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introduction

course offerings

requirements for majors and minors

the language requirement in italian

study abroad

resources

 

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italian studies

UNDERGRADUATE COURSES IN ITALIAN

Fall 2008

(Course information subject to change)
(Cross-reference with Department Roster)


Italian 110
Elementary Italian
Staff
(See Timetables for times)


A first semester elementary language course for students who have never studied Italian before or who have taken a placement test and received a score below 380. All students who have previously studied Italian are required to take the placement test. Classes are conducted in Italian and emphasize the development of listening comprehension and speaking, with training in reading and writing. The course is organized around oral/aural communicative activities such as role-plays and interactive grammar exercises. In Italian 110 your listening skills will be greatly developed for you will be exposed daily to authentic language spoken at normal speed by native Italians. Some of these are short conversations, songs, and poems. As the semester progresses the conversations will be longer. Your classwork will be supplemented with homework using a cassette with a workbook, to further enhance your listening skills. In class you will get ample opportunity to speak, as much of the class period will be spent working in pairs or small groups. You will also be exposed to simple Italian texts so that your reading skills will be developed. These texts will gradually become more complex as you acquire the vocabulary necessary to read at a higher level. You will also be challenged to work on your writing skills, starting with sentences and building up to paragraph-length essays.


Italian 112
Elementary Italian-Accelerated
Staff

(See Timetables for times)
Permission needed from department

Italian 112 is an intensive elementary language course for students who have never studied Italian before and who have already fulfilled the language requirement in another modern language. Students who have fulfilled the language requirement in a language other than a romance language, will be considered on an individual basis.

As in other Italian courses, class will be conducted entirely in Italian. Your listening skills will be well for you will be exposed to daily authentic language spoken at normal speed by native Italians. Among these are conversations, both brief and lengthy, songs, letters, and poems. You will be guided through a variety of communicative activities in class which lead you from structured practice to free expression. You will be given frequent opportunity to practice your newly acquired vocabulary and grammatical structures in a small group and pair work which simulates real-life situations. Your class work will be supplemented with homework using a cassette with a workbook, to further enhance your listening skills. You will also be exposed to authentic Italian texts so that your reading skills will be developed. These texts include articles from newspapers and magazines as well as literary pieces. They will become more complex as you acquire the vocabulary necessary to read at a higher level. You will also be challenged to work on your writing skills, for you will be given ample opportunity to write about diverse topics.


Italian 120
Elementary Italian
Staff
(See Timetables for times)

Prerequisite: Italian 110 or a score equivalent for placement in level 120 on the Italian placement exam (see Romance Languages Department). Italian 120 is the continuation of an elementary level sequence designed to develop functional proficiency in the four skills. The primary emphasis is on the development of the oral-aural skills, speaking and listening. Readings on topics in Italian culture as well as frequent writing practice are also included in the course.


Italian 130
Intermediate Italian
Staff

(See Timetables for times)

Italian 130 is the first half of a two-semester intermediate sequence, which will build on your existing skills in Italian, increase your confidence and your ability to read, write, speak and understand the language, and introduce you to more refined lexical items, more complex grammatical structures, and more challenging cultural material. You are expected to have already learned the most basic grammatical structures in elementary Italian and to be able to review these on your own. The materials in the course bulk pack and the film Pane e tulipani will allow you to explore culturally relevant topics and develop cross-cultural skills through the exploration of analogies and differences between your native culture and the Italian world, thus building a bridge of cultural and linguistic awareness and strengthening your language skills. As in other Italian courses at Penn, class will be conducted entirely in Italian. Your attendance and participation is of the utmost importance, because you will work collaboratively with your classmates and your instructor towards increased linguistic competence and a more complex understanding of Italian culture. You will be expected to complete homework exercises in preparation for class. Written and oral assignments will provide structured practice of linguistic forms, while also challenging your creative skills.


Italian 134
Intermediate Italian-Accelerated
Staff
(See Timetables for times)
Permission needed from department.

Italian 134 is an intensive intermediate course, covering the equivalent of Italian 130 and 140 in one semester. It is primarily designed for students who have completed Italian 112, but students with an exceptionally strong performance in Italian 120 are allowed to enroll with a departmental permit. See course descriptions of Italian 130 and 140.


Italian 140
Intermediate Italian
Staff

(See Timetables for times)

Italian 140 is the second half of a two-semester intermediate sequence, which will build on your existing skills in Italian, increase your confidence and your ability to read, write, speak and understand the language, and introduce you to more refined lexical items, more complex grammatical structures, and more challenging cultural material. You are expected to have already learned the most basic grammatical structures in elementary Italian and to be able to review these on your own. The materials in the course bulk pack and the novel Una storia semplice will allow you to explore culturally relevant topics and develop cross-cultural skills through the exploration of analogies and differences between your native culture and the Italian world, thus building a bridge of cultural and linguistic awareness and strengthening your language skills. As in other Italian courses at Penn, class will be conducted entirely in Italian. Your attendance and participation is of the utmost importance, because you will work collaboratively with your classmates and your instructor towards increased linguistic competence and a more complex understanding of Italian culture. You will be expected to complete homework exercises in preparation for class. Written and oral assignments will provide structured practice of linguistic forms, while also challenging your creative skills.


