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Become acquainted with the sounds, sights and food of Italy through learning this ever popular language.

These courses are delivered face to face on ANU campus.

If you require accessibility accommodations or a visitor Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan to attend our courses please contact us at clt@anu.edu.au.

Man and woman hugging in front of the Colloseum
Orange moped parked in cobblestone street

Italian 1

In this exciting introductory course of Italian 1, students will discover the basics of the ever-popular Italian language whilst also delving into the culture and history of Italy. They will learn how to describe themselves and others and to communicate about their work and travel through simple conversations. The foundations of Italian grammar will be provided for those who wish to pursue further studies or independent learning.

Course outline

ANU Continuing Education’s course of Italian 1 will cover both the Introductory Unit and Unit 1 from course textbook The new Italian project 1a. This textbook provides language learning to level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Your teacher will also offer a wide range of extra resources in Italian to complement your studies and extend your learning each week, including written texts, audio, video, and other online materials. There will be also some Traveller Abroad vocabulary.

  • Topic 1. In our first week of Italian 1, we commence the introductory unit of our textbook, learning how to greet others in Italian with terms such as Buongiorno plus how to introduce ourselves with phrases like mi chiamo… We will also learn the Italian alphabet. Students will distinguish between formal and informal situations and how to adjust their register in Italian, with the correct use of titles such as Signore and Signora. Students will think about what Italy means to them and why they want to learn the Italian language, acknowledging they already know many words such as opera, cinema, arte, espresso in Italian.
  • Topic 2. Students will learn useful vocab to describe people and things, such as studente, macchina, gelato. They will discover different nationalities, such as italiano and australiano, and how to describe where we and others come from. In this lesson, we will also revise our greetings and how to introduce ourselves and others in Italian. For grammar, we will look at how word endings for Italian nouns and adjectives change according to the gender (masculine or feminine) and number (singular or plural) of words. Students will also learn their first irregular verb essere (to be).
  • Topic 3. We continue to learn useful vocab, such as ragazza and casa. We revise nationalities and learn how to say different languages. Students will be taught how to count from 1 to 10 in Italian. For grammar, we encounter the definite article (the) with its forms of il, la, lo in the singular and i, le, gli in the plural. This week we also learn a few new adjectives to describe people and things, such as bella and nuova.
  • Topic 4. Students engage with short dialogues in Italian and everyday situations. The class will encounter some terms for some family members, such as il fratello, and how to say one’s age in Italian. We will also learn numbers from 11-30. For grammar, students are introduced to the irregular verb avere (to have) and some idiomatic expressions using this verb. We will look at the reflexive verb chiamarsi (to be called).
  • Topic 5. During this lesson, students will undertake a self-evaluation and test of the introductory unit of the textbook. We will then commence Unit 1. This week we explore vocabulary describing professions, such as un lavoro, l’ufficio, and il/la collega. Students will read about an Italian’s first day at work and learn expressions to talk about a new job. For grammar, there’s a brief introduction to regular verbs (-are, -ere, -ire) in Italian in the present tense.
  • Topic 6. Students will learn vocab in relation to moving to and from home and work, with some simple time expressions and various forms of transportation in Italian, such as il treno and l’autobus. We will learn more in depth about the regular -are, -ere, and -ire verbs in Italian in the present tense and how to conjugate these correctly according to their subject.
  • Topic 7. Continuing to learn simple time expressions, students will now acquire vocab for setting up appointments or catchups with friends, family, and colleagues, such as sei libero, and how to invite or accept invitations. This week we will also focus on the indefinite articles (a, an) un, uno, una, un’ and revisit adjective endings and how they change according to the gender and number of nouns they describe.
  • Topic 8. Students will learn how to ask for and give simple directions in Italian, when finding their way around Italy, with phrases such as dov’è and per andare…, plus learn useful vocab to describe transportation to their destinations. We will look at both the informal dare del tu and formal dare del Lei registers. Students will also explore how to say where they live (or are staying while they are abroad) and reasons they may be visiting Italy. There will also be a revision of how to greet people at various times of the day in Italian. For grammar, we will continue to revise the regular verbs of -are, -ere, and -ire in Italian in the present tense.
  • Topic 9. In our final week of Italian 1, we will discover how to describe ourselves and others in Italian, learning vocab to describe physical appearance and character traits or personality types. Students will acquire the words to indicate parts of the face by exploring Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa. We will revise the definite articles in grammar. There will also be a test finale for Unit 1 of the textbook. For culture, students will read about the Italian family. This week we also look at the map of Italy and learn the names of cities and regions in Italian and of the surroundings seas and islands of the peninsula.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, you should:

  • know greetings in Italian, how to ask others how they are and to say how you are;
  • be able to introduce yourself and others in Italian;
  • feel confident to describe yourself and others, including age, physical traits and character, nationality, languages spoken, professions, and civil status, in the present tense;
  • be competent to ask and give directions in Italian;
  • gain the vocab to invite others to events and to accept or decline appointments.

Who should enrol?

