Italian is the official language of Italy, Switzerland, San Marino and the Vatican City. It is spoken as a second language in Malta, Slovenia and Croatia. Additionally, it is spoken by some minorities in Albania, Eritrea, France, Monaco, Montenegro, Romania, Libya, Somalia and by some expatriate communities in Europe, the Americas and Australia. Italian is spoken as a native language by 59 million people in the EU. There are also some 14 million Italian speakers in non-EU European countries and on other continents, making the total number of speakers approximately 85 million.
Studying and knowing Italian is important for people who are planning careers in several fields such as art, history, music, linguistics, education and international relations. Many of the most famous Western artists, from Giotto to Michelangelo were Italian. Knowledge of Italian is vital to understanding the context of art. According to UNESCO, over 60 percent of the entire world's art treasures are found in Italy. Knowing Italian is greatly beneficial in many other fields. Italy is a world leader in the culinary arts, interior design, fashion, graphic design, furniture design, machine tool manufacturing, robotics, electromechanical machinery, shipbuilding, space engineering, construction machinery, and transportation equipment. Italy also plays great importance in the tourism industry being one of the world's top tourist destinations.
Italian is still used as a kind of musical "lingua franca" today for musicians all over the world. Opera meanwhile, is entirely an Italian creation. Italian is the Romance language closest to Latin. Knowing Italian, therefore, will go far in helping one to understand the whys and wherefores of the English language, which has a very large percentage (60%) of words of Latin derivation. According to the “Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Language” Italian is also the language closest to English.
Italy is one of the top eight economies in the world and is a member of the G8 Group of the wealthiest democracies of the world. On a personal level, learning Italian is an accomplishment which brings great satisfaction and added confidence. Learning Italian enhances your skills in analysing, discussing, categorising information and ideas. So come on and give yourself the opportunity of discovering another part of this beautiful world through Italian.
Classes are conducted as far as possible in the target language to give students maximum exposure to the new language and culture. During the course, students develop an ability to communicate in Italian in situations relating to their personal lives.
In addition, students are expected to spend time on self-study preparing for classes and reviewing and consolidating work done in class. Students are also encouraged to develop a repertoire of strategies to promote their autonomy as language learners. At each level, 100% in-course testing is the form of assessment.
Italian is offered at two levels (subject to demand):
Italian 1A is a beginners' Italian course that introduces students to the Italian language and to some of its cultural aspects. By focusing on the four basic skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing), students will develop an initial ability to communicate in Italian in basic situations relating to their personal lives. Students will be introduced to the concept of learner autonomy in language learning.
Italian 1B is a beginners' Italian course that builds on the work done in Italian 1A. By focusing on the four basic skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing), students will enhance their ability to communicate in the Italian in situations relating to themselves and areas of immediate relevance. Students will continue to develop their autonomy in language learning.
Italian 2A is a lower-intermediate course that builds on the work done in Italian 1B. Students will be able to function increasingly independently in all four skill-areas in familiar situations and topics.
Italian 2B is a lower-intermediate course that builds on the work done in Italian 2A. Students will be able to function more independently in a variety of familiar situations and topics in all four skill-areas.
There are 52-contact hours per semester. Classes meet for four 50-minute sessions per week, with classes beginning on the hour and ending ten minutes before the hour (e.g. 11:00 to 11:50). These courses are not offered for credit.
Dr. Sandra Hobbs
Tel: 662-2002 x 83649, 82524
The University of the West Indies
St. Augustine , Trinidad
Tel: (868) 662-2002
Fax: (868) 663-9684