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Duke University * Department of Romance Studies * I T A L I A N 63 * Spring 2011

Instructor: Email:

Office Hours and Location:

Class Meeting Times and Location:

Required Texts:

1- Gruppo Italiaidea. Italian Espresso 2, Alma Edizioni: Firenze, 2007.

Workbook and Audio CD that accompany the textbook.

2- English Grammar for Students of Italian. (English Grammar Series): Sergio Adorni and Karen
Primorac. The Olivia and Hill Press, 1995.

3- Larousse Italian-English pocket dictionary.

I. Course Description

Course Description and Goals: Language study in Italian 63 is organized around five general notions:
communication, cultures, connections, comparisons and communities. During this semester we will explore themes dealing
with Italy and Italians to expand and refine your knowledge of Italian language, culture, and contemporary life. We
will focus on comprehension of oral and written texts, acquisition of new vocabulary, review and refinement of
grammar, and development of reading and discourse strategies to help you gain confidence in speaking and writing.
This semester, we will complete chapters 5-14 of Italian Espresso 2.

The goal of this course is not only to strengthen your language skills, but to extend your knowledge of Italian
culture and life. Your ability to communicate and read authentic texts in Italian gives you direct access to Italian
culture, unfiltered by translation and the analysis of others. This course will demonstrate that by studying the
language you gain the power to understand Italian values and outlooks from the inside out.

Course Objectives: Upon successful completion of the course you should be able to:

 speak and understand Italian well enough to converse comfortably with an Italian speaker about topics
related to everyday life and topics of general interest explored in the course;
 read and understand the main ideas and most important details of a variety of authentic and edited texts,
(e.g. brief newspaper and magazine articles, descriptions, summaries, short stories) and be able to locate
specific information in such texts;
 understand and grasp the main ideas of spoken Italian in formal oral texts (e.g. announcements), as well
as conversations and discussions on familiar topics (in videos and film clips);
 write longer and more complex paragraphs (descriptions, narrations, summaries and comments) related
to everyday topics, experiences, and class readings;
 have a broader awareness and understanding of cultural elements present in oral, written, and visual texts;
 have mastered the basic grammatical concepts, structures and their usage.

Duke University * Department of Romance Studies * I T A L I A N 63 * Spring 2011

Approach: The course will be conducted primarily in Italian. You will be expected to adhere to the course
policy of speaking only in Italian during class time. The use of English in the classroom will not only hinder
your acquisition of Italian, but also negatively affect your grade. In class and through homework, you will be guided
through a variety of activities which will expose you to a rich input of Italian and allow you to develop and practice
your language abilities through communication and problem solving. These activities will also lead you from
structured practice to free expression. Small group activities are commonplace and must be approached with a
spirit of teamwork. Your daily preparation and participation are crucial to the success of our classroom
experience. The class is learner-centered; your progress in the course is the direct result of your
investment in language learning. Much of your language acquisition will happen outside of the classroom;
ideally, students should spend two hours a day practicing Italian. Beyond reviewing grammar and vocabulary, and
completing oral and written assignments, you will participate in many Italian activities. For example, you may take
part in the Italian Program’s Tavola Italiana, attend film screenings and sign up for native-speaker conversation
partners at the International House, or practice Italian with peer tutors at the ARC, borrow or rent Italian videos
and read Italian newspapers and magazines. Consult your course Blackboard page for more information and
relevant links on how to practice and expand your Italian.

Language acquisition requires a steady, constant, daily effort. I encourage you to maximize the time outside
the class by preparing in advance for the materials which will be covered on a specific class period (see attached
schedule). You are expected to come to class with a certain amount of knowledge on the points being addressed so
that we can move on quickly to the communicative functions that represent our target. In-class grammar
explanations will be offered; however, it is mainly your own responsibility to read the grammar explanations in
the grammar section at the end of your textbook, as well as to refer to the examples provided in English
Grammar for Students of Italian, before coming to class. Students are also responsible for studying
grammatical forms after they have been covered in class and should constantly review all of the material already

II. Coursework

1. Participation: Active participation in class is essential for language acquisition. It will be graded throughout the
semester based on your effort to use Italian in the classroom, preparation for class, contribution to a cooperative
classroom atmosphere and the quality and quantity of your participation to class discussions and group activities.
Don’t be shy! The more you participate, the more you learn! See the “How to determine your participation
grade” info sheet at the end of this syllabus for more details. Be aware that your attendance also affects your
participation grade (see # 12 for more details on attendance).

