Intermediate Italian I

You are here

Course Information
Terms offered: 
Language of instruction: 
Contact Hours: 

Students typically will have completed 1/2 semesters of Italian and will have met the completion of IES Abroad’s Novice Abroad outcomes, determined by placement test. 

Additional student cost: 



The course is designed to meet the needs of intermediate students participating in a study abroad program. In this course the student will be able to express self in a broad array of scenarios talking about self or others with precision and with a large degree of understanding. The student will be able to correct own utterances to ensure a correct understanding. Grammar and vocabulary will always be presented, analysed and practice in a context which is meaningful to the students.

Oral skills will be emphasized while a grounding in grammar will consolidate the understanding and use of the language structures. Vocabulary is based on everyday situations. 

Student Profile:
Students entering this level must be able to fulfill the learning outcomes of the Novice Abroad level, as defined by the IES Abroad MAP for Language and Intercultural Communication. Specifically, they should already be able to express themselves on a variety of concrete, everyday topics and meet their basic needs in the language. Students who enter this level may be more proficient in reading and writing skills than oral communication, especially if they have never traveled or studied abroad previously. Although students may have been exposed previously to certain competencies taught at this level, they need additional practice and instruction to move toward mastery of these competencies. 

As students gain more self-awareness and self-confidence, they will attempt more in the community. Paradoxically, this means they may also experience more miscommunications and frustration. Reading and writing require effort, and many students will need to commit themselves in this regard. Students will also develop cultural awareness and skills to work through the challenges of adaptation in the local culture and learn to celebrate their successes.  Increasingly, they will appreciate the value of these language and intercultural skills. 

This course builds upon skills introduced in Novice Abroad. By the end of the course, the successful student will have begun to develop some communicative and cultural self-confidence necessary to attempt moderately complex tasks in the language, as described in the learning outcomes below.     

Attendance policy: 

Regular class attendance is mandatory. Students are expected to attend classes each day.

IES Abroad Milano allows a maximum of TWO excused absences per course, to be used for emergencies related to health, family, religion. Each further absence will automatically result in a penalty of 2 point off (2/100) on the final grade. Please note that this rule does not apply to exams: failure to attend your midterm and/or final exam will automatically result in an F grade on that paper/exam. SEVEN absences per course will result in a failing grade (2 excused absences included). Furthermore, absence on the date of scheduled tests, presentations or quizzes does not entitle to recover/reschedule such tests. If using absences for travel, students must be aware that they may remain with no excusable absence in case of illness.

Learning outcomes: 

Students who are placed in this level should be capable of achieving the outcomes in the Novice Abroad level as defined by the IES Abroad MAP for Language and Intercultural Communication.

By the end of the course, students will be able to achieve some of the outcomes for the Emerging Independent Abroad level as defined by the MAP for Language and Intercultural Communication. The key learning outcomes from the MAP are summarized below:

  1. Intercultural Communication
    1.  Students will be able to solve some daily troublesome situations and meet needs with limited help.
    2. Students will be able to make some informed comparisons between the host culture and the students’ home cultures.
    3. Students will be able to distinguish between verbal and nonverbal communication that reflects politeness, formality, or informality.
    4. Students will be able to recognize simple patterns of intonation and their meaning.
  2. Listening
    1. Students will be able to understand some interactions (media, speeches, music, directives, conversations, etc.), especially if the speaker is used to interacting with non-native speakers.
    2. Students will be able to understand direct requests, questions, and simple conversations on familiar and concrete topics.
  3. Speaking
    1. Students will be able to talk to a limited extent with and about persons and about things in their immediate environment, and they will be able to discuss their plans, wishes, and experiences.
    2. Students will be able to address moderately complicated situations involving familiar subjects.
  4. Reading
    1. Students will be able to read passages and short texts (notes, lyrics, uncomplicated literary passages, detailed instructions, etc.) on familiar topics and understand the general meaning.
    2. Students will actively support their understanding of texts through the use of context, visual aids, dictionaries, or with the assistance of others in order to facilitate comprehension.
  5. Writing
    1. Students will be able to communicate with some effectiveness through notes, emails, and simple online discussions and chats.
    2. Students will be able to write short essays on concrete topics of limited levels of complexity, with reliance on the communicative patterns of their native language.
Method of presentation: 

Classes are taught with a communicative approach to facilitate students' ability to use their own resources and to develop confidence and familiarity with the target language. The instructor will lead the students through the process of learning using various techniques. Working in pairs or small groups is especially emphasized.

Students are expected to use only Italian during the class. The instructor will use task-based field trips and class activities to make the students aware of the strong relationship between language and culture. For this purpose the instructor will reinforce students’ independence by providing them historic and cultural background before they go on field trips.

Required work and form of assessment: 

Exclusive use of Italian language in class, active participation in all class activities, homework, research regularly completed as indicated by the instructor, oral and written tests and exams, attendance and punctuality. Students will be required to enter the Moodle course page on a regular basis in order to access readings, exercises, and any other regular and extra material.

