Learning Outcomes for Writing

Learning Outcomes for Intensive Basic Italian

Writing tasks at the Intensive Basic Italian level are thematically and functionally related to units of the textbook in use. Although they are relatively simple and brief, they provide students with an opportunity to apply vocabulary and grammar structures acquired during the semester. The texts are centered on interpersonal everyday communication and consist of short descriptions (about students themselves, others, places) posted on the web, personal letters in forms of e-mails and personal narratives such as diary entries in an informal register addressed to peers or acquaintances. During the course of the semester students are exposed to materials (i.e. short web-based texts, e-mails, postings on social networks) to model and reproduce. Also, each writing task is the result of pre-writing activities as well as additional oral practice performed in class such as role-play or group practice. Feedback is provided by the teacher and students write two drafts of their composition.

LANGUAGE FOCI

Particular focus is given to the sentence level as far as syntax, lexicon, orthography, but also to link sentences through discourse connectors. The foci of attention are:

  • The use of gender, number and on noun-adjective and noun-verb agreement);
  • The use of verb conjugations, verb tenses (present, past, future) as well as tense and aspect;
  • The ability to express pronominal reference correctly, but most of all to connect sentences into paragraphs using simple connectors indicating cause, consequence, temporal relations and simple textual functions such as adding information and contrasting ideas;
  • The correct use of common orthographic conventions such as the placing of accents, the correct spelling of the words that they have learned and the use of simple punctuation, but errors in spelling and punctuation are still expected.
  • The production of informal openings, and closings in letters and e-mails, of some specific expressions related to textual genres and the use of some idiomatic expressions typical of an informal register.

 

WRITING PERFORMANCE

At the end of Intensive Basic Italian students are able to produce short writing tasks in which they:

  • Provide information about their everyday life;
  • Produce descriptions of self and others (appearance and personality traits), places, everyday actions 
  • Recount personal experience events in the past.

Language level

Students are able to write brief texts employing the lexicon that they have studied, in the present or past with generally correct noun, gender and verb agreement, although they will make mistakes in these areas. They employ generally correct spelling and punctuation.

Textual level

Students are able to produce texts that present cohesion at the paragraph level, using a variety of connectors pertaining to an informal register expressing relations of time, cause-consequence, and some discourse relations such as adding information.

Genre

Students are able to follow the proper conventions for genres typical of informal communication (such as e-mails, postings on social networks and personal messages) managing openings and closings and the appropriate register.

Individual voice development

Students are able to creatively apply writing models studied to their own experience and to show intercultural sensitivity in their texts by demonstrating awareness of cultural differences.

Learning Outcomes for Intensive Intermediate Italian

PEDAGOGICAL ACTIVITIES

Writing tasks at the Intensive Intermediate Italian level are thematically and functionally related to the material covered during the semester. The texts used as models consist of blog postings, personal letters in form of e-mail messages in which students give opinions and ask for advice, reviews of movies and fairy tales. The tasks develop around two objectives that build on the work done in the previous semester: combining description of peoples and places with narration of experiences and events, and informing, giving opinion, advice and making generalizations based on personal experience. During the course of the semester students are exposed to materials (i.e. short web-based texts such as blogs posted on social networks and newspaper/magazine articles, and reviews) to model. The compositions are guided. Teachers present models of writing and focus the attention of students on the characteristics of specific genres (the conventions used for a forum post, the parts of a film review and the structure of a fable) and work on connectives and textual units and on the building blocks of different textual genres (for example plot summary). Feedback is provided by the teacher and students write two drafts of their composition. A second and final draft includes revisions made according to the teachers’ recommendations and suggestions. Drafting and peer review are introduced. The lexicon used in the texts is related to the units in the textbook, but new lexicon on fairy tales is introduced as well.

