UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


Italian Level 1

Prerequisite for entry

For complete beginners or those who have had only very little contact with the language.

Term duration

10 x 2-hour classes.

Aims and objectives

The aim of the course is to enable students to function at a basic everyday survival level. Students should be able to communicate in and understand Italian on a number of practical everyday matters. Language learning skills, including autonomous learning and how to approach some authentic material will be enhanced.


  • Greetings, introducing yourself and others.
  • Asking about pronunciation and spelling.
  • Meeting Italian people formally and informally.
  • Talking about your country/nationality and other people’s country/nationalities.
  • Asking for someone’s profession.
  • Talking about someone's free time
  • Likes/Dislikes.
  • Buying and ordering food and drinks.
  • Talking about free time and leisure activities.
  • Asking for the time.
  • Organizing a holiday: booking a hotel, asking for information, raising a complaint.
  • Giving one’s phone number

Course content

Main topics/themes to be covered:

  • Introducing yourself. Greetings. The alphabet.
  • First contact around nationalities.
  • Job and professions.
  • Numbers 1-100. Days of week, month, year.
  • Hobbies and free time.
  • Food & drinks – bar, restaurant – money
  • Hotel.

Linguistic structures/ Phonetics

Basic rules of the pronunciation of spoken Italian: (/k/ versus /tʃ/ and /g/ versus /dʒ/gli


  • Gender and number of Italian nouns/some adjectives.
  • Personal pronouns: subject pronouns.
  • Negative and interrogative structures.
  • Definite and indefinite articles.
  • Present tense of regular verbs.
  • Present tense of some irregular verbs (essere, avere, dare, fare, andare, bere, venire, potere, uscire, volere etc).
  • Some prepositions (di, a, da, in…).
  • Adverbs.
  • Indirect pronouns with like/dislike (mi / a me…).
  • Present tense of modal verbs (potere, volere, dovere).

Learning resources

Course Book

  • Nuovo Espresso 1. Libro dello studente ed esercizi. Chapters 1-5. ISBN 9788861823181.
  • Handouts provided by the tutor.

Grammar References

  • New Italian grammar in practice. Ean: 9788861824287
  • Nuova grammatica pratica della lingua italiana. Ean: 9788861822474

Please note that the syllabus might vary according to class progress and availability of materials.
Do not hesitate to contact your tutor for further information.