International Baccalaureate Italian Ab Initio
The two year IB ab initio Italian course is intended for students with no previous experience of the language. (Ab initio is Latin for from the beginning).You will learn to speak, listen, read and write in Italian and you will also learn to appreciate aspects of the culture of the country and Italian society. Although the purpose is ultimately to communicate in the language, the course will.
To take into account
The course is designed for complete beginners, but a certain amount of aptitude for language learning is obviously required and a willingness to study in detail the grammar and syntax of language. Emphasis is placed on understanding how the language works and applying that knowledge to spontaneous contexts rather than memorizing answers for pre-set questions.
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ITALIAN AB INITIO
What is Italian ab initio (Standard Level)?
The two year IB ab initio Italian course is intended for students with
no previous experienceof the language. (Ab initio is Latin for from the beginning).You will learn to speak, listen, read and write in Italian and you will also learn to appreciate aspects of the
cultureof the country and Italian society. Although the purpose is ultimately to communicate in the language, the course will have a greater
grammaticalcontent and focus than is usually contained within a typical GCSE course. Why do other Europeans tend to speak foreign languages better than we do? One reason is because they have a better
scientific understandingof language. This course aims to impart that kind of understanding.
Why should I study Italian ab initio?
The ab initio course takes students to a
Standard Levelqualification (worth the maximum
7 points), a standard midway between GCSE and AS level. Students with GCSE in another language should give serious consideration to taking up Italian rather than continuing with the language they already have, especially if they only want to pursue language to Standard level.
- students will acquire a mastery of practical/ transactional language, to enable them to communicate in a variety of daily situations by asking for and giving basic information and descriptions.
- students will master the language of description, narrative, request and giving opinion / making recommendations etc.
- students will gain a grasp of the grammatical, syntactical and linguistic tools to enable them to become
autonomous communicators, capable of producing meaningful language in spontaneous contexts, without recourse to merely pre-learnt drills.
- students with no previous language experience should also learn the skills to be able to recognize patterns in language and apply theses skills to the subsequent acquisition of other
- students will develop their ability to understand a wide variety of different and authentic texts (including letters, fax, diaries, advertisements and news reports) and to analyse principle meaning, the substantiating details of an argument, and to pick out key items of information.
Useful Skills and Interests
- no previous knowledge.
- a good retentive memory
- a curiosity for how the grammar of the language works, rather than simply memorizing set phrases.
- an openness and interest in the culture of Italy.
- an ability to think on your feet
- a willingness to engage in interactive oral activities
Course Structure and Content
(a) the following topic areas:
- Time and daily routines - Physical and character descriptions) - Shops and services (Bank, post Office, transport etc) - Education and Work (talking about college experiences and jobs and future plans) - food and drink - travel, holidays and free time - health and emergencies - the environment
(b) transactional tasks such as:
- Booking hotels, tickets, restaurant table etc - acquiring and returning items of clothes and other purchases - consulting timetables, asking for and giving directions, the time etc
- explaining ailments, understanding and giving advice - making recommendations or issuing complaints - ordering meals and food - exchanging personal information
- responding in interviews - describing incidents and lost items to the police / authorities
- compiling advertisements, job requests - writing emails, faxes, letters, reports, summaries, diary entries giving instructions etc
(c) grammatical content
- understanding nouns, adjectives, prepositions and adverbs - articles, pronouns and conjunctions - all basic indicative tenses plus some major uses of the subjunctive mood in order to facilitate the development of subordinate clauses.
(d) culture and narrative
- the course will make use of some
short storiesand examples of
contemporary Italian cinemain order to help students acquire the language of narrative, exchange simple opinions, develop empathy and imagination and gain insights into the society and culture of Italy.
How will I be assessed?
Examinations are all taken towards the end of the second year. There are two oral examinations, one internally and another externally moderated. Reading and writing are assessed in joint papers: there is more written assessment in the examination than in a normal GCSE course for example, and the reading includes some texts that are more complex than GCSE and require more full written answers.
This is a two year course, based on two and a half hours tuition per week.
The college currently runs a home-stay exchange with a
school in Bergamoin northern Italy. This is voluntary, but highly recommended, and costs in the region of 200.
Single or Combined Honours degrees in Italian are widely offered, but many degree level courses can also be combined with a foreign language e.g. Business/Management and Italian; Law/ Politics and Italian. Employers look for the kind of skills and versatility evinced by good linguists: advanced communication skills, adaptability and openness; self-reliance and negotiation skills; the intellectual ability and self-discipline required to master the subject.
International Baccalaureate Italian Ab Initio