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ITALIAN 1AA3 Intermediate Italian II (C01)

Academic Year: Winter 2019

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Christina Vani


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 511A

Phone: 905-525-9140 x

Office Hours: Tuesdays, 10:00–11:00

Course Objectives:

By the end of this course, students will…

  1. gain a better understanding of syntax at the sentence level, including both standard and non-standard uses of sentence syntax;
  2. understand and use complex sentences (subordination) with conjunctions;
  3. explore the sequence of tenses and hypothetical clauses;
  4. be familiar with different types of texts (narrative, descriptive, argumentative, etc.);
  5. comprehend social overtones and cultural implications in a writer’s/speaker’s choice of language and use (figurative language, connotation, etc.) in a text or other medium as a reflection of the writer’s or speaker’s attitude;
  6. be able to think critically about point of view and context;
  7. gain a broader understanding, through diverse media, of current and recent societal and cultural shifts in Italy.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

  • Petri, Andrea et al. Grammatica di base dell’italiano. Edizioni C., 2015. (ISBN: 978-84-16057-96-2)
  • A selection of readings will be provided by the instructor digitally or in print. Some texts and related materials will be uploaded onto Avenue to Learn to be downloaded and/or printed by students for use in class.
  • The film La meglio gioventù (Dir. Marco Tullio Giordana, 2003) will be viewed in class and related materials will be provided.

Method of Assessment:

Method of Evaluation

30%     →        Tests (three in-class tests worth 10% each)

20%     →        Final exam (to be held during April exam period)

20%     →        Weekly homework

15%     →        Attendance and participation

10%     →        Oral presentation

5%       →        Written summary of presentation

Attendance, Preparation, and Participation

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” (

While auxiliary materials from many lessons are often posted on Avenue to Learn (A2L), notes related to each lesson and to in-class discussion will not be accessible elsewhere (unless express permission is granted or other exceptions arise). Coming to class ensures that, even in the rare occasion in which you have not adequately prepared (it happens!), you will be able to engage with other students and the instructor as we explore a given topic. We learn best and improve when we can share our experiences, and our best opportunity to do this is in real-time in class.

Furthermore, an attendance sheet will be circulated at the beginning of each class, but I will take attendance again before the end of class; if you leave halfway through the class, you will not be counted as present, because credit is awarded for attending the entire class, not just a portion of the class. Attendance represents a portion of your participation grade.

Now, what does “participation” entail, exactly? It means contributing to class discussion, whether by raising your hand to share with the class as a whole or by being active in and contributing to small group discussions. It means coming to class and being punctual. It means being prepared by doing assigned work in order to be able to contribute actively with classmates and your instructor in class discussions, activities, and group work. It means, ultimately, demonstrating that you care about your success and progress in the course—and that you will take risks, which is vital in a language course!

TL;DR (too long; didn’t read): Simply being present is not enough to ensure that you receive full marks for the attendance portion of your grade; being prepared and actively engaged in class is paramount.

E-mail Correspondence

Please ensure that you use your McMaster e-mail address for all correspondence with me, as there is a risk that messages not reach me (or that my messages not reach you) when using other e-mail services. I will always aim to respond within 24 hours on weekdays and within 48 hours on holidays and between Friday evening and Monday morning. For urgent matters, please text or call the instructor (texts may take some time for a response).

Electronic Devices

I welcome you to use a laptop for note-taking in class, but please refrain from visiting web sites that may be distracting to students who are sitting behind you. As a courtesy to me, to them, and to yourself, and in order to increase the likelihood of your success in the course, I encourage you to take notes by hand. See the following article for this “hand-writing preference”:

Regarding cell. phones, please make sure that they are on silent (not vibrate, please) and out of view for the duration of the class (in my own experience, even having my phone on my desk and facedown is distracting!). If you are expecting an urgent call or message, you may feel welcome to quietly exit the class to address the call or message.