This course is for beginners in the Italian language and those who want to discover more about the Italy’s rich cultural heritage. It is suitable for professionals, the self-employed, retirees, university students or those contemplating a degree.

What our students say

“Loved it – fun and academic at the same time”
“The Italian beginners class was a great introduction to Italian language and culture. The teacher was engaging and very knowledgeable.”
“The classes were well conducted, interesting, lively and a lot of fun”
“The course was intensive, interactive and fun.”
“The course content was well targeted, relevant and useful, and the teaching was engaging and fun.”

Italian 2

In this fun continuing course of Italian 2, students will develop their knowledge of the Italian language whilst also learning about the traditions, history and culture of Italy. They will learn how to communicate with simple conversations to describe pastimes and their home life. Learners’ knowledge of Italian grammar will be expanded, building on the foundation blocks. The course will consider how Italians spend their free time and urban means of transportation by road, air and waterways. It will also look at technology in Italy and key services.

Course outline

ANU Continuing Education’s course of Italian 2 will cover both Unit 2 and Unit 3 from course textbook The new Italian project 1a. This textbook provides language learning to level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Your teacher will also offer a wide range of extra resources in Italian to complement your studies and extend your learning each week, including written texts, audio, video and other online materials. There will also be some Traveller Abroad vocabulary.

  • Topic 1. In our first week of Italian 2, we commence Unit 2 of our textbook, learning how to describe our hobbies and interests in Italian, such as ascoltare musica or andare al cinema, reading about the pasttime activities of Italians at different stages of life. For grammar, we will learn the irregular verbs andare, venire, dare, sapere, stare, uscire, fare, and giocare.
  • Topic 2. Students continue to learn how to describe leisure activities through mini dialogues in Italian. We revisit the topic of organising events with family, friends or colleagues, and how to invite someone to an outing in Italian and how to accept and refuse an invitation. We learn modal verbs potere, volere, and dovere.
  • Topic 3. This week students are introduced to vocab to describe their homes and living arrangements, such as appartamento and studio. We learn the numbers from 30-2,000 plus ordinal numbers such as primo, secondo, and terzo. Students will master the grammatical structures of prepositions in Italian when referring to places and spaces for moving about in Italy. Means of transportation will be revised.
  • Topic 4. We will learn days of the week and how to ask and to say the time in Italian this week in class. Students will see how to describe their appointments in their calendars or timetables in Italian, continuing to learn vocab for arranging outings and agreeing to or declining suggestions. We will learn methods of transportation in the Italian urban environment. Students will also read about Italians’ favourite pastimes and hobbies. This week includes a self-evaluation and test of Unit 2.
  • Topic 5. This week we start Unit 3 of our textbook. Students learn vocab for modes of communication, such as il cellulare or email. This week we talk about technology and ways of messaging in Italian via computer, smartphone and tablets. For grammar, we will be continuing our understanding of prepositions, in particular the forms of articulated prepositions, such as al, nel, del, dal, and sul.
  • Topic 6. We learn to use prepositions with destinations and locations in Italian. Students will read short dialogues about appointments or meetups in various destinations, refining their knowledge of indicating the time of day in Italian, combining space and time. For grammar, we are introduced to the partitive article and how to describe portions or ‘some’ of certain things. We look at common opening hours of places in Italy such as the farmacia, banca, biblioteca, and ufficio postale. Students will also learn expressions to indicate uncertainty or doubt.
  • Topic 7. To continue learning to describe their home environment, students will gain vocab for furniture and décor in Italian and how to indicate their location via prepositions. They will build confidence in describing rooms at home and in the office. There will be revision in grammar of articulated prepositions.
  • Topic 8. Students will continue practising short dialogues of common situations they may encounter in Italy and how to express thanks in particular situations with expressions such as grazie mille and ti ringrazio. This week will include vocab about the different months of the year and seasons in Italian. Students will learn how to express large numbers in Italian from 1,000 to 5 million and to describe dates, statistics and the price of more expensive items. They will learn the grammatical structure of possessive adjectives and how to express ownership of objects or indicate personal connections or relationships in Italian.
  • Topic 9. In our final week of Italian 2, there will be a self-evaluation and test of materials covered in Unit 3. This week students will read emails and letters in Italian and learn how to compose their own correspondence. We will look at icons and technological vocab for the computer and new media such as cliccare, chattare, and sito internet. Students will also read about how to phone various services in Italy, such as l’ambulanza and i vigili del fuoco and telephone codes for different major Italian cities.

Learning outcomes

  • be able to describe your hobbies and interests in your free time in the present tense;
  • feel confident to describe where you and others live, including rooms and furniture;
  • have learned how to tell the time in Italian and to describe appointments in your diary;
  • acquire competence in arranging events and outings and in accepting or refusing invitations;
  • master vocab for talking about technology and modes of communication, via computer, smartphone, and more traditional postal and phone services.
  • be able to talk about dates and seasons of the year.

Who should enrol?

This course is those who have completed Italian 1 at ANU’s Continuing Education or approximately 20 hours of tuition in the Italian language and who want to discover more about Italy’s rich cultural heritage. It is suitable for professionals, the self-employed, retirees, university students or those contemplating a degree.

