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ITALIAN 1Z06A Beginner's Intensive Italian

Academic Year: Fall 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 2-3pm or by appointment

Course Objectives:

This foundational blended 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 aspects of Italian culture (with emphasis on mainstream culture as opposed to high culture): language and identity, immigration, gender roles and the north/south divide.

The online lectures will consist of grammar explanation and the lectures will consist of the discussion of readings and guided language and culture activities. Contemporary Italian films and short articles are the primary texts studied for cultural and language content. Classes will be conducted in Italian as much as possible with some English used. Due to the very high student/teacher ratio (100+/1) this is not a conversation course. Students will study the sounds and rhythms of the language through film and some music but will learn primarily to read and write (learn new vocabulary; learn how to analyze, interpret and use Italian grammar; learn how to summarize, formulate questions and answers on written and visual materials in Italian). Students who wish to converse are encouraged to take Italian 2Z03/2ZZ3 after the completion of this course.


  • LECTURE (Thursdays):

This course is delivered in blended format. Two hours are reserved for lecture a week but the Thursday slot will be used for lecture. Please note that there are four film viewings that will require the extra Monday hour in a given week (see syllabus).  

We will use the cultural reader (provided free of charge on Avenue) with articles and vocabulary lists in lecture. You will complete 15 Online Participation Activities [online in class] through Avenue during lecture (see syllabus). These activities are timed and can only be done in class (this is a participation credit). Please view syllabus and read through the material before class. Please engage in active note taking in lecture during the cultural readings and activities done in class and during review of material at home. There are four Writing Projects [in class/hand written] in the course. These are collaborative projects done during the Thursday lecture. These are based on film content, themes and characters and will require you to use the grammar studied to date. Instructions are given in class. These are closed book tests but I provide some vocabulary am always available in class to answer any questions.


There are eleven video grammar lectures with accompanying Grammar Quizzes [online at home]. The Grammar Quizzes [online at home] allow you to review concepts learned. There is no time limit and you are given unlimited attempts but these do have a due date. 

The Film and Grammar Tests [online at home] include both grammar and cultural content studied in course (readings and film). Tests are timed for 50 minutes and you are allowed only one attempt. Study for these as you would any test. If you are not familiar enough with the material, you will likely run out of time.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Course Reader: D’Angelo, Wendy. INTRODUCTORY ITALIAN LANGUAGE THROUGH FILM. 2017 (available in PressBooks through Avenue to Learn: FREE)

Grammar Lessons: D’Angelo, Wendy. ITALIAN 1Z06 GRAMMAR LECTURES. 2017 (available in both video lecture on Avenue to Learn: FREE)

Method of Assessment:

Grammar Quizzes [online at home] (x11) 30% (Weekly)

Online Participation Activities [online in class] (x15)  20% (Weekly)

Film and Grammar Tests [online at home] (x4) 30%  (October 2, November 20, February 5, March 19)

Writing Projects [in class/hand written] (x4) 20% (October, 5, November 23, February 8, March 22)

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 handwritten and supervised exam) given at year end (date and location: TBA) to count toward any missed/late assignments (tests, writing projects, quizzes). 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:


Compiti (Homework/self study)

lunedì 3,30-4,20

giovedì 3,30-4,20


Linguistic and Cultural Variation in Italy

7 settembre

Download your class reader from Avenue and read syllabus and course outline.

No classes


How the course works;

Italian alphabet/orthography;

Tips on reading in Italian


11 e 14 settembre

Grammar Lecture 1

Italian Alphabet/Orthography/ Nouns and Articles (The Noun Phrase )

Online Grammar Quiz 1


Reading: I dialetti e le culture italiche

Online Participation Activity 1 [online in class]

18 e 21 settembre

Grammar Lecture 2

Verbs and Subject Pronouns

Online Grammar Quiz 2

Film Viewing: Lacreme Napuletane

Please come to lecture today.


Film Viewing: Lacreme Napuletane

Online Participation Activity 2 [online in class]

25 e 28 settembre

Grammar Lecture 3

Other parts of speech (Adjectives, Adverbs, Prepositions) 

Online Grammar Quiz 3

Tutoring available today (MDCL 1105).

Online Participation Activity 3 [online in class]

2 e 5  



Online TEST 1

You will do this at home.

In Class Written Assignment 1

9 e 12





PAUSA (Break)

PAUSA (Break)



Post WW2 Italy and the Economic Miracle

16 e 19


Grammar Lecture 4

Present tense and verbs. Word order in declarative and interrogative statements. Review of interrogative expressions (who, what, why, when, where, how?/ chi, che, perché, quando, dove, come?)

Online Grammar Quiz 4


Reading: Il miracolo economico e l’Italia del dopoguerra

Online Participation Activity 4 [online in class]

23 e 26


Grammar Lecture 5 

More on the present tense and verbs. Word order in declarative and interrogative statements. Review of interrogative words.

Online Grammar Quiz 5



Online Participation Activity 5 [online in class]

30 ottobre

e 2 novembre

Grammar Lecture 6 

Double Verb Constructions I: Modal Verbs (volere potere, dovere; conoscere, sapere and verbs with the prepositions ‘a’ and ‘di’)

Online Grammar Quiz 6

Film Viewing: Cinema Paradiso

Please come to lecture today.


Film Viewing: Cinema Paradiso

6 e 9




Online Participation Activity 6 [online in class]

13 e 16



Tutoring available today (MDCL 1105).

Online Participation Activity 7 [online in class]

20 e 23



Online TEST 2

You will do this at home.

In Class Written Assignment 2





No class


Emigration, Immigration 

and Identity

4 gennaio



First day back after break

Review of concepts covered


8 e 11


Grammar Lecture 7

Prepositions / Contracted prepositions

Online Grammar Quiz 7


Reading: Emigrazione, immigrazione e identità

Online Participation Activity 8 [online in class]

15 e 18


Grammar Lecture 8 

Direct and indirect object pronouns (piacere)


Online Grammar Quiz 8

Film Viewing: Pane e Cioccolata

Please come to lecture today.


Film Viewing: Pane e Cioccolata


22 e 25 


Grammar Lecture 9

Past Tenses (passato prossimo and imperfetto) [Direct object pronouns with compound tenses/recognition of passato remoto]

Online Grammar Quiz 9


Online Participation Activity 9 [online in class]

29 gennaio 

e 1 febbraio


Tutoring available today (MDCL 1105).

Online Participation Activity 10 [online in class]

5 e 8 



Online TEST 3

You will do this at home.

In Class Written Assignment 3


Women’s Voices

12 e 15 


Grammar Lecture 10

Relative pronouns and Indefinites

Online Grammar Quiz 10


Reading: I diritti delle donne

Online Participation Activity 11 [online in class]

19 e 22 



PAUSA (Break)

PAUSA (Break)

26 febbraio

 e 1 marzo

Grammar Lecture 11

Passive and Active Voice

Online Grammar Quiz 11

Film Viewing: Pane e Tulipani

Please come to lecture today.


Film Viewing: Pane e Tulipani 


5 e 8 




Online Participation Activity 12 [online in class]

12 e 15



Tutoring available today (MDCL 1105).

Online Participation Activity 13 [online in class]

19 e 22



Online TEST 4

You will do this at home.

In Class Written Assignment 4

26 e 29 


REVIEW characters and locations of films


Tour of Italy

Online Participation Activity 14 [online in class]

2 e 5 


REVIEW/READ Music in course reader



Online Participation Activity 15 [online in class]

9 aprile


Classes end