Italian Language Courses and Training Programs
Italian language courses incorporate elementary, intermediate and advanced levels of linguistic study, focusing on speaking, reading, writing and listening. Additionally, several courses teach various aspects of Italian culture, such as literature and film.
List of Common Courses
Elementary or beginning Italian provides the foundation for further language study. The curriculum usually focuses on the four major disciplines of foreign language education: speaking, reading, writing and listening comprehension. Most elementary Italian courses incorporate some instruction in Italian culture and history as supplemental material. These courses are taught in Italian and are typically offered over the course of an academic year.
Also usually offered over the course of an academic year, the intermediate level focuses on refining and strengthening the skills gained in elementary Italian. The four foreign language disciplines continue to govern the curriculum in which students complete more intensive assignments, such as oral presentations, written compositions and the study of Italian texts. Knowledge of Italian culture is deepened as students develop skills by interacting with more primary materials.
Advanced Conversation and Composition
Advanced students are expected to develop and demonstrate full integration of Italian speaking, writing, reading and listening comprehension in classroom conversation and written assignments. Cultural and historical aspects of Italian study shape language assignments. This level of an Italian language program is the most variable by specific institution. Some colleges approach it as a typical 2-semester advanced Italian course, while others offer advanced language study through Italian opera, film or even a creative writing workshop in a 1-semester format.
Some courses in Italian literature are offered by language departments, in which case they're directed toward advanced students and taught in Italian; others are comparative literature courses taught in English using translations. Courses in Italian literature are very diverse. Survey courses provide an overview of general trends in Italian literature, while other courses may focus on a specific theme, author, genre or style. Some schools offer in-depth Italian literature courses that can extend three semesters, covering a literary topic through different historical periods.
A national contribution to the art form, Italian cinema is frequently emphasized in advanced language studies, as well as in film studies programs. Students are exposed to the history of Italian film and great directors, such as Rossellini, Antonioni and Bertolucci. Courses may also examine film styles and the influence of film on modern culture. Depending on the focus of the program, courses in Italian cinema may be taught in English or Italian.
In addition to college courses, Italian language courses can be found at university extension programs, cultural centers and private language schools. Extension programs generally offer the elementary, intermediate and conversational levels of study, and some schools offer study abroad programs, as well. Cultural centers and private language schools typically offer all levels of language study with an emphasis on conversation and options for those planning on travel in Italy. Cultural education is typically incorporated into language courses of all levels.
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