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Ital 301 A: Advanced Italian Language Through Contemporary Culture

Meeting Time: 
MW 1:30pm - 3:20pm
THO 234
Susan Gaylard

Syllabus Description:

ITAL 301: Advanced language through contemporary culture                          Fall 2019


Prof. Gaylard’s office hours: MonWed 3.30-4 (in Padelford C-259)

          Tue 3-4 (starting in CDH 139, where I teach, and moving toward Padelford C-259)



Course goals:

Develop reading skills in authentic materials

Develop writing skills for business correspondence

Begin to develop writing skills for discussing literature

Begin to develop skills of critical analysis

Continue to develop listening skills

Continue to develop spoken Italian

Continue to develop an awareness of defining cultural questions

Review finer points of grammar and style


Course description:

The course engages closely with contemporary Italian culture, with the aim of enabling students to operate comfortably in an Italian university or professional context. To this end, we will study a wide variety of audio, audio-visual, and printed materials that cover many aspects of Italian life, learning to comment (in writing and speaking) on those materials. Reading, listening, and speaking assignments will gradually gain in complexity. Through small research projects, we will build both an awareness of cultural context, and the ability to synthesize and explain complex information.


We start with the differences between an American CV and an Italian curriculum, and learn the norms of professional correspondence, before moving on to more argumentative and analytical writing tasks: synthesis and comparison of sources, analysis of an advertisement, a film, and a piece of literature. In reviewing grammar and style, we will focus in particular on producing a well-written argument on a topic of interest.


Class participation and preparation: arrive prepared (eg. grammar homework and reading completed) and ready to participate!Since the course is fast-paced and only meets twice a week, students should attend every class except in an emergency. Two absences is the equivalent of missing a week of Italian 203! You should expect about 2 hrs of homework per credit hour per week, i.e. about 10 hours per week. Some students may need more time than this in order to review 100/200 level material, others may not need as much time.


Weekly conversation (TalkAbroad) or listening (Ascolto)exercises promote the ability to operate in an Italian context. These assignments take the place of a traditional language lab, and should be completed each Thursday. They MUST be completed no later than the following Monday.


Brief weekly responsesto the readings (250-400w) help develop reading and writing skills. Instructions for these assignments may be discussed in class: failure to attend class may result in incomplete or incorrect assignments.


4 short writing assignments(400-600w) develop the ability to sustain a longer argument in Italian. These are turned in, corrected, and then revised and resubmitted the following week. Instructions for these assignments may be discussed in class: failure to attend class may result in incomplete or incorrect assignments.


Short research presentations: with the help of the instructor, pairs of students will choose trustworthy resources on a key moment in contemporary Italian history, and condense these into a very brief, intelligible lesson for their colleagues (7 min max, plus questions and discussion). To help you prepare for this assignment, you submit 7 key points on my topicat least 5 days before the presentation, for us to discuss and modify as needed.


Quizzescover all portions of the work, including research presentations. Regular quizzes are in the first 30 minutes of class. The final quiz is on the last day of class and lasts 110 minutes.


Late assignments: We understand that in an emergency, it is impossible to turn work in on time. However, the course builds on previous work: completing assignments late may result in your feeling confused or overwhelmed. For this reason, all work should be completed on time. Late assignments may be penalized or (in some cases) not graded.


Plagiarism of any kind is unacceptable; here is how to avoid it:



Grade breakdown

Class participation, preparation, exercises    15%

Weekly short writing assignments                 15%

Writing assignments (first draft)                     10%

Writing assignments (corrected draft)            10%

Research presentation                                   10%

Quizzes                                                          20%

TalkAbroad/Ascolto                                        20%


Textbook(supplemented with other materials):

  1. Bozzone Costa, M. Piantoni, E. Scaramelli, C. Ghezzi, Nuovo Contatto C1: Corso di lingua e civilta’ italiana per stranieri(Loescher, 2013).