2. Oral and Written Homework: It is an essential part of your language learning process and it is mandatory.
Your instructor will assign specific tasks for each topic indicated on the syllabus. Homework assignments will be
posted on BB (https://courses.duke.edu). Written homework will consist primarily of textbook and workbook
readings and exercises. Oral homework includes regular assignments using Wimba voice recording technology on
Blackboard, as well as one assignment using a Flip Video recording device. Late work is not acceptable and
results in a failing grade. Because language learning is cumulative, it is essential that you do not fall behind in
your work. Please keep the pace established by the syllabus and notify me of any difficulty you encounter.
Answer keys to the Workbook exercises are on the class Blackboard site. Correct your workbook exercises with
a contrasting color ink pen before handing them in. You will not receive credit for uncorrected workbook
exercises or late homework. All information regarding assignments is posted on your course Blackboard
site and you are responsible for keeping informed. Please consult it daily for updates.

3. Chapter Tests: There will be two announced tests during the semester. Please refer to the syllabus for the
chapter test dates. Alternative dates will not be offered.

Duke University * Department of Romance Studies * I T A L I A N 63 * Spring 2011

4. Vocabulary Quizzes: The study of vocabulary is an integral part of your language learning. You are expected
to keep up with the acquisition of new vocabulary presented in the text books and in class. Regularly reviewing and
practicing the use of Italian terms will greatly improve both your oral and written production of the language.
There will be four vocabulary quizzes throughout the course of the semester; your instructor will give you more
specific information about these assessments during class. Please refer to the syllabus for quiz dates.

5. Written Exams: There will be a cumulative midterm during the semester, and a cumulative final at the end of
the semester. No Make-ups. Please note that the final exam is a block exam for all languages and is scheduled at a
different time from the one that corresponds to your class hour. The date and time of the language final is set
by the University Schedule Committee and cannot be changed unless you are enrolled in another language
class that also has the same final date and time. Any request to change due to a direct conflict with the
final exam must be accompanied by a note from your dean. The Spring 2011 final exam is scheduled for
THURSDAY, MAY 5TH 2011, 2-5PM. Make your travel plans accordingly. No alternative exam dates will be

6. Composition (Tesina): You will have two take-home writing assignments (tesina) during the semester. The
evaluation of the tesina will be based on content, lexical richness, and grammatical accuracy. Your tesina will have a
rewrite, after having been peer-reviewed in class. The first draft must be carefully written and proofread. The final
version must be a thorough revision and show clear improvement from the first draft. No grade will be recorded
unless the first draft is peer reviewed, corrected and improved upon. You will be expected to turn in all assignments
on the due dates. No late tesina will be accepted. If you miss class the date the tesina is due, turn in the work in
advance or send the work with a classmate. Do not send your tesina by email unless I indicate that it is
acceptable. Please remember that the use of outside assistance, including the use of translation programs
of any type, is a violation of the Duke Community Standard. The written work you submit for a grade should
be entirely your work and should not be edited by any outside source. Please do not hesitate to see me if you are not
sure about what is acceptable according to the Academic Standard.

7. Twitter: Throughout the course we will explore and discuss many aspects of Italian culture. Through readings,
films, video, art and simple narratives you will discover aspects of Italian life upon which you will be asked to
comment and respond in an online Twitter account. You will be asked to post a minimum of 3 “tweets” and to
respond to a minimum of 1 entry posted by your classmates, per week. Although form is important, you will
be graded on content, vocabulary use, and frequency of the interaction with other students.

8. Video Project: You will be required to give a brief presentation of approximately ten minutes during the
semester. This will be in the form of a video project. You will be graded on content, organization, relevance of your
research, language skills, but not on your technical savvy, although video editing skills are welcome. We will
negotiate topics, times and format during the semester.

9. Oral Exam: There will be two oral exams during the semester. This may take the form of a brief conversation,
interview, dialogue, role-play or other. The tests will be conducted in the West Campus Language Lab on
Wednesday, February 9, and Monday, April 4. Due to the nature of the exam, no make-up oral tests will be

10. Tavola Italiana: Participation in the Tavola Italiana activities is worth 2% of your final grade. You are required
to attend at least two Tavola activities, one of which must be a film screening. Each activity is worth 1% of your
final grade. Tavola activities will be posted on your Blackboard course page. At each Tavola event you must sign an
attendance sheet. Following the event, you are required to complete a cultural reflection on the activity or
film, and hand it to your teacher the following class meeting. Please note that you are required to
complete at least one Tavola Italiana activity by the end of the eighth week of the semester.

