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ITALIAN 1Z06B Beginner'sIntensiveItalian

Academic Year: Winter 2017

Term: Multiterm

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Wendy D'Angelo


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 504

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 24780

Office Hours: Thursday 2-3 (please email for appointment)

Course Objectives:

This foundational course in Italian language and culture will give the student the language basics and cultural knowledge needed to start communicating in Italian about events that affect Italians today. The focus will be on contemporary and polemic aspects of Italian culture (with emphasis on mainstream culture as opposed to high culture): language and identity, immigration, mafia and corruption, gender roles and the north/south tension.

The lectures will consist primarily of the presentation, discussion and analysis of grammatical structures and guided language and culture activities based on *authentic primary material in Italian. Contemporary Italian film and music are the authentic primary texts studied for cultural and language content.  Classes will be conducted in Italian as much as possible.

How this Course Works/Tips for Success

Please print and bring with you to class the workbook provided for FREE to you on Avenue. The days we will use the workbook are indicated on the syllabus. This workbook will serve as an important reference for you for the online tests you will take in this course. If you take good notes in class in your workbook, the tests will be much easier to complete. I will guide you through the activities in the manual on those days. This is your chance to study in class collaboratively for the tests and to learn more about the material presented here. We will view six films in this course. Please make sure you come to class to view them. English subtitles are provided. The music lyrics studied in the course are readily available online but we will listen to the songs in class as well.

You will notice that you are not given vocabulary lists for each module as you would in many language classes. You are given instead the translations in English to the materials and guidance from me in lecture on how to ‘take apart’ and analyze the grammar and language in the music lyrics, short articles and film scripts we study in the course. Some vocabulary lists may be provided now and again to serve as a word bank to help you complete a task. If you are unsure of the meaning of a word or an expression you can ask me in class or look it up. I am very happy to explain anything in class and always welcome your questions. When it comes to ‘looking it up’, you will find a few links on Avenue to help you on your way. An online dictionary like Word Reference is excellent for a single word or fixed expression but sometimes a site like can provide more context to a term. You can find these tools under ‘useful links’ on Avenue.

The grammar components of this course are presented in lecture. The required reference book (Soluzioni) for this course is intended as a review tool. In it, you will find useful drills and answer keys to those drills. Each grammar topic is clearly outlined on the syllabus along with page references. It is expected that you will review the grammar topics on your own before and after class and attempt the drills provided in the reference book. You will be responsible for checking your answers to make sure you have understood the lesson correctly. If you have trouble with a concept, please schedule a time to see me and bring with you your attempted work and class notes so I can help you trouble shoot. I will not be able to provide you with feedback unless I see your work. Many students find that it is helpful to come to an instructor’s office hour with specific questions about a topic, an example, or even a question to which they cannot provide an answer (bottom line: I can only help you if you have legitimately invested time in the topic).  This reference book, along with your workbook and class notes will be the only materials (in addition to films and music studied in course) needed for you to successfully complete the online tests.


About testing: Two days per module (each module is 5 weeks) are dedicated to evaluation. You will be tested individually (online tests) and collaboratively (group work). Tests and group work assignments are indicated in red on the syllabus. Attendance is mandatory for the group work assignments but not for the tests since you will submit your tests online through Avenue. If you would like to write your online test in class so you can ask me any questions, you may do so in class time in our lecture. Otherwise, you can happily submit from the comfort of your own home. Tests are open book but have been crafted carefully enough so no copying can be done. Your best bet is to study for the test as you would for any test. Remember that tests are timed for 50 minutes so if you are not familiar enough with the material, you will likely run out of time.


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

De Rome, Denise. SOLUZIONI (3rd ed.), Routledge, 2010.  ISBN 10: 1444101250  ISBN 13: 9781444101256  (Softcover)**

D’Angelo, Wendy. ITALIAN 1Z06 WORKBOOK. 2016 (available free on Avenue to Learn by chapter in each of the five course modules)

*All authentic primary materials and study activities based on film and music are made available at no cost to students through Avenue to Learn and on reserve through Mills (films are shown during lecture as indicated on syllabus but will be placed on reserve in Mills).

**This reference book is required for  grammar practice drills. It can be purchased online from various sellers (used from about $20-50) or through Titles ($62.95). This book will also be used in ITALIAN 2Z03/2ZZ3 as of September 2017.

Method of Assessment:

-Online Tests through Avenue to Learn x 5 = 60% (Dates: October 4, November 15, January 10, February 14, March 28 )

-Group Assignment Projects (in class) x 5 = 25%   (Dates: October 6, November 17, January 12, February 16, March 30)

-Group Web Project x1 = 15% (Due Date: April 3rd)

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

No late work will be accepted. Time extensions are provided only to students with documentation from SAS. This documentation must be presented to the instructor from SAS at the start of term. To avoid penalties, there will be one cumulative make up exam (a two hour written and supervised exam) given at year end (date and location: TBA) to count toward any missed/late assignments (tests, group work and final web project). Appropriate documentation must be submitted to and approved by your faculty (MSAF/advanced notice of religious observance) in order to write the make up exam and have it count towards any missed/late work.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

See syllabus on Avenue.

Other Course Information:

The instructor reserves the right to alter this document.