Oral interaction and development of communication skills

Speaking is a crucial part of second language learning. The course’s main goal is to improve and develop student’s communicative skills and abilities in order to help them learn how to interact by respecting the social and cultural rules of different communicative situations. To reach these goals, the course will primarily focus on improvement of Italian sentence intonation and rhythm through reading, phonetic exercises and development of speaking skills to help students reach language fluency. The course will support students becoming familiar with the spoken language by fostering their listening and oral skills in the classroom environment where students will have real life communication situations and authentic activities. After a specific content-based introduction, students will be oriented towards the promotion of oral language, in order to reach a goal or develop a plan, by sharing their ideas and expressing their agreement or disagreement, by arriving at a conclusion or finding solutions trough different activities aimed at develop student’s interactive skills and sociolinguistic competence.

Language test training (advanced)

This course is meant to provide students with the necessary knowledge and tools to pass the mandatory Italian Language Test to enter the Italian universities, conservatories and art colleges. The course will mainly focus on the development of the listening abilities, as well as reading and comprehension abilities. During the course students will be stimulated to improve their language proficiency though the use of specific exercises in order to advance their basic language skills.

Content and Language Integrated Learning

The course Content and Language Integrated Learning is primarily focused on Italian for Academic Purposes, in terms of development of skills and competences needed to understand and manage cultural and academic contents in the most common academic situations. Particular attention will be paid to develop comprehension and production skills, with a specific focus on reading comprehension and writing. The aim is to help students to gradually learn how to manage, understand and produce the most common types of written and oral texts they probably will encounter throughout their future academic course. The most important communication skills as well as language functions and structures will be also developed. During the course, students will be provided with vocabulary and materials and specific tasks will be assigned, related to disciplinary and cultural contents of particular interest for their future academic life. They will be also asked for preparing presentations on these topics. In itinere tests will be arranged during the course and homework assigned and evaluated.

Grammar I and Grammar II

The courses Grammar I and Grammar II are aimed both at acquiring the most important aspects of the Italian grammar as well as at developing communication skills. Focus will be placed on learning grammar and refining skills learned from earlier courses in order to help students to communicate in Italian in both academic and social contexts. In these courses, understanding the rules of grammar is not the goal in itself. Grammar knowledge is considered to be functional to communication and the students’ real communicative needs will lead the study of language structures, not the other way round. Moreover, we believe that students learn best when what has to be learnt is contextualized, therefore we will use materials in which language is presented in context rather than grammar explanations and drill exercises. During the course, teachers will also work on increasing listening comprehension skills and expanding the students’ vocabulary so that they will be able to manage themselves in everyday conversations and in their future academic life. Students will be given a short introduction to Italian for academic purposes and will be asked to give their own presentations. Active participation in class is an important aspect of these courses, learners are required to productively use what they have studied and to play an active role throughout the lessons. Homework and exams will be graded. Syllabi (from A1 to B1) are based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Italian culture

The “Italian Culture” course is divided into 10 lessons which last three hours each. The main objective is to stimulate a reflection that allows students to acquire some keys to reading for a better understanding and comprehension of the Italy that they live and study in through a diachronic study which involves the main aspects of Italian culture.

The contents are divided into the following large areas:

Physical Italy

Political Italy

History of Italy

The law of the State

The principle cities of Italy

A journey through the history of Italian art

Italian music

Italian language and literature

Elements of the Roman Catholic religion

The CLIL methodology allows the various topics to be presented in the Italian language, therefore enabling the learning and the improvement of language acquisition relative to the specific areas of knowledge. The lessons are taught using various computer technologies through which different languages are intertwined supplying input in a redundant way thus facilitating the students’ understanding. The classroom work and study are also reinforced and stimulated by educational visits targeted at the direct comparison of real Italian culture.