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Durham University

Faculty Handbook 2022-2023

Module Description

Please ensure you check the module availability box for each module outline, as not all modules will run each academic year.

Department: Centre for Foreign Language Study


Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Not available in 2022/23 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • • Successful completion of Italian Stage 2 or Grade B or above in AS level Italian or a qualification at the equivalent to A2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), subject to decision by the Italian language coordinator. No higher Italian language entry qualification permitted


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Any Core Language Module offered by the School of Modern Languages and Cultures.


  • To review, consolidate and further develop knowledge of main aspects of the Italian language.
  • To enable students to improve their Italian language skills effectively.
  • To enable students to communicate competently on a variety of general topics.
  • To foster an understanding of contemporary Italian society and institutions.
  • To develop presentation skills in Italian.
  • To develop essay writing.


  • Most functional and notional topics studied at this level will be determined by the main course book.
  • Class materials will be supplemented by handouts and digital resources
  • Oral activities will promote the basis for developing confidence, flexibility and fluency in conversations.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On successful completion of this module learners will be able to:
  • demonstrate the ability to carry out basic research in the target language and present an oral and written summary;
  • demonstrate some knowledge of the main aspects of Italian current social affairs;
  • demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the cultures and societies in Italy gained through the study of cultural products;
  • demonstrate a reasonable knowledge and understanding of the main Italian linguistic principles, structures and registers.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • write essays related to both personal and social spheres, expressing and discussing views;
  • enter unprepared into conversation and issues related to the topics studied in class;
  • understand the main points of selected radio or TV programmes on current affairs or topics of personal or professional interest;
  • understand and report on the main points of clear standard speech and authentic aural passages on current affairs, customs and social issues in Italy;
  • relate a series of events and take part in semi-structured discussion on current affairs, customs and social issues;
  • apply a range of grammatical principles;
  • make effective use of references material such as grammars and dictionaries;
  • use a range of language learning techniques and skills effectively by independently developing strategies to extend their lexis and knowledge of grammar.
Key Skills:
  • give an oral presentation in Italian;
  • discuss the plot of a book or a film;
  • write an essay demonstrating the ability to organise ideas in a logical and coherent sequence in sustained prose and critically analyse arguments;
  • communicate information, ideas and arguments both orally and in writing;
  • gather, process and reference information from a variety of paper, audio-visual and electronic resources;
  • use IT effectively both as a means of communication and as an aid to learning;
  • deal effectively with a variety of situations whilst abroad.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • This module is delivered through seminar style classes and multimedia lab sessions.
  • Contact time will be used to introduce new material and provide the students with high quality target language input from the module tutor and multimedia sources.
  • In preparation for each session students will be expected to revise new material and complete formative language exercises.
  • The assessment scheme for this module is designed to test students' level of attainment in language production (speaking and writing) and reception (listening and reading).
  • In order to reflect the continuous nature of the language learning process the module will be assessed by a combination of formative and summative in-course assessment and by formal written examination.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 40 2 per week 1 hour 40
Practical Lab Classes 10 Fortnightly 1 hour 10
Preparation and Reading 150
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Language Tasks Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
In-class Assessment (Week 20) 45 minutes 100% Yes
Component: Reading and Writing Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Controlled Assessment (Week 10) 60 minutes 30% No
Controlled Assessment (Week 20) 60 minutes 70% Yes
Component: Speaking and Listening Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual oral assessment with pre-prepared listening tasks (Weeks 21-22) 15 minutes 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Regular homework/assignments will be given to the students to practise and consolidate what they have done in class and to prepare the following session, some of which will be submitted and marked as formative assignments and regular feedback will be given to the students accordingly.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University

If you have a query about a specific module or degree programme, please contact the appropriate department.

If you have a question about Durham's modular degree programmes, please visit our FAQ webpage. If you have a question about modular programmes that is not covered by the FAQ, or a query about the on-line Faculty Handbook, please contact us using the Comments and Questions form below.