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 an official 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:

Semestre invernale (l’8 gennaio al 9 aprile 2019)



Cultura e/o lettura

1 (martedì, l’8 gennaio)

Unire frasi,

pp. 246–251

Presentazione del corso; prima parte del film La meglio gioventù (anno: 2003; durata: 6 ore)

2 (il 15 gennaio)

Unire frasi,

pp. 246–251

Attività/Compiti; seconda parte del film La meglio gioventù

3 (il 22 gennaio)

Unire frasi,

pp. 246–251

Attività/Compiti; terza parte del film La meglio gioventù

4 (il 29 gennaio)

Test 1

Quarta parte del film La meglio gioventù

5 (il 5 febbraio)

Il presente, il passato e l’imperfetto del congiuntivo,

pp. 177–182

Attività/Compiti; quinta parte del film La meglio gioventù

6 (il 12 febbraio)

Indicativo o congiuntivo?,

pp. 183–189

Attività/Compiti; ultima parte del film La meglio gioventù




(il 26 febbraio)

Test 2

Lettura 1: Non mi uccidere (2005)

(il 5 marzo)

Indicativo o congiuntivo?,

pp. 190–194

Attività/Compiti; Lettura 1: Non mi uccidere (2005)

10 (il 12 marzo)

Indicativo o congiuntivo?,

pp. 195–196

Attività/Compiti; Lettura 1: Non mi uccidere (2005)

11 (il 19 marzo)

Test 3

Lettura 2: Echi di sangue / Porcaccia, un vampiro! (2010)

12 (il 26 marzo)

Il condizionale semplice e composto; le frasi ipotetiche: pp. 174–176

Attività/Compiti; Lettura 2: Echi di sangue / Porcaccia, un vampiro! (2010)

13 (il 2 aprile)

Il condizionale semplice e composto; le frasi ipotetiche: pp. 174–176

Attività/Compiti; Lettura 2: Echi di sangue / Porcaccia, un vampiro! (2010)

14 (il 9 aprile)

Oral Presentation + Submission of Summary

Oral Presentation +

Submission of Summary

Have a satisfying and inspiring year! May the study of Italian open you up to new, exciting, and unexpected opportunities! I look forward to learning with you. In bocca al lupo! 

Other Course Information:

Information Regarding Online Components

In this course, we will be using Avenue to Learn, e-mail, and web pages. Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for their McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure, please discuss this with me.

Accessibility: Welcoming Different Styles and Needs

We welcome students of all learning styles and needs in this course. If you have a disability or health consideration that requires academic accommodation, please contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) by e-mail or telephone to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator at the beginning of the year or whenever appropriate.

Location: McMaster University Student Centre (MUSC), B107

Telephone: (905) 525-9140 ext. 28652


Web site:

For further information, consult McMaster University’s Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities policy. You may also feel free to approach me, if you feel comfortable, but that is neither obligatory nor expected, as students are not obliged to communicate a difference in ability to their instructor.

Finally, please volunteer as a class note-taker! It is free; it helps you stay organised; and it benefits any classmates who have different learning styles from you. Everybody wins!

Mental Health

It is not uncommon for university students to experience a range of health and mental health issues that may result in barriers to achieving their academic goals. McMaster University offers a wide range of services at the Student Wellness Centre to assist you. You are encouraged to seek out these resources early and as often as needed. Know that you are never alone and there is no shame in asking for help; speak up if you are in need and you will be greeted with compassion and skillfulness.

Location: McMaster Student Wellness Centre at the Student Centre (MUSC), B101/B118, 1280 Main St. W.

Telephone: (905) 525-9140 ext. 27700


Web site:

Mental health resources and apps:

Off-campus help via Good2Talk, a post-secondary (24/7) helpline: 1-866-925-5454

Open and Safe Space

Please know that our classroom is a safe and open space, a place where we can feel free to be ourselves in a judgement-free zone. This is a space that is free of discrimination of any kind. We live by the Golden Rule in this class, that is, we treat others as we wish to be treated: with respect and with kindness. If you ever feel threatened or intimidated by anyone, in this class or on campus, please immediately alert me or anyone else that you trust. Please also consult the web site of the McMaster Equity and Inclusion Office (EIO) for more information and support: Finally, when interacting with your classmates, please ensure to respect their preferred pronouns (mine are she/her/hers).