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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : European Languages and Cultures - Italian

Undergraduate Course: Italian 1 (ELCI08001)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryAn intensive course in spoken and written Italian, with a focus on language production as well as on grammar structures, offering classes at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. The language course (60%) is complemented by four integrated modules in Italian Cultural Studies (40%) introducing aspects of Italian culture from the Early Modern Period to the present. Auditing (Class only) is not allowed.
Course description By the end of the first year course, students will have acquired the following skills and competences:

A. Language
- Structural competence: ranging from a basic grasp of Italian grammatical structures for students with no previous experience of Italian, to a deeper understanding of grammatical concepts for more advanced students;
- Lexical competence: they will have acquired/developed a vocabulary of 800-1200 Italian words;
- Communicative competence: they will be able to communicate in Italian both in speaking and writing, within the range and context of the course;
- Receptive competence: they will read, understand and listening short written texts of simple to high level of difficulty.

B. Italian Cultural Studies
- knowledge and understanding of the cultural developments of the periods studied and of the formal and thematic issues raised by the selected works;
- familiarity with the recommended secondary material relevant to the period, authors, directors and composers studied;
- understanding of the relationship between the works studied and their social and historical context;
- ability to criticise, evaluate and interpret evidence.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is only open to Undergraduate University of Edinburgh and Visiting students. Postgraduate students must get the approval of the course organiser before enrolling.
Additional Costs Language textbooks
- For beginners to Intermediate level:
Semester 1: Spazio Italia. Corso di italiano per stranieri. Livello: A1, Manuale 1 + Eserciziario 1+ DVD-ROM 1, Loescher, 2015.

Semester 2: Spazio Italia. Corso di italiano per stranieri. Livello: A2, Manuale 2 + Eserciziario 2 + DVD-ROM 2, Loescher, 2012-2015.

- For advanced students (A level/ Advanced Higher +):
Universitalia 2.0 B1/B2 by Piotti, de Savorgnani, Carrara, ALMA, New Edition January 2018.

The texbooks are available, at a small discount, from our local BLACKWELL¿S Bookshop, 53-62 South Bridge Edinburgh, or you can find them on the publisher's website (Loescher and Alma), or on Amazon.

Please check the links below:

Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 75, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 294 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) LANGUAGE 60%

- 2 Writing Tasks 15%
- 2 Oral Tasks 15%
- 2 Language Tests 30%

Week 7 Writing Task 1 (7.5%)
Week 11 Oral Task 1 (7.5%)
Week 12 Language Test 1 (15%)

Week 5 Writing Task 2 (7.5%)
Week 10 Oral Task 2 (7.5%)
Week 11 Language Test 2 (15%)



- 2 Individual Essay 24%
- 4 Autonomous Learning Group presentations 16%

Week 5 ALG presentation 1 (4%)
Week 11 ALG presentation 2 (4%)
Week 13 Individual Essay (12%)

Week 5 ALG presentation 3 (4%)
Week 10 ALG presentation 4 (4%)
Week 12 Individual Essay (12%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a good grasp of everyday Italian vocabulary, grammar and syntax, along with a broad and critical understanding of Italian literature and culture.
  2. Appraise straightforward spoken and written information about everyday study or work related topics, identifying both general messages and specific details.
  3. Communicate with reasonable accuracy on familiar topics both orally and in writing, expressing personal opinions, and comparing and contrasting those of others.
  4. Develop effective communication, presentation and interaction skills across a range of media.
  5. Demonstrate self-reliance, initiative, and the ability to work flexibly with others as part of a team
Reading List
Cultural Studies, essential reading list:


Module 1 | The "Other" in Italian Medieval and Renaissance Culture
- David Abulafia, Italy in the Central Middle Ages (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004)
- Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, transl. and edit. by Henry Francis Cary (Ware: Wordsworth, 2009)
- Giovanni Boccaccio, The Decameron, transl. by Guido Waldman, edit. by Jonathan Usher (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998-2008)
- John Larner, Italy in the Age of Dante and Petrarch, 1216-1380 (London: Longman, 1980)
- Daniel Bornstein and Roberto Rusconi, Women and religion in medieval and Renaissance Italy, transl. by Margery J. Schneider (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996)
- Giovanni Tabacco, The Struggle for Power in Medieval Italy: Structures of Political Rule, transl. by Roasalind Brown Jensen (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989)

Module 2 | In Other Words: Jhumpa Lahiri and "her" Italian Short Stories
- Jhumpa Lahiri, In Other Words, transl. by Ann Goldstein (London: Bloomsbury, 2016)
- Jhumpa Lahiri (ed.), The Penguin Book of Italian Short Stories (London: Penguin Books, 2019)
- Gian Maria Annovi and Flora Ghezzo, Anna Maria Ortese: Celestial Geographies (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2015)
- Vilma De Gasperin, Loss and the Other in the Visionary Work of Anna Maria Ortese (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014)

Module 3 | Women's Voice in Italian Literature
- Sibila Aleramo, A Woman, transl. by Erica Segre and Simon Carnell (London: Penguin Books, 2020)
- Elena Ferrante, My Brilliant Friend, transl. by Ann Goldstein (New York: Europa Editions, 2012)
- Dacia Maraini, Woman at War, transl. by Mara Benetti and Elspeth Spottiswood (New York: Italica Press, 2008)
- Perry Willson and P. Morris Women in Twentieth-Century Italy - Gender and History (London: Palgrave, 2009)
- Laura Benedetti, The Tigress in the Snow: Motherhood and Literature in Twentieth-Century Italy (Toronto: Toronto University Press, 2008)

Module 4 | Italian Opera and Beyond
- Carolyn Abbate and Roger Parker, A History of Opera: The Last Four Hundred Years (London: Penguin Books, 2015)
- Peter Conrad, A Song of Love and Death: The Meaning of Opera (London: Chatto & Windus, 1987)
- Mary Ann Smart, The Cambridge Companion to Verdi (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004)
- David R. B. Kimbell, Verdi in the Age of Italian Romanticism (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press: 1981)
- Anna Wierzbicka, Emotions Across Languages and Cultures: Diversity and Universals (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsDELC Italian 1
Course organiserMr Daniele Falcioni
Tel: (0131 6)50 8982
Course secretaryMs June Cahongo
Tel: (0131 6)50 3620
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