FLI1130 - Italian Beginners

2020/1 Module description

StaffMrs Antonella Freschi - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module description

Italian Beginners is intended for students who have little or no previous knowledge of Italian and provides an introduction to the Italian language and culture in a general context. It is also suitable for students with a GCSE (Grade C or below) in Italian. The emphasis is on enabling you to communicate orally in Italian.

If you already speak another language or one connected to Italian, you should consider taking FLI2130, Italian Beginners Fast-Track.

Italian Beginners can be taken towards achieving ‘with proficiency in Italian”. See: http://humanities.exeter.ac.uk/flc/undergraduate/proficiency/

Module aims

The module is intended for students who have little or no previous knowledge of Italian and offers an introduction to Italian language and culture. This module is broadly equivalent to A1/A2 Basic User level of the Common European Framework and aims to:

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate a sound grasp of the basic grammatical structures of the target language
  • 2. Read and comprehend simple written and aural texts and extract specific, predictable information related to every-day situations
  • 3. Communicate effectively on a variety of general topics requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters, both orally and in writing

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Understand the principles of learning a foreign language intensively and organise his/her learning with guidance from the tutor
  • 5. Use available learning aids in a variety of media, such as a reference grammar and bilingual dictionary, to consolidate his/her learning

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. Communicate at a basic level in the target language
  • 7. Make progress through developing skills of self-study and application and develop an awareness of and sensitivity to a foreign culture

Syllabus plan

The module provides a systematic approach to acquiring essential grammar structures in a communicative context and in accordance with the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. It covers the following grammar / topics:


  • Grammar Nouns (masc/fem)
  • Formal/informal registers
  • to be/to have
  • Nouns (sing/pl)/definite/indefinite articles/adjectives
  • Present indicative regular verbs/negative form/piacere
  • Adverbs of time
  • Present indicative irregular and reflexive verbs
  • Possessive adjectives/agreement with noun
  • Prepositions/prepositions + det. Article
  • C'è/ci sono/more irregular verbs
  • Prepositions of place
  • Ci vuole/ci vogliono/modal verbs
  • Partitive/impersonal/more prepositions + det. Article
  • Voglio vs vorrei
  • Stare+gerund
  • Passato prossimo with avere of regular verbs
  • Practice passato prossimo Passato prossimo with essere/reflexives/piacere
  • Comparatives/ bene/ meglio
  • Future  OR Imperfect tense


Main Topics

  • Greetings/introducing oneself/giving and asking for personal information
  • Ordering drinks and snacks
  • Talking about work
  • Telling and asking the time
  • Daily routine
  • Talking about family/describing people
  • Talking about home
  • Booking into a hotel
  • Finding a place/asking and giving directions
  • Means of transport
  • Shopping for food
  • Booking into a restaurant
  • Shopping for clothes
  • Talking about events
  • Events in the past,
  • Talking about health problems,
  • Talking about holidays/future plans/weather


Main Vocabulary 

  • Alphabet/pronunciation/spelling
  • Greetings/countries and nationalities/numbers
  • Food/drinks
  • Jobs/personal preferences
  • Time/parts of the day and meals/days of the week/months of the year
  • Habits/daily activities
  • Family/appearance/personality
  • Rooms/furniture
  • Accommodation/making a call/writing an email
  • describing position of places/directions 
  • Enquiring about public transport
  • Food/weights and measures
  • Position of table/table dressing/complaints
  • Clothes/shoes/accessories/sizes
  • Daily routine/leisure activities 
  • Biographies
  • Health problems and remedies/the chemist
  • Holidays/weather

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching88Language classes
Guided independent study212Consolidate class work by learning vocabulary and structures, and by reading, watching or listening to material in Italian. Prepare exercises and activities for class, write short assignments and generally begin to acquire a repertoire of effective language learning strategies. Learning activities are supported by various media, including audio, video/DVD, and, where appropriate, computer software

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
4 formative tasks covering some or all of the following areas: grammar, writing, listening, reading, speaking.Variable1-5, 7Written and oral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Portfolio50 Variable1-5,7Written and oral
Oral exam257/8-minute 1, 3-7Written and oral
Written exam25Take-home exam 1-5, 7Written and oral (upon request)

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Listening testListening test2, 7Referral/Deferral period
Oral testOral test1, 3-7Referral/Deferral period
Written examinationWritten examination1-5, 7Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

You will only be required to retake any failed assessments. Marks for any passed assessments will be carried forward. If you have failed any assessments but managed to pass the module overall, you will not be allowed to retake the failed assessments.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • M. Freeth, G. Checketts:  Contatti 1 Italian Beginner's Course, Coursebook, Third Edition, Hodder Education. ISBN 978-1-444-13314-1
  • Recommended materials: Grammar: Essential Italian Grammar in Practice - Book (English edition) Dictionary: Collins Concise Italian Dictionary or BBC English-Italian/Italian-English Dictionary.

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Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

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Italian Beginners

Important please note

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the module descriptors for the Online Module Selection process, please be aware that on rare occasions it may be necessary to remove proposed modules for reasons beyond our control. In addition, there are still some new modules going through the accreditation process. These will be offered in due course by the relevant discipline.

All modules displayed below have been approved by the approval process but may require further minor amendments before the commencement of teaching.

We are committed to providing an outstanding education and high quality teaching. You can find out details of your modules and any potential changes on these pages. If you are a returning student, joining after the first year or a postgraduate student details of your module changes will be provided in August. Find out more about the overall teaching and learning approach on your course, and please be aware that this information may supersede the specified teaching and learning activities within individual modules.

Foreign Language Centre modules 2020/21

Term 1 module codes listed above ending with C, i.e. FLF1115C, are only available to outbound students who are away in Term 2. Students studying all year must select the standard module across both Term 1 and 2.