The GCSE course is a one year beginners’ course in the Lower Sixth. It covers the areas of writing, listening, reading and oral and only takes up half an option block. It could therefore be taken as an extra subject in addition to AS Levels.
The AS Level course is a one year course in two units in the Upper Sixth, covering the same skills as the GCSE course. There is no literature.
- A GCSE grade between A and C in a modern language or Latin is advisable if Italian is to be taken at GCSE level.
- A high GCSE grade at the end of the Lower Sixth will be necessary for pupils who wish to continue to AS Level.
Similar to GCSE teaching in Modern languages lower down the school, but with the expectation that greater speed can be achieved because of the student’s previous linguistic experiences and because Italian is a relatively simple language with few grammatical irregularities.
We use the ‘Avanti’ Italian Course, which is very clearly presented and particularly good for building a clear understanding of grammar. In conjunction with this, we use the BBC series ‘Italianissimo’, to perfect oral and listening skills. The series is beautifully presented and visits many parts of Italy, thus giving the students an insight into Italy and Italian life.
Careers and Support Subjects
Italian is likely to appeal to different groups of students:
Those who are studying one or two other modern languages and who may well continue the study of Italian at University. This is quite possible, as most universities do not require a full A Level in Italian as a condition of entry.
Those who have only studied one language at GCSE or who feel they would like the opportunity to study a new language, possibly only up to a GCSE level. Students often envisage spending some time in Italy, whether for leisure or for work.
Those who feel they would like to study a fifth subject in the Lower Sixth, but do not want to commit themselves to a full AS Level.
All levels of competence and aspiration can be accommodated on the course. Italian is a relatively easy language for students who have already studied another language up to GCSE.
If you have heard Italian spoken, you will understand why it is so popular. It is a ‘theatrical’ language, depending heavily on stress, emphasis and intonation rather than on complicated grammar.