Italian Curriculum

Italian Curriculum

Beginning and Intermediate Courses 

ITAL 1401, 1402 Beginning Italian
The first two semesters of Italian offer a communicative and interactive approach. Students read and listen to authentic materials, prepare written and oral presentations, and practice conversation. Special focus is given to communicating about yourself and others, places, interests, and activities. All classroom activities are supported by online activities, such as audio and video files. The courses also introduce students to Italy, its geography, its literature, and its culture, and explore cross-cultural similarities and differences between Italy and the United States. The goals of first-semester Italian include learning the Italian alphabet, correct pronunciation, greeting Italians properly, and asking and answering personal questions in the present tense about personal background, daily activities, and the weather. The goal of second-semester Italian is to improve students’ ability to understand and speak Italian using common idiomatic expressions, and to increase cultural and geographical knowledge of Italy. Students will speak about vacations, meals, holidays, and shopping in Italy, and describe hobbies and activities both in the present and the past tenses.

ITAL 2401, 2402 Intermediate Italian
The third and fourth semesters of Italian will develop mid-intermediate proficiency level in the four major language skills: speaking, reading, writing, and listening, with an emphasis on communication activities and more complex grammar structures. Students continue to study Italian culture, geography, and literature with content that includes food, shops, money, hobbies and sports, and to explore cross-cultural similarities and differences between Italy and the United States. The goal of third-semester Italian is to further improve students’ ability to speak and understand Italian, to become familiar with the use of different tenses and moods (present and past indicative, imperative, conditional, subjunctive), to increase their writing skills as they begin to read different kind of texts, from informal to literary. Students talk about fashion, travel, jobs, and the workplace, and express wishes, desires, and opinions. The goal of fourth-semester Italian is to promote lengthier conversations in Italian with good pronunciation and using various tenses and moods. Students read brief articles and short stories in modern Italian and write grammatically correct paragraphs in Italian. Students also discuss the arts, the media, and politics.


Italian 2402 students interview engineers, entrepreneurs, doctors, architects and academics who show how Italian is essential to many professions in the DFW area.

Advanced Courses

The course is designed to achieve communicative proficiency. Students will view a total of six films in Italian (with English subtitles). Class discussions will focus on plot development, characters, and vocabulary. The course will develop the necessary skills to communicate and writing effectively in Italian with a great importance given to vocabulary and idioms, but also review of grammar through expository articles. In Italian. UC: OC, C&A1 (Prerequisite: ITAL 2401)

The purpose of this course is to deepen the students’ understanding and knowledge of the Italian culture through readings, discussions, independent research and writing. Readings and class discussions will cover a wide array of topics on numerous aspects of Italian life: from geography, history, arts and music, to sports, entertainment, media and economy. The course will concentrate on contemporary aspects of Italian life through readings followed by numerous communicative activities. A strong web component is introduced to foster independent research by students as well as comprehension of authentic Italian discourses from different registers. In Italian. (Prerequisite: ITAL 2401)


The evolution of Italian society with emphasis on cultural, artistic, and intellectual trends. This course is a flexible, comprehensive communication- and culture-based program for advanced Italian students, which aims to develop communicative competence in all language skills and to provide a review of already acquired grammar and vocabulary, all within the context of contemporary Italian culture and society. The themes of the course reflect the concerns and priorities of today’s Italy and Italians as part of the larger European Community. In Italian. UC: W, GE. II&C1 (Prerequisite: ITAL 2401)

Italian 3385 (3 credits) is an advanced course of Italian designed for students who want to further improve their language skills and become acquainted with the institutional structures and commercial spheres in the European Union with special attention to the Italian socioeconomic case. The course is designed in particular for students preparing for a career in business, international politics and studies, or marketing, with high intermediate proficiency in Italian. The course will prepare students for internships or future employment opportunities with Italian companies operating in North America or Italy. Students will analyze and interact in situations relevant to the Italian Business world, and also refine their language skills and cultural competence by focusing oncommercial vocabulary, idioms, cross-cultural comparisons, and business customs through the presentation, analysis, and manipulation of authentic materials. UC: QR, OC (Pre-requisite: C-or better in Italian 2402 or consent of the advisor, or placement at the 3000-level  by the Italian Placement Exam).

Italian Short-stories of Post- War Italy: Dino Buzzati. Students will analyze and discuss several contemporary short stories written by the celebrated Italian author Dino Buzzati. The course will also explore the social and historical background of the writer, to allow the students to acquire a more complete understanding of these literary works. Special emphasis is placed on the development of oral and written proficiency. In Italian. UC: C&AII (Prerequisite: ITAL 3353 or ITAL 3357 or ITAL 3373)

Ammaniti, Baricco, and Tabucchi. The course introduces and familiarizes the students with three main and celebrated Italian authors of the second half of the twentieth century: Niccolò Ammaniti, Alessandro Baricco, and Antonio Tabucchi. Four novels are read, analyzed, and discussed in class, after its author is presented in its social and historical milieu. In Italian. UC: C&A II, W (pending approval) (Prerequisite: ITAL 3353 or ITAL 3357 or ITAL 3373)

The Fascist Period, World War II, and its aftermath. The students analyze and discuss several contemporary short stories and two novels all written by major Italian authors. Students concentrate on the refinement of all four language skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking by interacting with literary content. Special emphasis is placed on the development of oral proficiency, and students give several oral presentations. By the end of the course, students will know basic literary terms to describe a narrative work. Each selection is presented in its social and historical milieu. UC: C&AII, W
(Prerequisite: ITAL 3353 or ITAL 3357 or ITAL 3373)

Directed Readings and Research. Instructor consent is required to enroll in the course. Directed reading and research in specific literary topics or writers chosen in consulation with the instructor. (Pre-requisite: Italian 3355 or 3357 or consent of area chair)

To view/download this list as a PDF document, please click here.

Comini winners 2018

Congratulations to Gabi (not pictured), Katherine, Marcelo and Porter for receiving the 2017-18 Comini Italian Language Award and the Solomon Award in World Languages and Literatures