  • Class participation, engagement and homework (including field studies and use of the online Moodle page) - 30%
  • 2 Quizzes - 5%
  • Oral competence, including two oral tests - 30%
  • Midterm exam - 15%
  • Final exam - 20%
Week Content Assignments Cooresponding Learning Outcomes
Week 1

(June 5)

  1. Functional: Greeting people, introducing  yourself, asking pronunciation and spelling of a word, introducing someone, talking about your profession and your interests, and about the documents needed to work and study in Italy.
  2. Grammatical: Review of definite article, indefinite article, nouns (ending in –o, in –a and in -e), present tense of regular, irregular and reflexive verbs, modal verbs.
  3. Vocabulary: Frequently-used words, home, some professions, descriptions, times and parts of the day.
  4. Culture: Italian greeting, Italian working law, foreign students in Italy.
  5. Unit I.
  I.A.  II.A, III. A, IV.B, V.A
Week 2

(June 8, 10, 12)
(June 13: EXPO DAY)

  1. Functional: Talking about past events.
  2. Grammatical: Numbers, construction of the verb “piacere”. Reinforce of the present perfect, regular and irregular verbs. Present perfect of reflexive and reciprocal verbs; positions of direct, indirect and reflexive pronouns. Use of prepositions.
    Past simple of regular and irregular verbs.
  3. Vocabulary: Italian cities and monuments, famous Italian people, other professions and jobs, places of cultural interest.
  4. Culture: cities and work of arts, and Italians on holiday.
  5. Unit II-III.
Composition: My first week in Milano due on Friday 12th I.A, I.B, II.A, III.A, IV. B, V.A
Week 3

(June 15, 17)

  1. Functional: Talking about past events and shopping.
  2. Grammatical: Reinforce of the past simple, and position of direct, indirect and reflexing pronouns in the past tense, the relative pronoun “che”, the adjective “quello e bello”, present continuous “stare+gerundio”, the partitive, indefinite adjectives, quantity adverbs, the participle “ne”. 
  3. Vocabulary: places, things to do in a city center, shops and products, food and house vocabulary.
  4. Culture: meeting places in Ital, Italian slang used in chat by young people, and Italian recipes.
  5. Unit IV-V.
  • Oral presentation 1
  • Quiz 1 Wednesday 17th
I.A, I.B, I.C II.A, II.B,  III.A, IV.A,  IV.B, V.A
(June 16)
Only for Summer Made in Italy Program Students
  1. Individual Project (To be discussed on the first day of class)
Week 4 (June 22, 24)  
  1. Functional: Describing past situations and talking about habitual activities in the past.
  2. Grammatical: The use of the imperfect tense compared to the past tense, review of irregular plural.
  3. Vocabulary: vocabulary related to childhood.
  4. Culture: Italian school.
  5. Unit VII-VIII.
  • Worksheet: When I was little
  • Oral presentation 1
I.A, I.B, I.C, I.D II.A, II.B, III.A, III.B, IV.A, IV.B, V.A

(June 23)
Only for Summer Made in Italy Program Students

  1. Individual Projects
Week 5 (June 29, July 1)
  1. Functional: Talking about future events.
  2. Grammatical: Comparative and superlative forms, future tense.
  3. Vocabulary: books, films and music.
  4. Culture: Italian pop-culture.
  5. Unit IX-X.
  • Quiz 2
  • Outdoor activity: The streets of Milan 
I.A, I.B, I.C, I.D, II.A, II.B, III.A, III.B IV.A, IV.B, V.A, V.B
(June 30)
Only for Summer Made in Italy Program Students
  1. Individual Projects

Week 6
(July 6, 8)

  1. Functional: Talking about future events, making a polite request, giving advices.
  2. Grammatical: Future and conditional tense.
  3. Vocabulary: future words,
  4. Culture: Italian pop-culture.
  5. Unit X.
  • Quiz 2

(July 7)
Only for Summer Made in Italy Program Students

  1. Individual Project

Week 7
(July 13, 15)

  1. Intensive Review
  • Oral presentation 2
  • Worksheet “Cultural shock”

(July 14)
Only for Summer Made in Italy Program Students

FINAL EXAM: Tuesday, July 14th
For Summer Made in Italy Program Students



Week 8
(July 20, 22)
Only Internship Students

  1. Intensive Review
  • Oral presentation 2

Week 9
(July 27, 29)
Only Internship Students


  1. General Review
  2. FINAL EXAM: Wednesday, July 29th


Required readings: 
  • M. Tommasini, M. Diaco Spazio “Italia Corso di italiano per student stranieri” , Torino, Loescher 2012.
  • Supplementary materials (handouts, pictures, readings, videos and films scenes, song lyrics, games, etc.) will be provided by the teacher.