Audio-visual materials are online via


TalkAbroad/Ascolto: Ascolto exercises are available online via the textbook or (occasionally) Canvas.TalkAbroad is an online conversation platform: French & Italian Studies can subsidize the cost of TalkAbroad for full-time, registered UW undergraduates. These limits are imposed by restrictions on how we use donor funds. At the end of the quarter, we may ask you to write a note to the donors. The instructor will confirm your registration status and send you a coupon code at the start of week 2 if you are eligible. Otherwise, TalkAbroad works like an “interactive textbook” and is the financial responsibilty of the student ($45 for the six conversation assignments).


Religious accommodations: Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy ( must be requested within the first two weeks of this courseusing the Religious Accommodations Request form (


Access and Accommodations

If you have a temporary health condition or permanent disability that requires accommodations (e.g. mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts), please contact DRS immediately at 206-543-8924 or or DRS offers resources and coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities and/or temporary health conditions. If you already have DRS accommodations, please let me know immediately.




This schedule may be subject to change


Wks 1-2. Introductions to myself and modern Italy

Wk 1

25 settembre

Introductions; Self-assessment,Uni.Italia(Le Monnier, 2010) 4


Ascolto: Curriculum italiano (Uni.Italia pp. 6-7);  

Lettura:Come si scrive una mail ad un professore?

h/w: passato prossimo/passato remoto e imperfetto: esercizi da NCB2 Esercizi p.8 es.7; NCB2 Esercizi p.35 es. 12, 13; NCC1leggere pp.10-11


26 settembre: Ascolto: Uni.Italia, 114: “Introduzione all’Italia moderna”


Wks 2-3: What is Italy? reality and stereotypes


Wk 2

30 settembre

Before class: confirm your registration on and reserve a conversation time for Thursday and for next week Thursday.

Sign in to the textbook’s website at www.imparosuweb.eduto ensure you can access the audio and audio-visual materials.


Ascolto (dai compiti):“Introduzione all’Italia moderna”: assegnazione presentazioni

Grammatica:passato prossimo, imperfetto, trapassato: NCB2Esercizi p. 8 es. 7

paragoni (statistiche sulle famiglie italiane: NCB2Esercizi p.34 es. 11)  

Lettura: NCC1, 10, “Visti da dentro... e visti da fuori”: statistiche; p.13 es. 1g; discussione di lettura pp.10-11  


h/w: short writing assignment: CV and short letter (4 hrs)

leggere lettura NCC1, pp.248-249 “Intervista al sociologo francese” (1 hr)


3 ottobre

Discussione:Intervista al sociologo (NCC1p.248-49); p. 12 es. 1d

Grammatica:ci (NCC1 Esercizi p.4 es. 3b; NCC1p.14 es.1l); verbi con ci (NCB2 Esercizi p.38 es. 18); ci e ne(Uni.Italia, 141 es. 27-28  

Video:NCC1, 15, es. 2d: “La famiglia allargata” + discussione  

H/w:short writing assignment: ascoltare NCC1, p.15, es. 2a, 2b, 2c (scritto, 250-400w) (3 hrs);

passato prossimo (NCC1Esercizi p. 3 es. 2a) (1 hr)


4 ottobre: TalkAbroad: Conversation 1



Wk 3

7 ottobre

Presentazione: la legge sul divorzio in Italia 

Discussione: “L’Italia fotografata dall’Istat” (NCC1, p.15, da compiti + p.249 Grafico)

Ascolto: “La psicologia degli italiani tra stereotipi e scienza” (NCC1, 16) + discussione Grammatica:passato prossimo con avere o essere (NCC1Esercizi p. 3 es. 2a);

paragoni (NCC1Esercizi p.4, es.4) + discussione degli stereotipi

h/w:Guardare le pubblicità Barilla (NCC1p. 19, es. 4b); leggere Come cambia l’Italia(p.20) e completare es. 4c, 4d + 4e (pp.20-21 – per iscritto, 250-400w)


9 ottobre

Quiz 1(30 min)

Discussione:Pubblicità della Barilla (NCC1 p.19-21 dai compiti)

Grammatica:quello(NCC1p.21, es. 4g);questo e quello(NCC1Esercizi p.6, es. 7)

Video: La storia di “Carosello”

h/w: NCC1p.25 es. 5c (figure retoriche); writing assignment


10 ottobre: TalkAbroad Conversation 2 (quali sono gli stereotipi degli italiani? degli americani?)

