Entry requirements: GCSE grade 6 in Italian
The Italian A Level course aims to extend and deepen your knowledge of the Italian language and give you an insight into the Italian way of life and culture. By the end of your course you will be able to understand, discuss and write about many day-to-day issues and events with increased confidence, fluency and accuracy.
The course develops the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing in Italian through the study of topics relating to contemporary Italian society. These topics include Italian music, media, culture and traditions, the evolution of the Italian family, immigration, Italy’s north/south divide and Italian Fascism. In Year 12, we will read and research Niccolò Ammaniti’s celebrated 2001 novel, lo non ho paura. Year 13 will involve the study of another Italian novel or an Italian film.
In addition, students will carry out an independent research project on an area relating to Italian-speaking culture or society which is of particular interest to them. Students will present and discuss this research as part of their speaking examination. In both Year 12 and Year 13 students will have six lessons per week in the classroom, as well as one weekly lesson with our native Italian speaker to enable them to increase their fluency, flair and pronunciation. Two of the classroom lessons will focus on Italian grammar.
Assessment is by examination at the end of Year 13.There are two written papers and an oral examination. Paper 1 tests candidates’ comprehension of spoken and written Italian and includes a translation into English. Paper 2 comprises a translation into Italian and two essays, focusing on the novel and the film which have been studied. The speaking examination is made up of a discussion about a stimulus, the student’s presentation of their research project and then a wider discussion based on this research.
It is important that students undertake their own personal study to extend and deepen their knowledge and use of Italian beyond the classroom. The film club is an enjoyable aid to this, as is the week’s work experience in Italy, which takes place usually during February half-term.
Italian A Level provides good preparation for research and further study within higher education and employment, in the UK and abroad. Italian is a magnificent and beautiful language drawing on a rich cultural heritage and would complement any other subject. Employers are often impressed with job applicants who can offer a foreign language. Italian, in particular, is an important language in fields such as business, finance, fashion, art, tourism, food, wine, technology, sport and health industries.