Italian Curriculum

IB Italian Ab Initio (Standard Level)

Ab Initio Italian is open to all non-native speakers who have not gained a certified qualification in Italian. If you have studied Italian at GCSE or IGCSE level, then you are not eligible to take Italian Ab Initio. This course may only be taken at Standard Level.

This is divided in three themes, which each divide into sub-topics as below:

  • Individual and society
  • Leisure and work
  • Urban and rural environment

How the course is taught
Students will receive six periods of work per cycle, which are usually taught by the same teacher. Additionally, students will have a weekly oral period, either individually or in a small group. Pupils will be expected to go to every language assistant lesson and they will also need to prepare material in advance of each class.

Pupils are expected to complete all of their homework on time. There is an expectation that pupils will carry out independent learning as without doing this, owing to the accelerated nature of the course, the high grades will not be attainable. From the very beginning of the course much emphasis is placed on vocabulary acquisition, student participation, independent learning and research. This research will be necessary as preparation for formal examinations.

All students are expected to engage fully in lessons, complete homework on time, learn vocabulary and basic grammar thoroughly and attend co-curricular activities when necessary.

The IB course has a significant creative element and pupils will need to be creative thinkers and not afraid to take risks. The expectation too, is that pupils will speak the target language during lessons wherever possible. Pupils will be expected to go to every language assistant lesson and they will also need to prepare material and exercises in advance of each class.

Preparatory Work
Students are provided with introductory material to study over the summer holidays before starting the course. Students are then tested on this material within the first week of term.

IB Italian A Literature (Higher Level and Standard Level)

The Italian A Literature course gives students the opportunity to study a wide range of literature but also appreciate the historical and social context associated with each work and develop a number of skills. A combination of lecture-based lessons, group discussion and activities and individual
research all combine to ensure that lessons are stimulating and varied.

This course presupposes a native command of the language. It is, therefore, not a language acquisition course as such, but, rather more a reinforcement and refinement of already- present language and literary skills. The course of study is divided into four parts.

Italian A, whether at Higher or Standard Level, requires the linguistic competence of a native speaker and it counts towards a Bilingual Diploma.

The Higher and Standard Level courses have similar syllabi; Higher Level students examine topics in more depth and study more literary options. While the same principles underlie both courses, the Higher Level marks schemes are naturally more rigorous.

Four modules are covered during the course of two years:

  • Part 1: A study of three texts in Translation, involving close textual analysis as well as research.
  • Part 2: A study of three works of different genres, one of which must be poetry.
  • Part 3: A study of four works of the same genre and which allow for comparative as well as individual study.
  • Part 4: A study of four works chosen freely by the teacher. The cultural background of the texts as well as film versions are studied alongside the works themselves.

How the course is taught
A heavy emphasis in this course is placed on research and independent learning, although, naturally, students are supported at all times and offered guidance when completing extended projects such as their coursework module and individual oral presentations.

Expectations / Homework
Students are expected to participate in class discussion, be inquisitive and work both independently and in groups. Homework ranges from independent research to essay questions, either from past papers or based on a topic currently being studied.  In addition to this, students are expected to consolidate the texts they are studying and take additional notes in order to enhance their learning outside of the classroom.

Preparatory work
All works studied are available to students from the beginning of the course so that they are free to read any of the texts in advance. They will be set poems to analyse in the summer preceding the course in order to acquaint them with the basic techniques of literary analysis.