Italian 180
Italian Conversation in Residence
Staff

Must be resident of the Modern Language House.


Italian 202
Advanced Italian
Staff

(See Timetables for times)

This course aims at developing and deepening language abilities acquired in the first two years of study; it also prepares students for upper-level courses in literature, culture or cinema. Students will increase their vocabulary and speaking skills through the reading, analysis, and discussion of Niccolò Amanniti’s best-selling novel Io non ho paura. Other reading materials will open windows onto aspects of contemporary Italian culture and society. We will place special emphasis on a thorough review of advanced grammar. Short weekly compositions and a final project will develop writing skills.

This course is a prerequisite for other 200-level courses.


Italian 203
Introduction to Italian Literature
Staff
(See Timetables for times)

Ital 203 is an introductory course aimed to offer students the opportunity to discover Italian Literature and Civilization through readings and reflections upon significant texts of the Italian literary and artistic tradition. From the underworld of Dante to the love poetry of Petrarch, from the political vision of Macchiavelli to the scientific revolution of Galileo, from the modernist fragmentation of Pirandello to the postmodern creations of Calvino, up to the latest trends in Italian cinema, the course explores a wide range of literary genres, themes and cultural debates by analyzing texts within their socio-political context.

The course will help students to expand their vocabulary, to improve their skills in critical interpretation and to reinforce their written and oral competences in Italian through a variety of activities such as class discussions, presentations, short papers and research projects.

All readings and class discussion will be in Italian. The prerequisite for this course is Italian 202 or an equivalent course taken abroad. This course is a requirement for all majors and minors in Italian Literature. It may be taken any time in the curriculum after 202, and by permission, concurrently with 202.


Italian 205
Viva Voce: Advanced Italian Conversation and Culture
Prof. Longo
(See Timetables for times)

In this advanced conversation course, taught exclusively in Italian, students will perfect their communication skills and learn to use the most appropriate register in a variety of formal and informal situations while exploring significant aspects of contemporary Italian culture. Listening and speaking activities - role plays, discussions, oral presentations, internet forums, etc. - will be based on audio-visual material (songs, pictures, audio and video clips) and written texts (newspaper articles, literary texts) provided by the instructor and/or proposed by the students themselves based on their explorations of the Italian web. Linguistic structures will be revised as needed. Some writing will also be required in preparation for class discussions, oral presentations, and as part of the final project.


Italian 232
Freshman Seminar: The World of Dante
Prof. Kirkham
(See Timetables for times)

The/ Divine Comedy/ will be read in the context of Dante Alighieri's fourteenth-century cultural world. Discussions, focused on selected cantos of the /Inferno, Purgatorio/, and /Paradiso/, will connect with such topics as: books and readers before the invention of printing (e.g, how manuscripts were made from sheepskins, transcribed, and decorated), life in a society dominated by the Catholic church (sinners vs. saints, Christian pilgrimage routes, the great Franciscan and Dominican religious orders), Dante's politics as a Florentine exile (power struggles between Pope and Emperor), his classical and Christian literary models (Virgil's /Aeneid/, Ovid's Metamorphoses, the Bible), and his genius as a poet in the medieval structures of allegory, symbolism, and numerology. Illustrations of the Comedy, from early illuminated manuscripts to Renaissance printed books in the University of Pennsylvania Rare Book Collection and contemporary film will trace a history of the forms in which the poem has flourished for seven hundred years. Class conducted in English. The /Divine Comedy/ will be available in a text with facing English and Italian versions. May be counted toward an Italian Studies major or minor.


Italian 300-301
The Genius of the Renaissance
Prof. Johnston
(See Timetables for times)

 This course will analyze how the genius of the Renaissance is manifested in different areas of human endeavor, primarily literature and the visual arts, between the Quattrocento and the Cinquecento.  Our exploration will begin with Leon Battista Alberti’s model of the Renaissance man and will be centered on artists like Leonardo and Michelangelo, who were also writers, and on the literati that surrounded them.  We will read from works in prose and verse by authors ranging from Lorenzo de’ Medici and Poliziano to Petrarchist poets like Vittoria Colonna, Gaspara Stampa, and Laura Battiferra, from Machiavelli to Pietro Aretino. 


Italian 300-401
Food and Culture of Italy
Prof. Finotti
(See Timetables for times)

Food is culture. Food is language. The course will explore the anthropology of food and the cultural aspects of gastronomy in Italian History. We will focus on the communication through food not only in social life but also in different textual genres: narrative, poetry, cinema, visual arts, advertising. The class will be taught in English. The reading material and the bibliographical references will be provided in a course reader. Further material will be presented in class. Requirements include class attendance, preparation and participation, a series of oral responses, and a final oral presentation.

 

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This page last modified on: October 16, 2008
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