Educational Approach

Italian Language

The linguistic learning process reflects the combination of the spontaneous and the guided learning path of the EUFICCS methodology: Italian language therefore is a fundamental part of the study abroad experience at Siena Italian Studies.

Our approach to language instruction is based on the needs of students and integrates several methodologies and strategies to improve and enrich student linguistic competencies. Competency levels are based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Italian Class Structure

Students attend the initial three week intensive course for 75 hours: they will study the main grammar and vocabulary structures of the language and practice the communicative functions needed for an effective interaction in the host community. Students take weekly written and oral tests and engage in many language-based activities (such as task-based projects, visits to museums, etc.).

Italian language during the semester

Students continue to attend Italian language courses for 8 hours a week: they continue learning language and culture, delving more deeply into grammar, vocabulary and in practical communicative functions. At the end of the semester, depending on their level,  students will be able to achieve primary linguistic competencies such as speaking, understanding and interacting with local native language speakers.

During the semester, students will take both oral and written tests. Teachers will provide necessary material in class, using a wide variety of handbooks, exercises, audiovisual materials, authentic texts, and self-produced handouts. Depending on the level, students will write research papers on the topics studied in class.

Italian Language Official certification

Our program provides students with the possibility to take the Cils certification (Certificazione d’Italiano come Lingua Straniera – Certification of Italian as Foreign Language) during the semesters.  Two exams are offered during our Italian course; each includes sections testing the ability to speak, to write, to read, and so on.  Students take the test with external examiners and receive a certificate affirming their level of competency, based on the Common European Framework. If the student passes the first exam, he/she can take the upper level.

Language partners and tutors

Students are offered opportunities during the semester to practice their spoken Italian language, with the help of Italian native speaker language partners. Students and partners take part in some activities and meetings, usually once a week at school or outside.  When needed, students also can contact tutors (Italian students serving internships at Siena Italian Studies) to receive help and more information about studying language and content courses.