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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 & Culture- Advanced language through contemporary culture

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. We study a wide variety of audio-visual and printed materials that cover many aspects of Italian life, learning to comment (in writing and speaking) on those materials. Reading and listening material, as well as class assignments, gradually gain in length and complexity. Through small research projects, we 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 focus on producing a well-written argument on a topic of interest.

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



Short writing assignments (500-600w) are turned in, corrected, and then revised and resubmitted the following week. In addition, students will complete brief weekly responses to the readings (250-400w). At the start of week 2, we will assign 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). A final exam will cover all portions of the syllabus, including the research presentations. Class participation and preparation are essential, and will include written and oral exercises.


Grade breakdown

Class participation, preparation, exercises    20%

Weekly short writing assignments                 15%

Writing assignments (first draft)                     20%

Writing assignments (corrected draft)            10%

Research presentation                                   15%

Final exam                                                      20%


Textbook(to be 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


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