Duke University * Department of Romance Studies * I T A L I A N 63 * Spring 2011

III. Course Policies

11. Duke Community Standard: You are expected to adhere strictly to the Duke University Community Standard
of Academic Integrity. You will be asked to sign a pledge of academic integrity and to hand it in to me at the
beginning of the semester. By signing the pledge you acknowledge that you have read and understood what
adherence to the Community Standard means. For detailed information regarding the standard:

12. Attendance: Daily attendance is crucial to your success in learning Italian. Coming to class regularly
allows you to practice your oral and listening skills, to interact with your peers in Italian, to discuss and receive
explanations about the required readings, and to improve your general proficiency in Italian. Absences will not
only have a negative effect on your learning, but they will also lower your grade. A maximum of two
unexcused absences is allowed in this course to accommodate personal emergencies. Each unexcused absence
beyond two will lower your final grade by 1%. If you are incapacitated by an illness and cannot come to class
when a graded assignment is due, you must submit the 'Short-Term Illness Notification Form' (STINF) via
email as soon as possible and no later than the evening of the missed class. The form and relevant information are
at: http://trinity.duke.edu/academic-requirements?p=policy-short-term-illness-notification
An absence is excused in the following cases:
•You are participating in a varsity athletic competition out of town. You must provide your instructor with the
official letter identifying you as a varsity athlete at the beginning of the semester. At least one week prior to any out
of town athletic competition you must submit the Notification of Varsity Athletic Participation (NOVAP).
•You submit the Religious Observance Notification Form prior to your absence in order to make
arrangements for completion of missed work.
•Your instructor receives notification from your academic dean. If you experience a personal emergency or
suffer from a long-term or chronic illness that means you will miss class, contact your academic dean and ask him or
her to notify your instructor.
•You are temporarily incapacitated by an illness and cannot attend class. You must submit the “Short-Term
Illness Notification Form” (STINF) via email as soon as possible and no later than the evening of the missed
class (http://trinity.duke.edu/academic-requirements?p=policy-short-term-illness-notification)
Please note that the STINFs should be used sparingly and in accordance with the Duke Community Standard of
Academic Integrity. T-Reqs states: “Though most students are using the STINF system as it is intended, there is
evidence that the STINF system is being abused by some students. Accordingly, the academic deans of Trinity
College and the Pratt School of Engineering will be monitoring STINF usage more closely in the future and will
refer cases of abuse to the Office of Student Conduct.”
Late arrivals and early departures will also affect your class participation grade. If you arrive fifteen minutes after
class has begun, you will be considered absent. Please plan to be in class by the scheduled time. Also, please
remember to bring the required textbooks to class every day.

14. Missed graded work: As a general policy, no late assignments will be accepted and no make-up exams will be
given. The exceptions correspond to the four bulleted items in the attendance policy. It is at the discretion of the
instructor how you will complete the missed assignment. If you must miss class the date an assignment is due but
cannot provide documentation to excuse your absence, send the work to class with a classmate or turn the work in
to your instructor in advance and it will not be counted as late. If you are absent from the final exam, your
instructor will record a grade of “X” and you must present an explanation for your absence to your academic dean.

15. Blackboard: Be sure to consult your class’s Blackboard site (https://courses.duke.edu) for more detailed
information on these course components, for daily assignments, and for course and Italian community and Tavola
news. You are responsible for all course information posted on the class BB site. Be sure to consult it daily!

16. The use of ALL electronic devices (phones & laptops included) is strictly prohibited after the lesson takes
off!!! 

Duke University * Department of Romance Studies * I T A L I A N 63 * Spring 2011

17. Accommodation: If you feel you need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability, please contact
Dr. Donna Hall at dhall@duke.edu or Dr. John Blackshear at john.blackshear@duke.edu or call 919-684-5917.
Also contact me privately so we can discuss your specific needs.

18. Tutoring service: will be offered regularly throughout the semester. Please consult your BB site for further
information. You are encouraged to take advantage of this service and to use it in a timely manner. Don’t wait until
the last minute! If you have questions or doubts, or simply need to review don’t hesitate to visit your professor
during office hours and to see our tutor. Sometimes, just a bit more focus and individual attention can clarify
doubts, solve problems and strengthen your language abilities. If you require the services of a tutor, the name and
schedule of tutors will be posted on your course BB page. Please note that the tutoring service will not be offered
during the final exam reading period.

19. Office hours: You are encouraged to attend my office hours, and/or those of my colleagues teaching Italian 63
to clarify any doubts on the topics we are covering in class, any questions about the course or simply to talk about
Italian language and culture.