LANGUAGE FOCI

The focus given is both on the sentence level as far as syntax, lexicon, orthography and on the discourse level as far as students are introduced to genre specific conventions. The foci of attention are:

  • The ability to express pronominal reference correctly, but most of all to connect sentences into paragraphs using a greater variety of connectors than in the previous level indicating cause, consequence, temporal relations and simple textual functions such as adding information, exemplifying and contrasting ideas;
  • The use of the following verb tenses present, past, future, and conditional, continuous and non continuous aspect and indicative and subjunctive modes;
  • The use of subordinate structures with verbs of thinking, adversative and concessive constructions with simple connectors (example: phrases introduced with ma, anche se+ indicative).
  • The construction of textual structures at a higher level than in Basic, such as introductions, conclusions and summaries of main events (in different kinds of texts).
  • The correct use of common orthographic conventions such as the placing of accents, the correct spelling of the words that they have learned and the use of punctuation;

WRITING PERFORMANCE

At the end of Intensive Intermediate Italian students are able to produce relatively brief texts in which they:

  • Provide information not only about their everyday life but also about social issues;
  • Describe self and others
  • Narrate personal and fictional events
  • Make comparisons regarding people, places and things;
  • Provide advice and suggestions
  • Express opinions, doubts on everyday issues
  • Evaluate characters and events in movies or stories

Language level

Students are able to produce relatively brief texts using the present, past, future, and different kinds of modality, with generally correct noun, gender and verb agreement, using the lexicon that they have studied, with generally correct spelling and punctuation. At this stage however, errors in all these aspects are still present.

Textual level

Students are able to produce brief argumentative, narrative and expository texts that present an acceptable level of cohesion at the sentence, paragraph, and discourse level. They are able to link different parts of their texts coherently. although textual structures are still simple. They also correctly employ common connectors expressing relations of time, cause-consequence, comparison, and discourse relations such as adding information, conceding, exemplifying.

Genre

Students are able to write texts that follow the proper conventions for genres typical of informal communication (such as web postings), and more formal communications (such as a film review) managing openings and closings and the appropriate register. They are also able to write a fable following the proper structure of this genre.

Individual voice development

Students are able to creatively apply writing models studied to express themselves and comment on their own experience. They show awareness of intercultural differences and of cultural and social structures typical of Italy. They also use language creatively in simple fictional texts.

Learning Outcomes for Advanced I

PEDAGOGICAL ACTIVITIES

All writing tasks (temi) produced in Advanced I are thematically related to units of the textbook. The material presented in class consists of literary texts, newspaper and web based articles and opinion pieces, reviews of movies. These written texts are embedded in content based units focused on topics related to life in modern Italy that weave together different activities such as watching movies, listening to interviews and T.V. reports, discussing social issues. A major focus of this level is on the topic of immigration. Writing task include pre-writing and post-writing activities. Instruction focuses on practicing the structure of different kinds of essays: a comparison of two short stories, an information article on immigration in Italy and a brief film review. Compositions are still guided in terms of the content and structure.

Feedback is provided by the teacher through a common grid and by other students through peer reviewing. Students write two drafts of their compositions.

LANGUAGE FOCI

Particular focus is given to the analysis of texts and films and on the development of critical awareness. The main foci of attention are:

  • The use of subordination with the subjunctive with verbs of opinion, generalization with the passive si, temporal ordering of events mainly in the presente, imperfetto and passato prossimo or predictions in the future.
  • The use of different kinds of coordinate and subordinate constructions (such as cause, consequence, concessive, adversatives) that relate to the building of arguments.
  • The use of specialized lexicon for talking about cinema and literature.
  • The basic structure of academic essays: introduction, body and conclusion.

WRITING PERFORMANCE

At the end of this level students are able to produce a variety of essays with a critical analytical focus addressed to a non-specialized public or to an academic audience (teacher and peers) in which they present factual information, summarize content, build arguments, express opinions and critically expose the main messages of films and short literary texts.

Language level

Students are able to produce essays and other kinds of texts using all major tenses and modes, generally correct noun, gender and verb agreement, using specialized lexicon. At this stage they will make some errors in morphology and syntax, but orthography, punctuation and spelling will be generally.correct.

Textual level

Students are able to produce texts that present coherence and cohesion at the discourse level, correctly managing and connecting different parts of their essays. They properly manage introduction, body and conclusion in their essays and employ a variety of connectors expressing relations of time, cause-consequence, comparison, and discourse relations such as adding information, conceding, exemplifying.

Genre

Students follow the appropriate conventions, including proper register, structure and vocabulary for different kinds of genres: the film review as it may appear on a website, the information/opinion piece for a non specialized audience and the academic essay.

Individual voice development

Students are able to show critical awareness in judging the artistic value of short literary texts and to express their own point of view on social issues. They show intercultural sensitivity in their texts.

