Course syllabus



ITALIANO 106/106G - Italian Language Beginners 1


15 points


Course Staff: 

Gabriella Brussino (course convenor) 

Office: Arts 2, room 515

Barbara Martelli (tutor)


Office hours:    Wed 12.00-1.00 pm  Room: Arts 2, 313B 

Alberto Cauli (tutor)


Office hours:  Tue 10.30-11.30 am  Room: Arts 2, 313B


Course Delivery Format:

8 hours of lectures 

For further information on time and venue, please consult


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” (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. 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.  


Course outcomes:

At the end of the course, we are aiming to meet or exceed the academic standards of Basic User level A1 as set out by the Council of Europe’s Language Policy Unit, endorsed by the Ministry of Education of Italy. 

  •  Interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly.

  •  Understand and use familiar everyday expressions and phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type.

  •  Introduce and describe yourself and others and ask and answer questions about yourself regarding provenance, family, home, work or study, interests and hobbies.

  •  Ask and provide information regarding your surroundings and travel.

  •  Invite and accept/turn down invitations of various type.

  •  Express wishes, plans and desires for the future.

  •  Make phone calls and write simple e-mails.


Required TEXTBOOKS, available from Ubiq

•    T. Marin and S. Magnelli. The Italian Project 1a, Edilingua (Revised edition of the workbook).

Available to purchase either in store or online via the links below:


Workload and deadlines for submission of coursework:           

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


The mini tests online:

  • You must answer all questions but you have no time limit to answer.
  • 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 recommended that you do the exercises on your workbook related to the appropriate unit (pp. 89 to 149 of the textbook) 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.

Course summary:

Date Details