A beginner’s introduction to Italian

Module details

  • Offered to 1st & 2nd Years
  • Monday or Tuesday 16.00-18.00 (depending on year of study)
  • South Kensington Campus
  • 2 term module worth 7.5 ECTS
  • Not available as part of I-Explore
  • Extra Credit or Degree Credit where your department allows
Degree credit module options by departmentHow to enrol

A communicative module for absolute beginners offering an introduction to the language and culture of Italy. 

  • To give students with no previous knowledge of Italian an introduction to the everyday language spoken in the Italian speaking countries including a fairly wide range of vocabulary and basic structures
  • To develop all the fundamental language skills, i.e. reading, writing, listening and speaking
  • To offer students insight into culture and daily life in Italy

By the end of the module, students should have reached approximately the A1+ level of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

To be eligible for this module you need to have no previous experience in learning Italian. 

Information blocks

Learning outcomes

Colosseum in Rome This module will equip you with the ability to:

  • Greet people and introduce yourself
  • Identify countries and nationalities
  • Give information on and enquire about profession, study and personal details; talk about work
  • Describe friends, family and pets
  • Deal with numbers, tell the time and the date
  • Interact in a simple way in everyday situations
  • Describe daily routine
  • Make a telephone call
  • Ask for and give directions; describe places; enquire about public transport
  • Request permission
  • Agree and disagree
  • Ask for information; understand and give instructions
  • Make appointments and bookings
  • Write a postcard, letter or an email
  • Identify some of the social and cultural characteristics of Italy
  • Talk about home; describe rooms and rent accommodation
  • Shop for food; order drinks and snacks; understand recipes and Italian eating habits
  • Choose and buy presents, clothes and shoes
  • Describe what people are doing
  • Describe past actions
  • Talk about film, TV and sport
  • Make suggestions and invitations
  • Go to the doctor and explain health problems
  • Give reasons, advice and make comparisons

Indicative core content

Florence Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore Basic linguistic structures to include:

  • Present
  • Continuous present
  • Present perfect tense
  • Articles
  • Regular and irregular verbs
  • Negatives
  • Possessive adjectives
  • Prepositions and articulated prepositions
  • Adjectives and adverbs
  • Modal verbs
  • Reflexives
  • Comparative forms
  • Introduction to direct and indirect object pronouns
  • Impersonal verbs and expressions


  • Making contact
  • Everyday objects
  • Eating and drinking
  • Leisure
  • The home
  • Sickness and health
  • Everyday life
  • In the town
  • Italian culture, art and history


  • Coursework 40% - 5 pieces of written coursework (may include in-class tests)
  • Written examination 40% - Two-hour written examination at the end of the Spring term
  • Oral examination 20% - A 10-minute oral examination at the end of the module

Key information

  • 7.5 ECTS points awarded on successful completion of the module.
  • Available to take for credit towards your degree where your department allows. Also available for extra-credit.
  • You must be prepared to attend all classes and and undertake approximately 3 hours of private study each week in addition to the assessment.

Coursebook: Italian 1, MacMillan Foundation Languages, (Third Edition 2016). By M. Benetti, C. Testi, C. Varchetta. IBSN 9781137579218.

NB The Italian Bookshop offers a 10% discount to Imperial Horizons students.

"Good start to Italian. The workload is such that we cover a good amount of content without the work being difficult to balance alongside Mathematics."