the aid of the group (theorists call this action-oriented approach).  At the same time and along the way, we point out, try to make sense of, explain and clarify, practice all the major structures of the language in their cultural context in order to ensure accuracy of communication. 

In order to be effective in meeting the above challenges, according to mainstream research, learners need to be guided in class through a series of complex language learning processes (theorists call this input-processing approach). We follow these steps:
Step1 INPUT: a learner is exposed to target language 
Step2 APPERCEPTION: a learner takes note of particular aspects of the input, starts formulating ideas about its meaning and use, relates it to known sounds and words
Step 3 COMPREHENSION: a learner recognises isolated words, asks clarifying questions and interprets non-linguistic cues to make sense of what s/he heard or read
Step 4 INTAKE: a learner comprehends language, which s/he will later try out
Step 5 INTEGRATION: a learner holds comprehended language in short term memory 
Step 6 OUTPUT: language produced by the learner, in order to: communicate and interact, test the previously developed ideas about meaning of words, check appropriate use of those words, check correct form of the word, gain confidence in speaking out or writing, receive feedback.

Affective factors are not underestimated. Theorists claim that learners with high motivation, self-confidence, a good self-image, and a low level of anxiety are better equipped for success in second language acquisition. Low motivation, low confidence, and debilitating anxiety can combine to 'raise' the affective filter and form a 'mental block' that prevents comprehensible input from being used for acquisition. In other words, when the filter is 'up' it impedes language acquisition: 
“a positive self-image and lack of inhibition is likely to contribute to successful task completion…”(Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching and Assessment:161, 2001).

Asking questions

Students are encouraged to ask questions in Italian and to be active participants in class. Questions you may want to ask are:

COME SI DICE....IN ITALIANO? (How do you Italian?)

COME SI SCRIVE.....?  (How do you spell....?)

CHE COSA SIGNIFICA.....? (What does ....mean?)

PUOI RIPETERE? (Can you say that again?)


Whenever you need to ask the meaning of something, or how to say something in the target language, first try to work it out by yourself.  Any time you can, instead of asking “ Che cosa significa  caffè? ”, or “Come si dice coffee in italiano?” ask  “ Caffè significa coffee?”, or “ Coffee in italiano si dice caffè?”.  There’s a reason for this: working it out will mean that once you learn it you are less likely to forget it. So when you ask, try to ask questions for clarification, or to confirm your theory.


Emergencies, extensions etc

When serious circumstances (e.g. sudden serious illness or a car accident) cause a student to miss an in-class test/assessed presentations, it is expected that the student will notify the course coordinator at the earliest possible opportunity, if possible before the scheduled test or presentation takes place.  If the student or their representative makes no contact within three days of the scheduled test/presentation, they will be awarded a zero grade for that piece of assessment. 

Extreme cases will be judged by the course coordinator on their own merits. Documentation may be required.


Use of information and communications technology

Facebook pages:

If students in any course wish to set up a Facebook page for the course or to use any other form of ICT, they need to be aware that the University of Auckland Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Statute sets out rules governing use of any ICT hardware or software at or for University activities. It forbids using ICT “to store, display or communicate… files containing any text, image that is deceptive or misleading, is abusive or defamatory, contravenes anyone’s privacy… or that reproduces all or part of any work in breach of the Copyright Act 1994”.  The Statute refers students to the relevant University Disciplinary Statute and the penalties that may apply.  It can be found at:

Online dictionary and translators:

Use of online dictionaries and translators is allowed only for one word at a time, NEVER for sentences or entire paragraphs. Use of online dictionaries and translators is NEVER allowed in class tests and oral tests.


Course summary:

Date Details