Learning Outcomes for Advanced II

PEDAGOGICAL ACTIVITIES

All writing tasks (temi) produced in Advanced I are thematically related to units of the text book. As in Advanced I, the materials presented in class consists of literary texts, newspaper and web based articles and opinion pieces, reviews of movies. These written texts are embedded in content based units focused on topics related to life in modern Italy that weave together different activities such as watching movies, listening to interviews and t.v. reports, discussing social issues. A major focus of this level is on historical events that impacted modern Italy: fascism and World War II in Italy and on related artistic trends, in particular neorealism. Writing task include pre-writing and post-writing activities. Feedback is provided by the teacher through a common grid and by other students through peer reviewing. Students write two drafts of their compositions. Instruction focuses on practicing different kinds of academic essays and on developing critical awareness about artistic and social issues.

LANGUAGE FOCI

The main foci of attention are:

  • The use of coordination and subordination with verbs of opinion, generalization with the passive constructions.
  • Reporting through direct and indirect speech, temporal ordering of events in the past.
  • The use of specialized lexicon related to film and to the analysis of rhetorical devices.

WRITING PERFORMANCE

At the end of Advanced Italian II students are able to produce 2-3 pages long academic essays presenting brief analyses and interpretation of poems, films or literary texts. The most common register used in the writings is formal/academic. The audience is non-specialized/academic and includes fellow students and teacher.

Language level

Students are able to produce essays using all major tenses and modes with increased sophistication with respect to the previous semester in terms of the use of complex syntax. They employ mostly correct noun, gender and verb agreement, using specialized lexicon. At this stage they make few errors in morphology and syntax, but orthography, punctuation and spelling will be correct.

Textual level

Students are able to write texts that present overall coherence and cohesion at the discourse level, with an adequate development of and connection between different parts of their essay: summary, interpretation and commentary. They correctly employ a variety of connectors belonging to a formal and informal register expressing relations of time, cause-consequence, comparison, and discourse relations such as adding information, conceding, exemplifying. They are able to integrate background information about the topics or authors treated into their arguments.

Genre

Follow the appropriate conventions for writing academic essays addressed to a non specialist audience, including the conventions for analyzing poems. They use specialized lexicon related to cinema and literature.

Individual voice development

Students are able to express their own critical view about texts and events. They show appreciation of intercultural differences and express a deeper understanding of the specificity of historical events and artistic movements in Italy.

Learning Outcomes for the Minor

KNOWLEDGE

Students will have acquired the fundamentals of Italian grammar and syntax. They will know the vocabulary for everyday communication and the specialized vocabulary of some areas of knowledge. They will be acquainted with the sociolinguistic situation in Italy and with the history of the development of the national language. They will know how social life is organized in Italy in terms of family life, transactional encounters, education and entertainment. They will be familiarized with geographical divisions in regions and with main tourist sites. They will be familiar with main artistic trends in the past and present in the country. They will know main Italian traditions and elements of its economic organization. They will be familiar with key moments in Italian history and with important social questions that take centre stage in Italian life: migration, the north-south division, youth unemployment.

SKILLS

Reading: Students will identify the main ideas in a text, understand detailed information, the pragmatic meanings and the different perspectives expressed by authors in a variety of texts in authentic contexts of appearance such as print (newspaper articles, academic and technical essays, literary texts such as novels and short stories) and mediated communication (e-mails, web pages, web encyclopedia entries, etc.). They will distinguish common textual genres.

Writing: Students will write a variety of texts belonging to different genres with good orthography and syntactic accuracy. They will write in paragraphs with appropriate connections to indicate different logical relations and be able to follow the organization conventions of different textual genres. They will manage the main communicative functions: describe, narrate, express feelings and emotions, argument. They will be able to use different time frames. They will produce a variety of genres: from personal e-mails and online profiles, to book and film reviews, to fairy tales, to brief academic essays on topics that go from the personal sphere to more general, abstract questions such as social or environmental problems. They will show critical awareness about ideas and styles expressed in texts and social issues by expressing their opinion, making comparisons, contrasts and evaluations.

Listening: Students will understand and recognize the main ideas, detailed information, the pragmatic meanings and the different perspectives expressed in a variety of speech genres delivered at natural speed in Standard Italian and Italian with a regional accent in authentic contexts such as face to face interaction, t.v. and mediated communication. Such speech genres include informal conversation, lectures in academic environments, songs, interviews, news reports, films and documentaries.

