Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1 (Taught over 2 semesters)
(Normally) Eligibility for entry to Level 3 Italian.
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 3 hours per week + 1 hour per fortnight


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 20%: Eight written assignments, four of them under exam conditions (those taken under exam conditions counting twice as much as the others), 10%: oral, 20%: listening comprehension (4 tests)  50%
Semester Exam The oral examination takes the form of a 20-minute interview with two members of staff (one of whom may be the external examiner, or who may join). During this interview the candidate will be asked: (a) to offer a brief presentation (maximum 5-7 minutes), in Italian, on a selected topic and (b) to engage in a general conversation, arising in the first instance from the presentation itself. The topic will be drawn from one of 8-10 topics covered during the final-year oral classes. Only one topic will be provided per candidate. Candidates thus need to be prepared to discuss a wide range of topics. The presentation topic will be provided to the candidate 20 minutes before the examination (exact arrangements will be on the notice-board well before the examination). Candidates are reminded that they are not allowed to read from a script; they may not bring extensive notes to the examination (notes will be collected at the end of the examination); they must not deliver a previously learnt speech. The presentation should lead into (and be constructed so as to lead into) a conversation and further discussion of the topic. A more general conversation will follow.  Oral Examination:  20%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   written examination  30%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   1 x 3-hour written examination (unless ONLY the oral component is failed, in which case the supplementary exam will be an oral examination).  100%

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, if you have made satisfactory progress, you will be able to:

- quantify your own improvement in Italian vocabulary, grammatical knowledge and spoken language since before going abroad
- translate idiomatically into and out of Italian, using factual or fictional texts
- translate selected unseen passages in class
- prepare passages for translation and discussion in class
- explain and justify your own choice and use of different linguistic registers
- demonstrate active command of stylistic levels of Italian
- demonstrate competence in preparing effectively for essay-writing: structuring work, constructing logical argument and expressing ideas in the appropriate linguistic register
- apply language skills acquired in Italian, and during the year abroad, with particular emphasis on achieving as native-like a pronunciation as possible
- express yourself with confidence using a rich and varied vocabulary
- apply orally the complex vocabulary and grammatical structures introduced in written classes
- present independently prepared material in spoken or written Italian
- analyse and discuss complex Italian texts
- give detailed insight into Italian cultural and political affairs

Language modules have, as an integral part of their structure, regular homework assignments and class tests as well as end of year examinations. All assessment is designed to measure your progress against learning outcomes at the appropriate level.

Brief description

This module consists of THREE weekly classes (see 1, 2 and 3 below), and one fortnightly class (see 4 below). The module is "thin", that is, it will only be examined at the end of the second semester. There will be no formal examination at the end of the first semester in either the written language or in oral/aural work. Assessed work completed during both semesters will go towards the mark for the module.

  • The first weekly hour will be chiefly devoted to reading and writing Italian. The aim is to consolidate skills developed in Levels 1 and 2, to understand and manipulate Italian with increasing fluency and confidence in class work which will focus on textual analysis, essay-writing, report-writing and precis techniques.
  • During the second weekly hour a number of assessed exercises will be carried out. These will include: oral, presentations of prepared topics; responses to topical media information; formal tests under examination conditions; essay writing; set exercises which will be marked and discussed in class, etc.
  • The third weekly hour is a conversation class with a native-speaker. You will be expected to prepare material for these classes and your success in them depends very much on your active participation.
  • The fortnightly hour will be devoted to translation from and into Italian. The register of the texts chosen will tend to be modern literary. The constraints imposed by this type of exercise mean that this exercise is perhaps the most rigorous and demanding test of your capacity to manipulate Italian, and one of the better ways to highlight and explore, at an advanced level, the grammatical and structural complexities of the language.
The set written work must be handed in by the deadlines stipulated: your tutor, like you, works to a demanding timetable and will not be able to accommodate late submission of work. Marks for assessed work will go towards your degree result, so that failure to hand in work as required (and/or to attend classes where assessment takes place) will rapidly reduce your overall marks on the module. It is your responsibility to attend (should you for any reason miss them); it is your responsibility to catch up any missed work.

Continuous assessment for this module will take the form (for the predominantly 'written' component) of a variety of exercises, 12 of which will count. Many of these assignments will be carried out in or directly arising from class work such as: unseen translations; report-writing; responses to topical news items (in broadcast, print or internet media), group presentations, etc. There will be some assignments (i.e. essay-writing and prose/translation) to be completed at home in the traditional manner, or within a limited time (akin to 'take-away' examinations). This element of the continuous assessment will make up to 30% of the total module mark. The continuous component of the module plays a substantial role in determining the final mark and non-submission of assignments (or non-attendance of classes where you are assessed) will rapidly have an impact on your marks.

Listening comprehension will be practised regularly during the year, and will be assessed by tests which will contribute 20% of the total module marks. You are expected and strongly advised to practise listening comprehension in your own time (e.g. in the Language Resource Centre). The continuous component of the module plays a substantial role in determining the final mark and non-submission of assignments (or non-attendance of classes where you are assessed) will rapidly have an impact on your marks.

Dictionaries - You will need as a minimum (if you do not already have one) a good, one-volume bilingual dictionary and a one-volume monolingual (Italian-Italian) dictionary.

Reading List

A. Laura Lepschy & G. Lepschy The Italian language today Hutchinson Primo search M. Dardano & P. Trifone La lingua italiana Zanichelli Primo search M. Maiden & C. Robustelli A reference grammar of modern Italian Arnold Primo search S. Adorni & K. Primorac English Grammar for students of Italian Arnold Harrap's Italian Verbs Primo search
Reference Text
G. Oli & G. Devoto Dizionario della Lingua Italiana Le Monnier Primo search English-Italian, Italian-English Dictionary Collins Sansoni Primo search Il Ragazzini: dizionario inglese-italiano, italiano-inglese Giuseppe Ragazzini Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6