ITLN 210: Intensive Intermediate Italian

Instructor: Various
Credits: 6
Course/Lab Fee: Course reader fee announced by the Print Shop
Prerequisite: The equivalent of one year of beginning Italian (level A2 “plus” of the Common European Framework for language proficiency).
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. This intensive intermediate course (the rough equivalent of a third semester course) is designed particularly to help students improve their communicative skills.


The course begins with a grammatical review to reinforce and build upon the grammatical elements introduced in the first year of study. Thereafter the course places emphasis on developing students’ ability to speak the language. Students often work in pairs and follow examples of native speakers presented in audio and visual materials. Students will read and analyze a variety of authentic texts that focus on popular, non-specialist topics as a way to develop their skills in reading and writing and to develop a more nuanced understanding of the Italian culture. In-class activities, such as games, role-playing, and presentations, help students to expand their vocabulary and begin to acquire more specialized socio-linguistic competencies to fit various settings. This communicative approach also allows students to gain confidence in their oral expression and refine their use and understanding of grammatical structures, including:

  • Uso dell’imperfetto, del passato prossimo e del trapassato prossimo
  • Pronomi diretti, indiretti e combinati
  • Particelle NE e CI
  • Accordo dei pronomi con il participio
  • Gradi dell’aggettivo: comparativo e superlativo
  • Il futuro semplice e composto
  • Verbi impersonali
  • Imperativo diretto, indiretto e con i pronomi
  • Il condizionale presente e passato
  • Il congiuntivo presente, passato, imperfetto e trapassato
  • Il periodo ipotetico

Throughout the semester, students will participate in cultural activities, including interviews with Italian university students and trips to the local markets, bars and museums, to acquire an understanding and appreciation for contemporary culture as expressed in the local community.


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 B1-plus of the Common European Framework in the four basic competencies: listening, speaking and interacting, reading, and writing. (In some cases a student may achieve B1 “plus” in the reading and writing competencies.) In practice, the student will be able to:

  • Understand the main points of an announcement, news item, advertisement delivered in clear, standard speech.
  • Begin, sustain and conclude a brief and simple conversation face to face or over the telephone.
  • Comprehend and make oneself understood on familiar and personal topics.
  • Interact in situations in which one is typically found while traveling around Italy.
  • Express opinions on current affairs, familiar topics and topics of personal interest, describe personal experiences, and provide brief explanations.
  • Craft personal letters and requests for information on hotels, reservations, etc.
  • Write simple, brief texts based on familiar topics or personal experience and understand texts containing concrete and relatively simple abstract topics.
  • Build a basic vocabulary of 750 words and start to acquire a small, specialized vocabulary tied to one’s personal interests and to the specific activities covered in class.
  • Start to develop a more sophisticated understanding of Italian culture and contemporary society.

Course Materials

Required Text: a course reader that contains the majority of the reading materials, grammatical units and vocabulary to be covered in the course will be made available.
Supplementary Text: selected exercises and readings from various sources will be handed out periodically.
Dictionary: students are strongly recommended to purchase an English/Italian, Italian/English dictionary. The library in via Bartolo also has a number of dictionaries available for consultation.