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Italian Beginners (Year 1) Short Course

Key information

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Delivery of this module will be online due to government-issued guidelines during the Covid-19 pandemic and may be made available face-to-face subject to Public Health England recommendations. Please submit your application and, once reviewed by the module leader, you will receive more specific information about the online delivery of your module and assessments.

Start learning Italian with our Italian Beginners short course. The course is made up of three parts (parts 1-3), taught at progressive levels. Take one part or enrol on all three to complete the full beginners syllabus.

Why choose this course?

Whether you're learning Italian for travelling, working abroad or with foreign companies, the Italian Beginners course will enable you to communicate confidently on a basic level in everyday situations, socialise and not feel out of place in the country you are visiting.

This short course is an introduction to the Italian language and way of life for the purpose of practical communication. Challenging but rewarding, the course is perfectly suited to those looking to develop a basic command of Italian.

The full beginners course is made up of three 10-week beginners’ modules – part 1, part 2 and part 3. Enrol on the full syllabus (parts 1-3) to gain a complete knowledge of Italian for beginners at the best price. Our teaching takes place one evening a week, ideal for those with various commitments or working full-time.

All of our language short courses are taught by qualified native speakers and delivered at City, University of London’s main campus, in the heart of the capital.

Course overview

During the first year, you will learn how to introduce yourself, your profession and family members, talk about likes and dislikes and express preferences, order food and drinks, describe a house, ask and give directions; and describe clothes including their colours. You will also learn to book holidays, buy products and order services. Not only will you learn how to make statements about daily life, you will also learn how to abstract the relevant information by asking questions and practising these questions and responses in class.

The course runs over three parts and at the end of part 1, you will be able to ask questions and speak about all aspects of daily life in the present tense. In order to build confidence and understand the structure of the language, you will learn articles, verb conjugation, pronunciation, comparatives and superlatives as well as adjectives. Past and future tense are introduced in parts 2 and 3.

Is it the right level for me?

If you have no prior knowledge of Italian you must start with part 1, or the full syllabus (parts 1-3).

If you have some basic knowledge of Italian and you are already familiar with the content in part 1 you may choose to enrol on part 2 or part 3. See the Eligibility section below for more details.

Please make sure you have the correct level by using our online guidelines.

  • “ This is a fantastic course, it moves at pace and Veronica is very engaging. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the course to prospective students. ”

    Caroline Foote

    Former student

  • “ Veronica is a wonderful teacher, and adapted brilliantly when required to switch to remote classes. The advantages of learning from a native speaker are clear and that is especially so when, like Veronica, that teacher is skilled, thorough and loved by all her students. ”


    Former student

  • “ I really enjoyed my year’s Italian course with Veronica, both in class and remotely. Great teacher. Zoom worked really well as a teaching medium. I’ll be back for more. ”


    Former student

What will I learn?

What will I learn?

Part 1


  • Introductions, yourself;
  • The alphabet and sounds;
  • Numbers 0 to 100;
  • Class room interior, countries and nationalities;
  • The family;
  • Professions and places of work;
  • Week-ends and hobbies.


  • Definite and indefinite article;
  • Adjectives and nouns: gender and number;
  • Personal pronouns;
  • Possessive adjectives;
  • Verbs in the present tense: essere, avere, verbs ending in -are, - ere, - ire, and reflexive verbs ending in - arsi, - ersi, - iris;
  • Irregular verbs (fare/avere/andare/uscire);
  • Negative/interrogative from of verb;
  • The verb piacere, agreement and disagreement with piacere;
  • Verbs in - ire following the pattern of preferire;
  • Adverbs of frequency (raramente, spesso, qualche volta, sempre).

Learning outcomes

  • Greeting people;
  • Introducing yourself and others;
  • Spell out words and use numbers;
  • Saying where you come from and where you live;
  • Giving details about yourself;
  • Expressing preferences, likes and dislikes;
  • Describing objects;
  • Talking about your profession and family relationships;
  • Talking about hobbies and spare time;
  • Talking about activities at the weekends and how often you do them;
  • Giving and asking time.

Part 2


  • Revision, food and drink, going out, booking into a hotel, the house;
  • Town and public places;
  • People and their appearance.


  • Indefinite articles, there is/ there are;
  • Prepositions;
  • Combined prepositions;
  • Preposition and adverb of place;
  • Duration form "da";
  • Imperative form of regular and some irregular verbs;
  • Negative form of imperative;
  • Introduction of direct object pronouns;
  • Verbs taking direct object;

Learning outcomes

  • Ordering food in a bar or restaurant;
  • Booking into a hotel;
  • Describing one's house;
  • Asking and giving directions;
  • Buying a ticket;
  • Arranging a meeting;
  • Making suggestions;
  • Describing a person and their personality.

Part 3


  • Revision;
  • Daily routine;
  • Shopping
  • Clothes;
  • Past event;


  • Reflexive verbs;
  • More verbs taking direct object;
  • Indirect object pronouns;
  • Introduction of verbs taking indirect object;
  • Introduction of the past tense;
  • Verbs taking the auxiliary "essere" and verbs taking "avere".

Learning outcomes

  • Talking about the daily routine;
  • Buying objects and clothes;
  • Talking about and describing past events;
  • Asking questions about past events.



Prerequisite knowledge

Modules are taught at progressive levels, if you have no prior knowledge you must start at part 1 or enrol on the full syllabus (parts 1-3).

If you wish to join part 2 of the Italian Beginners course, you must have completed part 1 or be familiar with the content taught in part 1, specified in the What will I learn? section.

If you wish to enrol on part 3 of the short course, you must have completed both parts 1 and 2 or be familiar with the content taught in these two modules, found in the What will I learn? section.

Please check your level by using our online guidelines before enrolling.

English requirements

You will need to respond to instructions and read course documents in English.

Teaching & assessment

Teaching & assessment

The emphasis in this course is on listening and speaking. The lessons focus on language that is required in authentic situations.

There is no formal assessment and no qualification is issued at the end of the course, but you will be awarded an official City, University of London certificate on completion of the course. You must attend over 70 per cent of the classes to be eligible for the certificate.

Classroom activities will include:

  • Role-playing
  • classroom discussion
  • pair and group work
  • work on pronunciation and intonation
  • grammar in context.

Listening to audio clips and watching videos are an important element in our lessons. More comprehensive grammar exercises and reading texts are generally set as homework.

All evaluation will take place in a relaxed and informal setting.

Recommended reading

Recommended reading

Espresso 1: Libro delle studente

by Luciana Ziglio,

  • Publisher: Alma;
  • ISBN-13: 978-88-86440-29-5 (With CD, ISBN: 978 8861 820548).

It is not necessary to buy a textbook as photocopies will be given out in class. No single course book is used, though material will be taken from.

A small Italian-English/English Italian dictionary would be very useful.

Tutor information

  • Veronica De Felice

    Veronica De Felice has a Level 5 Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (2009), a Certificate in Language Teaching to Adults (Goldsmiths, 2006) and a BA in Foreign Languages (Napoli, 2002).

    She has been teaching Italian and translation in various institutions such as Goldsmiths College, the University of the Arts, Croydon College and various language schools in London.

Next steps

This Italian Intermediate Short Evening Course is a fantastic follow-on course for anyone that has studied Italian before and looking to take their knowledge further.…