Italian 3

In this rewarding course of Italian 3, leading to lifelong learning, students will refine their knowledge of the Italian language whilst also learning about the traditions, history and culture of Italy. Moving beyond the present tense, students will also be able to talk about events in the past and future in Italian. They will learn how to describe their weekend activities, pastimes, holidays and major festivals such as Christmas. Students will also master vocab for dining out in Italy and learn about its important coffee culture.

Course outline

ANU Continuing Education’s course of Italian 3 will cover both Unit 4 and Unit 5 from course textbook The new Italian project 1a. This textbook provides language learning to level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Your teacher will also offer a wide range of extra resources in Italian to complement your studies and extend your learning each week, including written texts, audio, video and other online materials. There will also be some Traveller Abroad vocabulary.

  • Topic 1. In our first week of Italian 3, we commence Unit 4 of our textbook, building on our knowledge of pastimes and hobbies, students learn how to describe their free-time activities on the weekend, such as going out to un bar or una mostra al museo. We will discover how to recount events in the past, such as having seen un film at the movies or having danced at un concerto. The grammatical structure of the passato prossimo tense will be studied and the use avere or essere with past participles.
  • Topic 2. We will continue learning to describe activities in the past tense, and how to distinguish between when to use avere or essere for verbs of movement, states of being, intransitive and transitive verbs. Students will recreate a police investigation and the imaginary past event of items being stolen from the university. They will then recount typical past events in the day of an Italian and their friend. For grammar, this week we encounter some irregular past participles in Italian.
  • Topic 3. This week we read about music and famous musicians of the region of Sardegna in Italy. Students will also learn how to talk about works of art and famous figures of Italian history in the past tense, such as Paolo Sorrentino’s La grande bellezza and Elena Ferrante’s L’amica geniale. In grammar, they will discover how to combine adverbs with the past tense to refine meaning in Italian.
  • Topic 4. Students will learn key vocab for ordering food and drinks at cafés, such as un panino and un succo d’arancia, acting out mini dialogues and perusing menus in Italian. They will gain confidence in expressing needs and wants with modal verbs and their grammatical structures in the past tense, plus how to indicate hunger or thirst with the verb avere.
  • Topic 5. There will be a self-evaluation and test as we finish Unit 4 this week. Students will read about how Italians spend their weekends and then reflect upon their own pastime activities. They will also read about the history and culture of coffee in Italy and learn about il bar italiano. Key vocab for different types of coffee will be mastered.
  • Topic 6. This week we commence the final Unit 5 of our textbook, with its theme of holidays. Students will learn to describe their ideal vacations in Italian, such as prendere il sole by the seaside or visitare un museo on a city break. For grammar, we will learn the future tense of regular -are, -ere, and -ire verbs in Italian and how to describe potential trips, with students reading about a typical celebration of the New Year in Italy. They will also try to talk about how they intend to spend their Christmas in Italian.
  • Topic 7. We continue our mastery of the future tense, learning irregular verbs essere, avere, stare, andare, and fare in their future forms. Students read short dialogues that use the future tense to express a sense of hypothesis or possibility in various scenarios in Italian. They learn how to fare progetti or make plans. Students will acquire vocab for train travel and learn how to decipher a ticket in Italian through scenarios at train stations for planning trips in Italy. There will be revision of time phrases.
  • Topic 8. Students will read about a ski trip in the Alps and learn more useful vocab in Italian for travel and holidays, such as in montagna. They will also explore expressions to describe the weather in various parts of Italy, such as sereno or nuvoloso. For grammar, students will be introduced to the future perfect to describe a future action that will occur before another event in the future.
  • Topic 9. This final week of Italian 3 will incorporate a self-evaluation and test of Unit 5. Students will learn more vocab to describe Christmas and festive celebrations in Italy. They will read about Italian Christmas traditions, such as Panettone. The other names of key festivals in Italian will be discovered and the holiday culture surrounding them. Students continue reading about different forms of train travel and read about the wonderful travel guide of Trenitalia.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, you should:

  • be able to describe your weekend free-time activities in the past tense;
  • feel confident to recount simple events and to describe basic facts about artistic works or historical figures in the past tense;
  • have mastered the ability to order food and drink at a café or Italian bar, expressing dietary needs;
  • acquire the knowledge to describe potential holidays, whether seaside or countryside vacations, or urban city breaks, in the future tense;
  • have confidence to talk about simple projects and plans in the future in Italian;
  • be able to talk about festivities (such as Christmas and New Year) in the future tense;
  • feel confident to organize travel by train in Italy.

Who should enrol?

This course is those who have completed Italian 2 at ANU’s Continuing Education or approximately 40 hours of tuition in the Italian language and who want to discover more about Italy’s rich cultural heritage. It is suitable for professionals, the self-employed, retirees, university students or those contemplating a degree.

What students say

“I highly recommend the CE Italian courses. Both admin and teaching staff are efficient and helpful, and very friendly and attuned to students’ learning needs.”