About the content
Benvenuti e Benvenute! (Welcome!)
In this language course you will learn the four basic skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) in the context of major themes in Italian culture. By the end of the course you will be able to describe people, events and situations, both in the present and the past, and you will have acquired the necessary vocabulary to communicate about everyday situations.
This course offers a variety of tools to help you learn “la lingua del sì” in different ways:
- Situational videos (called Ciak!, which means “clapperboard” in Italian): you will follow eight Italian students in their daily lives and interactions on our campus. What a great way to learn authentic conversational Italian!
- Downloadable Podcasts: become a participant in each Ciak! video and practice Italian when and where you want on your portable device!
- Grammar charts, with or without audio files: study and review grammar through concise, clear and downloadable pdf files, and practice pronunciation with our embedded audio files.
- Short video lessons: as if in a real classroom, learn each new topic with the instructor’s direct guidance.
- Video interviews: learn from various native speakers as they talk about different aspects of Italian culture.
- Short “Letture” (readings): practice reading comprehension while learning about Italian culture.
- Discussion board: your chance to communicate (in Italian!) with other students on a variety of suggested topics.
- Ready to test your skills? Practice and review with a variety of self-correcting activities.
Italian culture is also an integral part of this course. Through our interviews and readings you will learn about:
- daily life in a small hill town in Northern Italy;
- major differences between Italian and American universities;
- Italian films that won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film;
- summer vacations in Italy;
- Italian cuisine.
Whether you are a traditional, visual or auditory learner, you will find the tools that best fit your unique way to learn a foreign language.
This course has been successfully taught in different settings to more than 1,000 students: entirely online to Wellesley College alumnae and students, and as a mix of face-to-face and online instruction at Wellesley College and MIT. We are now proud to open it on edX, confident that your learning experience with this unique online course will be as enriching as it was for the many students who have already taken it.
Last but not least: as you progress in the course, remember to have fun!
After completing this course, continue learning Italian with Italian Language and Culture: Intermediate and Italian Language and Culture: Advanced.
“Thank you for the fantastic course. I am overwhelmingly grateful for the richness and depth of the material and the opportunity to learn and immerse ... I love Italy and the Italian language.” – Previous Student
- How to communicate in a variety of social situations, such as introducing yourself, talking about daily activities, describing what you do for work, writing and reading simple texts, such as an e-mail, giving and getting directions, asking about the weather and telling time.
- Basic grammatical structures such as articles and nouns, adjectives, present and past tenses of regular and irregular verbs.
- Italian culture, including daily life, film, cuisine, universities and vacationing.
- Daniela Bartalesi-Graf
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