Speaking: Students will produce a variety of oral genres speaking fluently, with syntactic accuracy and adequate pronunciation in a variety of formal and informal situations. They will manage the main communicative functions: describe, narrate, express emotions and personal perspectives, argument They will be able to communicate in informal conversation, in transactional encounters, in academic environments on a variety of topics from personal to more general, abstract questions such as social or environmental problems. They will be able to comment and express opinions on texts and topics to which they have been exposed.

Interpersonal communication: Students will be able to resolve communication breakdowns, self and other repair, expand on something said previously and explain themselves when necessary. They will manage efficiently the routines of everyday communication such as greeting people, leave taking both in formal and informal environments.

Research and critical skills: Students will be able to carry out research projects investigating a variety of cultural and literary themes. They will move beyond personal reactions to examine cultural productions in their specific historical, social, and artistic contexts. They will begin to situate their perspectives in relation with those already existing, and be able to discuss evidence to support or revise their interpretations.

ENGAGEMENTS

Students will show sensitivity towards and value cultural diversity. They will make connections between newly acquired knowledge in Italian culture and society and other disciplines or fields. They will engage with projects involving research and contribute personal perspectives to discussions and reflections.

Learning Outcomes for the Major

KNOWLEDGE

Students will have acquired a good knowledge of Italian grammar, syntax and both everyday vocabulary and the vocabulary of specialized areas of knowledge. They will be acquainted with different styles and registers. They will be acquainted with the sociolinguistic situation in Italy and with the history of the development of the national language. They will know how social life is organized in Italy in terms of family life, transactional encounters, education and entertainment. They will be familiarized with geographical divisions in regions and with main tourist sites. They will be familiar with the main authors and artistic trends in Italian literature and with different theoretical approaches to literature and culture. They will know main Italian traditions and elements of its economic organization. They will be familiar with key moments in Italian history and with important social questions that take center stage in Italian life: migration, the north-south division, youth unemployment.

Skills

Reading: Students will identify the main ideas in a text, understand detailed information, the pragmatic meanings and the different perspectives expressed by authors in a variety of texts in authentic contexts of appearance such as print (newspaper articles, academic and technical essays, literary texts such as novels and short stories) and mediated communication (e-mails, web pages, web encyclopedia entries, etc.). They will understand the relation between a) the individual text and the genre to which it belongs and/or transgresses. b) The individual text and its broader context

Writing: Students will write a variety of texts belonging to different genres with good orthography and syntactic accuracy. They will follow the organization conventions of different textual genres. They will manage the main communicative functions: describe, narrate, express feelings and emotions, argument. They will be able to use different time frames. They will produce a variety of genres: from personal e-mails and online profiles, to book and film reviews, to fairy tales, to essays on topics that go from the personal sphere to more general, abstract questions such as social or environmental problems. They will show critical awareness about ideas and styles expressed in texts and social issues by expressing their opinion, making comparisons, contrasts and evaluations. They will incorporate literary and critical theories in their written assignments.

Listening: Students will understand and recognize the main ideas, detailed information, the pragmatic meanings and the different perspectives expressed in a variety of speech genres delivered at natural speed in Standard Italian and Italian with a regional accent in authentic contexts such as face to face interaction, T.V. and mediated communication. Such speech genres include informal conversation, lectures in academic environments, songs, interviews, news reports, films and documentaries.

Speaking: Students will produce a variety of oral genres speaking fluently, with syntactic accuracy and adequate pronunciation in a variety of formal and informal situations. They will manage the main communicative functions: describe, narrate, express emotions and personal perspectives, argument They will be able to communicate in informal conversation, in transactional encounters, in academic environments on a variety of topics from personal to more general, abstract questions such as social or environmental problems. They will be able to comment and express opinions on texts and topics and literary and cultural theories to which they have been exposed.

Interpersonal communication: Students will be able to resolve communication breakdowns, self and other repair, expand on something said previously and explain themselves when necessary. They will manage efficiently the routines of everyday communication such as greeting people, leave taking both in formal and informal environments.

Research and critical skills: Students will be able to carry out research projects investigating a variety of cultural and literary themes. They will make connections between different fields of knowledge, evaluate ideas and results and provide their own critical perspectives. Engagements Students will show sensitivity towards and value cultural diversity. They will make connections between newly acquired knowledge in Italian culture and society and other disciplines or fields. They will engage with projects involving research and contribute personal perspectives to discussions and reflections.