Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Italian Language and Culture: Beginner (2023-2024)

Wellesley College via edX


Benvenuti e Benvenute! (Welcome!)

In this language course you will learn the four basic skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) in the context of major themes in Italian culture. By the end of the course you will be able to describe people, events and situations, both in the present and the past, and you will have acquired the necessary vocabulary to communicate about everyday situations.

This course offers a variety of tools to help you learn “ la lingua del sì ” in different ways:

  • Situational videos (called Ciak! , which means “clapperboard” in Italian): you will follow eight Italian students in their daily lives and interactions on our campus. What a great way to learn authentic conversational Italian!
  • Downloadable Podcasts: become a participant in each Ciak! video and practice Italian when and where you want on your portable device!
  • Grammar charts, with or without audio files: study and review grammar through concise, clear and downloadable pdf files, and practice pronunciation with our embedded audio files.
  • Short video lessons: as if in a real classroom, learn each new topic with the instructor’s direct guidance.
  • Video interviews: learn from various native speakers as they talk about different aspects of Italian culture.
  • Short “ Letture ” (readings): practice reading comprehension while learning about Italian culture.
  • Discussion board: your chance to communicate (in Italian!) with other students on a variety of suggested topics.
  • Ready to test your skills? Practice and review with a variety of self-correcting activities.

Italian culture is also an integral part of this course. Through our interviews and readings you will learn about:

  • daily life in a small hill town in Northern Italy;
  • major differences between Italian and American universities;
  • Italian films that won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film;
  • summer vacations in Italy;
  • Italian cuisine.

Whether you are a traditional, visual or auditory learner, you will find the tools that best fit your unique way to learn a foreign language.

After completing this course, continue learning Italian with Italian Language and Culture: Intermediate and Italian Language and Culture: Advanced.

Buon divertimento!


Benvenute e Benvenuti!

Italian Language and Culture: Beginner is an introductory course that teaches the four basic skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) in the context of major themes in Italian culture.

The course will stay open from February 12, 2023 until December 31, 2024 , as a self-paced course: this means that you can cover the material at your own speed within the time the course is open.

Although we estimate that, studying 3-4 hours per week, it will take you about 8 weeks to complete the course, you are under no obligation to finish within this time.

You may decide to study towards a Verified Certificate of Completion ($59), or to learn for your personal enrichment and pleasure.

To receive a Verified Certificate of Completion you must obtain a final score of 60% on Tests. You may drop 2 Tests.

Course organization

The course consists of four Units.

Each Unit is broken down in 6-7 lessons (1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc.)

Each lesson presents its content in multiple ways. These can be viewed and studied in any order you prefer.

Below is a quick overview of the various components of each unit.

  • Ciak! videos : original videos shot on our campus with native and near native speakers of Italian. Each Ciak! video is followed by two downloadable Podcasts. These will be ideal for your on-the-go practice.

  • Grammar charts : grammar explanations, examples, and charts are available for review with audio files of each example and verb conjugation within the course, and can be downloaded in PDF file format.

  • Slide Shows with animation : grammar explanations with images and animation.

  • Videos (Slide Shows with Narration) : narrated grammar explanations.

  • Esercizi : online exercises with immediate feedback.

  • Vocaboli nuovi : new vocabulary lists are available as PDF files, slide show presentations, and videos with narration.

  • Discussione : creative writing prompts.

  • Lettura : readings delivered as PDF files, slide show presentations, and videos with narration.

  • Intervista : interview with a native speaker on a variety of cultural subjects.

Taught by

Daniela Bartalesi-Graf


4.0 rating, based on 3 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at edX based on 83 ratings

Start your review of Italian Language and Culture: Beginner (2023-2024)

  • This course is very well designed. i have used other self-taught textbooks and this one is the best among them.
  • Alexandra Valchinova
    Perfect for students or travelers who can start with the A-B-C and are looking to build upon that. The course covers the most basic and common topics. Repetition and implementation through exercises will help you retain your newly developed vocabulary.
  • Wolfgang Laschet

Never Stop Learning.

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.

Someone learning on their laptop while sitting on the floor.