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ITALIAN 1Z06A Beginner's Intensive Italian (C01)

Academic Year: Fall 2018

Term: Multiterm

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Christina Vani


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 511A

Phone: 905-525-9140 x

Office Hours: Wednesdays @ 10:45 a.m.–11:45 a.m. (and by appointment)

Course Objectives:

Introduction to basic written and spoken Italian through Italian grammar, popular music, written texts, conversation, and audiovisual media (film, music videos, and other video clips). Students will also learn about Italian culture, traditions, and sociopolitical issues while developing their reading, writing, and listening abilities, with some conversation practice. Delivered in a blended format over two terms: lectures and web module (three hours).

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will…

  1. become familiar with the fundamentals of Italian grammar (i.e., present vs. past tenses; nouns vs. verbs; adjectives and adverbs);
  2. gain a basic understanding of Italian contemporary culture, traditions, and society;
  3. become equipped to succeed in parsing simple everyday Italian writing and speech;
  4. acquire high-frequency lexical items for everyday communication and comprehension;
  5. be able to navigate written Italian (news articles, non-fiction, and short stories) with relative ease and build their confidence as readers and writers of Italian;
  6. acquire the ability to initiate basic conversation in Italian allowing them to be prepared to take ITA2Z03 to practise their conversational skills.

Writing Assignments

There will be four writing assignments (100–250 words each, depending on the assignment; students will know beforehand the word count), each worth 5% of your total grade. All writing assignments will be completed on paper during class time (see the schedule at the end of the syllabus). One week before the assignment will be completed in class, you will be informed of two potential topics so that you may practice formulating your written response; you will be responsible for preparing for both topics. On the day of the assignment, one will be chosen at random for you to develop during the 50 minutes of class time.

I encourage you to take advantage of the numerous useful resources offered by the University to improve your academic writing, research skills, and organization. Please visit more information;the Student Success Centre is there to help!In their own words: “From writing support and tutoring services to workshops and educational planning, we act as your central hub for academic support. We offer opportunities for you to meet individually with trained students and staff, to participate in workshops and gain access to tools for self-guided learning.”

Mid-term and Final Exams

The mid-term and final exams each will be two hours long. They will be held during the scheduled examination periods in December 2018 and April 2019 (exact dates to be confirmed).One month before each exam, I will provide you with a general outline of the exam and guidelines on how to review. In preparation for the exams, I encourage you to review and/or redo the exercises on the SentieriSupersite and WebSAM; revisit comments on previous writing assignments; see me in my office hour or make an appointment with me to address any topics that are unclear.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Required Text

Cozzarelli, Julia M. Sentieri. 2nd ed. (+ Supersite + WebSAM). Boston: Vista Higher Learning, 2015. Text format and price to be confirmed: loose-leaf and virtual textbook options will be prioritized

Recommended Linguistic Resources

Print Resources

Adorni, S. and K. Primorac. English Grammar for Students of Italian. 2nd ed. Oliva and Hill Press, 1995.

Collins Sansoni Dizionario inglese italiano, italiano inglese.3rd ed. Florence: Sansoni, 2013.

Or any other quality bilingual dictionary.

Online Resources (Online Dictionaries) (language forum for queries)

Method of Assessment:

15% → Mid-term exam (to be held during December exam period)

15% → Final exam (to be held during April exam period)

20% → Writing assignments (worth 5% each, due Oct. 19, Nov. 28, Feb. 1, and Mar. 15)

10% → Homework (principally WebSAM and online quizzes)

7% → Attendance

13% → Voice diaries (weekly [26x], including mid-term recesses)

10% → Participation in online forum (weekly)

10% → Video conversation (in groups of 2–3 students, due Mar. 29)

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Absence from Class

While attending class is crucial in order to ensure that no material is missed, there may be times when you will be unable to attend due to illness, injury, or a family or personal crisis. If you will not be able to attend a lesson, I welcome you to let me know beforehand via e-mail or text, but it is not obligatory. If you should be unable to complete an in-class assignment, or if you will be submitting an assignment late due to any of the abovementioned reasons, please provide supporting documentation attesting to the reason on anofficial McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF); this must be done within one week of the missed or late work. A copy of this form can be downloaded from Making up missed work is possible only in exceptional circumstances; the student will have to speak to me privately to come to an agreement on the appropriate make-up work.

Late Penalties

In the event that you cannot present a valid excuse for a late assignment (due to personal illness, injury, or a family or personal crisis), please submit your work to me all the same, in person or via e-mail. Nonetheless, please note that late assignments will incur deductions of 10% per day (starting from the beginning of the class on which an assignment is due), weekends included, up to a maximum of seven days. After seven days, a mark of zero will be assigned.

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:

Please consult the course syllabus on Avenue to Learn for details.

Other Course Information:

Important Dates

See precise due dates for assignments and topics to be covered in class in the tables in the course outline on Avenue to Learn.

1. Wednesday, September 5, 2018: First day of classes for our course. Benvenuti!

2. Monday, October 8—Sunday, October 14: Mid-term recess

3. Friday, October 19: Writing Assignment 1 (in class)

4. Wednesday, November 28: Writing Assignment 2 (in class)

5. Wednesday, December 5: Last day of class for the first half of our course

6. Friday, December 7–Thursday, December 20: Exam period. In bocca al lupo! (Exam date: TBD)

7. Wednesday, January 9, 2019: Buon anno! Our class resumes!

8. Friday, February 1: Writing Assignment 3 (in class)

9. Monday, February 18–Sunday, February 24: Mid-term recess

10. Friday, March 15:Writing Assignment 4 (printed and submitted at the beginning of class)

11. Friday, March 22: Confirm group members for Video Conversation (via e-mail)

12. Friday, March 29: Video Conversation due (submitted online by the beginning of class)

13. Friday, April 5: Last day of our class (all classes end Tuesday, April 9)

14. Thursday, April 11–Monday, April 29: Exam period. In bocca al lupo! (Exam date: TBD)