Beginners’ Italian I

Benvenuti to Italian 101, the introductory course to Italian language and culture.

ITAL 101 is the first of a series of language and literature courses offered by the FHIS Department that introduces students to the fundamentals of the Italian language and expands on all language skills (i.e., reading, listening, writing and speaking), (inter)cultural knowledge, and communicative capacity. Throughout the semester, learners develop the ability to listen to, discuss, read and write about themselves and their family, their everyday activities and routine, common pastimes and likings, and learn about and compare their own experiences with those of contemporary Italians. A part from discussing some basic structures and lexicon of Italian language during this course we will also explore a number of interesting cultural topics on contemporary Italy and work through the first level of language acquisition, level A1 or ‘Basic user’, as defined by the Common European Framework (CEFR).

This ITAL course is largely based on the flipped model and it includes a number of learning activities that learners are expected to complete before coming to the in-person classes as a way to ‘prepare’ them to learn more effectively and be ready to engage and practice your newly acquired knowledge through a series of individual and small group activities in class. By asking them to engage independently with relevant activities and exercises before joining a session, we want to help our students recall what they may already know, work at their pace and review the material as many times as they need and ultimately, make better use of your time spent in class.

Each unit is introduced and reviewed through interactive video lessons (10 to 12 video) which present or review the main topics of each unit; other videos instead, focus on grammar points or on communicative functions and are followed by short practice exercises to check students’ progress and strengthen their learning. The course is designed for prospective minors as well as for those simply seeking a first exposure to the language.

Language of instruction: Italian

Prerequisites: No prerequisites


  • Hybrid course: One of the sections of ITAL 101 is hybrid and combines mandatory in-person and 6 to 8 online, asynchronous learning activities that learners are expected to complete independently and in due times. This hybrid course is particularly suited to well organized and independent learners, who understand and appreciate the importance of following closely the clearly structured activities on the course Canvas site, the course schedule and expectations and do the required homework before joining the in-person classes.
  • Course sequence: Italian 101 is the first part of the full sequence of Italian language and culture courses. The level A1 will be achieved upon successful completion of the follow up course, ITAL 102 which is normally offered in the summer and/or in term 2 of each academic year.

20% Preparation
25% Participation
15% Quizzes (3)
15% Oral Assignments
25% Final Written Exam

2% Extra credits*

Birello, Bonafaccia, Petri, Vilasagra, ​Al Dente 1​, Edizione PREMIUM, Ed. Casa delle Lingue.

During ITAL 101 we will cover unità 0 through 4 (inclusive) of Al Dente 1.

  1. Edition PREMIUM through the UBC Bookstore ( ) —  paper copy of the book and the access code ​for the digital e-book on Blinklearning.
  2. Digital e-book​ with an access code to the e-book on BlinkLearning.

NOTE: the Hybrid section will NOT use a textbook