20. Surveys: As part of Duke's ongoing efforts to enhance teaching and learning, the Office of Asssesment is
evaluating the impact of the foreign language programs on students’ linguistic skills and cultural understandings. As
a student in the program, your appraisal of the impact is important and we encourage your candid and thoughtful
responses on a language survey and a cultural awareness survey that you may be asked to complete in a computer
lab outside of class time. An overall summary of the survey findings will be posted on the Office of Assessment
web site for anyone interested. Those that participate in the cultural awareness survey will receive individual
summary reports of their results. All publicly disseminated reports will contain only summary data and all individual
responses will remain confidential. If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Hill at jlh9@duke.edu.

21. Contact Information: If you have questions regarding the course, tutoring services, the Italian Language
Program or other, please contact me or Prof. Luciana Fellin, Director of the ILP, at 660-3117, fellin@duke.edu.

IV. Grading guidelines:

22. Calculation of grades: Your performance in the following categories will determine your final grade:
1. Participation 10%
2. Oral and Written Homework 12%
3. Chapter Tests (2) 14%
4. Vocabulary Quizzes (4) 4%
5. Midterm 9%
6. Final Exam 17%
7. Compositions “Tesine” (2) 10%
8. Twitter 4%
9. Video Project 10%
10. Oral Exam (2) 8%
11. Tavola Italiana (2) 2%
Total 100%

23. Grade Scale:

Exceptional Superior Satisfactory Low pass Fail
100-98 A+ 89-88 B+ 79-78 C+ 69-68 D+ 59-0 F
97-93 A 87-83 B 77-73 C 67-63 D
92-90 A- 82-80 B- 72-70 C- 62-60 D-
Duke University * Department of Romance Studies * I T A L I A N 63 * Spring 2011

Settimana Temi e funzioni Grammatica Testi

Prima settimana Presentazione del Corso -Ripasso del materiale -Il progetto ERASMUS,
12 – 14 Gennaio del semestre scorso p.59
Ripasso del materiale -Ripasso tempi del -Consigli pratici per
del semestre scorso Passato Indicativo imparare le lingue
-Trapassato prossimo straniere, p.62
Capitolo 5: -Pronomi relativi -Caffè culturale, p.66
-Scambi culturali -English Grammar..., pp.
-Raccontare al passato 76-85
Seconda settimana Capitolo 5+6: -Trapassato Prossimo -“Il gioco dei se,” p.70
18 – 21 Gennaio -Studiare all’estero -Comparativi e -English Grammar...,
-Vivere in città superlativi regolari e pp. 120-123
*Esercizio di scrittura in -Raccontare al passato irregolari
classe -Fare confronti -Il passato remoto (solo
*Esercizio Wimba riconoscimento)
Terza settimana Capitolo 6: -Il condizionale presente -“Il gioco dei se,” p.70
24 – 28 Gennaio -Vivere in città e passato -English Grammar...,
-Fare ipotesi e richieste -Condizionale e Verbi pp. 101-104
*Quiz di Vocabolario 1 -Esprimere rimpianti Modali
(28 Gen)
Quarta settimana Capitolo 6+7: -Il condizionale presente -Gli stereotipi, p.81
31 Gennaio – 4 Febbraio -Luoghi comuni e e passato -English Grammar...,
stereotipi -Il congiuntivo presente pp.97-99
*Twitter: Lab -Esprimere rimpianti e passato
Orientation (31 Gennaio) -Lamentarsi
*Test 1 (4 Feb) -Esprimere opinioni

Quinta settimana: Capitolo 7: -Il congiuntivo presente -La “mappa degli

7 – 11 Febbraio -Esprimere opinioni e passato stereotipi” (su BB)
-Comunicare in Italia
*Esame Orale 1 -La tecnologia
(9 Febbraio)

Sesta settimana Capitolo 8: -Congiuntivo imperfetto -Intervista a Brenda

14 – 18 Febbraio -Comunicare in Italia e trapassato Laurel, p.92
-L’uso della tecnologia: -E-mail: la nicotina della
*Tesina 1: Inizio scrittura Italia e Stati Uniti nuova era, p.96
in classe (14 Feb) -Esprimere opinioni nel -English Grammar...,
*Tesina 1: Prima passato pp. 97-99
versione; peer review in -“Cellulari Italiani”
classe (18 Feb) Caffè culturale, p.100

Settima settimana Capitolo 8+9: -Congiuntivo vs -Il “Bookcrossing”,

21 – 25 Febbraio -Esprimere opinioni nel Indicativo p.106 e 108
passato -Espressioni che -Caffè culturale, p.110
*Esercizio Wimba -Descrivere un libro introducono il -Materiale su BB
* Quiz di Vocabolario 2 -Esprimere giudizi Congiuntivo
(25 Feb)
*Tesina 1: versione finale
(25 Feb)
Duke University * Department of Romance Studies * I T A L I A N 63 * Spring 2011