Reserve a conversation time for next week Thursday!


Wk 4: How has Italy changed?

Wk 4

14 ottobreWriting assignment 1: analysis of an advertisement

Ascolto: intervista al presidente della Fondazione Pubblicità Progresso (p.23 es.4m-o)

Lettura: Luciano De Crescenzo, “Così parlò Bellavista” (Caleidoscopio31-34)  

Grammatica: passato prossimo/imperfetto/trapassato (NCC1Esercizi, p.8 es. 10a)  

h/w:*guardare “Il carrello e il supermercato”; farne un breve riassunto (250-400w) (3 hrs);

*passato prossimo, imperfetto, trapassato prossimo (NCC1Esercizi p. 7 es. 9)(1 hr)




16 ottobrePresentazione: anni ’50 e ’60, il miracolo economico 

Discussione del video: “Il carrello e il supermercato”  

Grammatica: passato prossimo, imperfetto, trapassato prossimo (NCC1Esercizi p. 7 es. 9);preposizioni temporali (NCC1Esercizi p.6 es.8); connettivi temporali (Caleidoscopio51, es. 20)

h/w: Lettura “I pericoli del gioco d’azzardo” (NCC1pp. 26-27), es. 6c, 6d, 6e, 6f, 6h (28-29).


17 ottobre: TalkAbroad Conversation 3 (la lotteria e il gioco d’azzardo: in Italia e nello stato di Washington)



Wks 5-6: Generational changes: 1968, the provincia, and dialect

Wk 5

21 ottobreQuiz 2

Video + lettura (dai compiti): “Gioco d’azzardo,” NCC1p. 26. 

Grammatica: congiuntivo presente: NCB2Esercizi p. 9 es 9-10; NCC1 p. 29 es. 6h; NCC1Esercizi p. 9 es. 10b; Uni.Italiapp. 74-75, es. 20, 21 

h/w: leggere Daria Bignardi, “Non vi lascerò orfani” (Caleidoscopio96-99), p.99 es. 1, 2 per iscritto.


23 ottobrePresentazione: il 1968, la contestazione giovanile

Lettura + discussione(dai compiti): Daria Bignardi

Grammatica: congiuntivo presente (Uni.Italia76-77, es. 23, 24, 26)

Ascolto:“Il Sessantotto” (Uni.Italia, 122-123)

h/w: writing assignment


24 otttobre:Ascolto: “Il gergo giovanile e i dialetti” (NCC1pp. 58-59) (2 hrs)

Reserve a conversation time for next week Thursday and the following week!


Wk 6

28 ottobreWriting assignment 2: riassumere e paragonare le 3 fonti di informazione sul 1968

Video: Andrea Vitali (NCC1p.52, es. 6c)

Lettura: Andrea Vitali, Un amore di zitella(NCC152-53)

Lettura + grammatica (condizionale): “Un volto da bambino” (NCC138-39, es. 1h, 1i, 1l, 1m)

Grammatica:condizionale (NCC1 Esercizi p. 10, es. 1a)

h/w:“La provincia italiana” (NCC1p. 49 leggere; p. 50 es. 5b, 5d; per iscritto); guardare la pubblicità della Rai (NCC1p.57 es.3)


30 ottobre

Discussione:I dialetti regionali - pubblicità della Rai,NCC1pp. 56-57

Grammatica: passato remoto, imperfetto, trapassato:Andrea Vitali, Olive comprese(NCC1Esercizi p. 14, es. 8);“La casalinga di Voghera” (NCC1Esercizi p.16 es.10)

Video:Scialla!(2012), NCC1p.60 es. 2b

Lettura: Recensione del film (NCC1p.61)

h/w: domande sulla lettura (NCC1p.62, es. 2d, 2f, 2g); pronomi relativi (NCC1p. 63, es. 2h, 2i; Esercizi p. 20, es. 2, 3)


31 ottobre: TalkAbroad Conversation 4 (come sono cambiati i dialetti italiani?)


