ITLN 101: Elementary Italian

Instructor: Various
Credits: 4
Course/Lab Fee: Course reader fee announced by the Print Shop
Prerequisite: None
Cross-Listing: Italian Language

Course Description

Perugia is a wonderful laboratory for learning the Italian language, and the structure of the Italian language program reflects this urban reality. The first week of intensive language instruction immerses the student in the Italian language and culture, and introduces them to local routines and life in Perugia, where the opportunity to use the language abounds. This immersion further orients the students to studying Italian in Italy, where the communicative approach with Italian only in classroom is practiced in full. Lastly, the week sets the rules and rhythm for the semester and helps to instill an enthusiasm for the Italian language and culture.


The specific goals of the introductory course is to give students a basic lexicon to interact with everyday life, events and activities of their new host country, while at the same time teaching them the key building blocks of Italian grammar. The central objectives are therefore to provide students with the necessary tools by which they can engage—little by little—with the local community in a meaningful way, and to stimulate students to observe and reflect upon various aspects of the new culture surrounding them. Course activities will include exercises and homework assignments to develop and improve grammatical knowledge; reading and listening activities; and games, role-playing, and interviewing in both pairs and groups both within and outside the classroom.


Course Structure

  • One week of intensive language instruction (20 contact hours)
  • 12 regularly scheduled weeks in which the class meets 4 hours per week
  • Final week of special academic exercises and the final exam.

Course Objectives

At the end of the semester, students should reach the level A2 of the Common European Framework in the four basic competencies: listening, speaking and interacting, reading, and writing. In practice, the student will be able to:

  • Recognize and use words and expressions of daily and common use;
  • Participate in conversations at a basic level in everyday situations (talking about oneself, asking information, giving and receiving instructions, shopping, reading notices, etc.)
  • Read short texts (menus, signs, announcements, timetables, notices, recipes, short newspaper articles, etc.)
  • Write short passages on arguments of daily life and about one’s own direct experiences)
  • Identify and use correctly basic grammatical units. These include: articles, nouns, adjectives, and their agreements; the present indicative of regular, irregular and reflexive verbs; the passato prossimo; direct pronouns; and the futuro semplice.

Course Materials

Required Text: I. Fratter, C. Troncarelli, Piazza Navona: Corso di italiano per stranieri (libro dei testi e della grammatica). CIDEB Edizioni.
Mandatory course reader: selected exercises and readings from various textbooks and workbooks.
Dictionary: students are strongly recommended to purchase an English/Italian, Italian/English dictionary. The library in via Bartolo has a number of dictionaries available for consultation.