Settimana Temi e funzioni Grammatica Testi

Ottava settimana Capitolo 9: -Congiunzioni ed -Materiale su BB
28 Febbraio – 4 Marzo -Libri e tecnologia espressioni che
-Descrivere un libro utilizzano il congiuntivo
* Midterm (4 Marzo) -Esprimere preferenze -Ripasso per il Midterm
*Deadline to complete
1st Tavola
5 – 13 Marzo
Nona settimana Capitolo 10: -Congiunzioni ed -L’Italia cambia faccia,
14 – 18 Marzo -La famiglia che cambia espressioni che p.114, p.158
-Il fenomeno del utilizzano il congiuntivo -Italiani mammoni,
*Prendere la Flip “mammismo” p.118, 121
Camera al LINK -English Grammar...,
*Progetto Video: pp. 99, 103-104
formare i gruppi e iniziare
a lavorare su soggetto e
Decima settimana Capitolo 10+12: -Tutti i tempi del -L’Italia cambia faccia,
21 – 25 Marzo -Confronti: la famiglia Congiuntivo p.114, p.158
* Quiz di Vocabolario 3 italiana e la famiglia -Il periodo ipotetico -Italiani mammoni,
(25 Marzo) americana p.118, 121
*Progetto Video: -Ambiente ed ecologia -English Grammar...,
scrivere una bozza della -Fare ipotesi pp. 104-105
Undicesima settimana Capitolo 12: -Il periodo ipotetico -Intervista a Monica
28 Marzo – 1 Aprile -Ambiente ed ecologia -Concordanza dei tempi Frassoni, p.137, 138
-Fare ipotesi del congiuntivo -English Grammar...,
pp. 104-105
Dodicesima settimana Capitolo 12+13: -Il congiuntivo -L’uomo ideale e la
4 – 8 Aprile -Ambiente ed ecologia introdotto da verbi al donna ideale, p.152-153
-Fare ipotesi condizionale
*Esame Orale 2 (4 Apr) -Io e gli altri -Il periodo ipotetico
*Tesina 2: Inizio scrittura -Esprimere preferenze -Concordanza dei tempi
in classe (6 Apr) del congiuntivo
*Esercizio Wimba
Tredicesima settimana Capitolo 13+14: -Il congiuntivo -“Mascolinità” e
11 – 15 Aprile -Io e gli altri introdotto da verbi al Intervista a M.
*Tesina 2: Prima -Esprimere preferenze condizionale Mazzucco, p.156-157
versione; peer review in -Concordanza dei tempi
classe (11 Aprile) del congiuntivo
*Presentazioni Progetti
Video in classe (13 Apr)
Quattordicesima Capitolo 14: - SI impersonale -I luoghi del cuore,
Settimana -L’Italia da scoprire p.162, 164-165
18 – 22 Aprile -I dialetti -Caffè culturale, p.170
* Quiz di Vocabolario 4 -Ripasso Capitolo 7:
(18 Aprile) luoghi comuni e stereotipi
*Oscar Night (21 Apr)
*Test 2 (20 Apr)

Duke University * Department of Romance Studies * I T A L I A N 63 * Spring 2011

Settimana Temi e funzioni Grammatica Testi

Quindicesima Capitoli 5-14: -Ripasso -Ripasso
settimana Raccontare
25 – 27 Aprile Descrivere
Esprimere opinioni e
*Tesina 2: versione desideri
finale (25 Aprile) Argomentare
*Esercizio Wimba Fare ipotesi
Esame Finale Thursday, May 5th, In bocca al lupo! Buone vacanze!
**The ILP reserves the right to modify these assignments based on the specific needs of the class.**

24. * How to determine your participation grade in this course *

A range: I speak and participate in class every day

I do all the class activities and exercises
I always give my opinion
I can talk about the material in the lesson because I have read it well
I always speak Italian in class (only a few English words come out of my mouth)
I challenge myself and my peers to experiment with new forms during group activities

B range: I regularly speak and participate in class

I frequently express my opinion
I can usually talk about the material in the lesson or homework
I speak Italian in class most of the time

C range: I participate and speak in class on most days

I try to express my opinion most of the time
Generally, I can answer most of the questions on the lesson or homework
I try to speak Italian in class, but I don’t challenge myself

D range: I speak in class now and then; for instance, when I am called upon
I do not express my ideas well enough because I failed to read the material or did not do the
I speak English when working in groups

F: I occasionally speak Italian

I sometimes contribute my opinion to class discussions and activities