Wks 7-8: Economy, precariato, and the new Italian university


Wk 7

4 novembre

Quiz 3

Grammatica:pronomi relativi (dai compiti)

Lettura: “Il dialetto tiene” (NCC1p.65; Appendice p.254); p.66-67 es. 3g, i, l

h/w: leggere e scrivere: “Lavoro? Oggi no” (NCC1pp. 84-86, es. 2c, d, e, f, g, h); preparare grammatica


6 novembre

Presentazione: L’università italiana 

Discussione: “Lavoro? Oggi no” (NCC1pp.84-86) 

Grammatica: congiuntivo e indicativo (NCC1Esercizi, p. 24 es. 10) 

Lettura e scrittura: “Scrivere una lettera formale” (NCC1pp. 77-78); NCC1Esercizi p. 25, es. 11, 12   

Lettura: Giorgio Ponte, Io sto con Marta!(Mondadori, 2014), pp.7-11  


7 novembre: TalkAbroad Conversation 5 (com’è la vita per i neolaureati italiani/americani?)


Wk 8

11 novembre: FESTA


13 novembreWriting assignment 3: formal letter

Video:Circuito chiuso(NCC1p.84)

Lettura: “San Precario” (NCC1p.87)  

Lessico – contratti di lavoro:NCC1Esercizi, p.27  

Grammatica: futuro, futuro anteriore, condizionale passato NCC1p. 89 es. 3e, f; Esercizi p. 28 es. 4a 

h/w:leggere “Schiavi delle tecnologie?” pp. 92-93; es. 5b (1-4 per iscritto), 5c (connettivi retorici); scrivere un breve riassunto del testo 5c


14 novembre: Ascolto:“Cervelli in fuga” NCC1p. 88 es. 3b

Reserve a conversation time for next week Thursday!



Wks 9-10: Literature, media, and mafia

Wk 9

18 novembrePresentazione: Gli anni di piombo 

Lettura (dai compiti):p.93 es. 5c – la tecnologia (connettivi retorici)  

Grammatica: ne; ripasso congiuntivo (NCC1 pp. 94-95 es. 5h, 5l; Esercizi p.31 es. 9) 

Ascolto, discussione, lessico: “Come cambia l’università” (NCC1pp. 97-99, es. 6b, 6d; Esercizi p.31 es.8) 

h/w: Film da guardare a casa: I cento passi


20 novembre

Discussionedel film  

Lettura: Biografia di Giuseppe Impastato (handout)  

Grammatica: congiuntivo imperfetto e trapassato (NCC1Esercizi, pp.36-37 es. 6a, 7);   connettivi retorici (wksht sulla mafia)  

h/w: Film da guardare a casa: La mafia uccide solo d’estate


21 novembre: TalkAbroad Conversation 6 (come dovrebbe rispondere il governo alle organizzazioni criminali?)


Wk 10

25 novembre  Presentazione: Tangentopoli 

Discussionedel film  

Grammatica: congiuntivo imperfetto e trapassato (p.114 es.3m); forma passiva (NCC1Esercizi p.35 es. 2, 3) 

h/w: writing assignment – Il 1992 fu l’anno che cambiò l’Italia: riassunto e risposta


27 novembreWriting assignment 4

Lettura: Roberto Saviano, Gomorra(Caleidoscopio, 135-139) con spezzoni dal film

Ascolto: “Stare connessi” intervista con Beppe Severgnini (NCC1122 es. 6c)

Grammatica: negazione e indefiniti (NCC1p.125; Esercizi p.41 es. 14)

h/w: connettivi retorici NCC1 Esercizi p.31 es.8



Wk 11: Review and final quiz

2 dicembre: review

4 dicembre: Quiz 4

Catalog Description: 
Advanced Italian language study through authentic cultural documents. Prerequisite: either ITAL 203 or ITAL 234. Offered: A.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
August 2, 2019 - 10:31pm