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Italian: Undergraduate Program

Overview: 

The Department of French and Italian offers a student-centered degree program leading to the Bachelor of Arts in Italian. Students majoring in Italian are trained as specialists in their field – that is as individuals with communicative proficiency in the target language – informed knowledge of the target culture(s), as well as with the skills necessary for a successful professional life and/or career in graduate school.

Expected Learning Outcomes: 

II.    Undergraduate Major Program in Italian

 

Expected Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate Major Program in Italian

 

I.               Expected Learning Outcomes

 

Expected Leaning Outcomes for the UA Undergraduate Major Program in Italian are based on the National Standards for Foreign Language Learning recommended by the American Council of the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACFTL):

·       to communicate in Italian, both orally and in writing, by engaging in interpersonal, interpretative, and presentational communication activities  (Communication)

·       to  make meaningful cross-cultural comparisons between Italy and other countries  (Comparisons)

·       to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of other cultures  (Culture)

·       to develop critical thinking by making connections and  engaging  creatively in problem-solving activities(Connections)

·       to engage in multilingual communities at home and around the world by applying classroom learning to real-world situations (Communities)

 

The table below offers an overview of the Italian major program and indicates which learning outcomes are primarily emphasized at each stage.

 

Student Learning Outcomes

ITAL 202-420 & Study Abroad

 

 

 

 

 

Courses

in the Italian Major

 

 

 

Existing assessment activity

(with potential for use in program SLO assessment)

Communications

 

Communicate, i.e.

interpersonal,

interpretive,

presentational communication

 

Comparisons

 

Make meaningful cross-cultural comparisons between Italy and other countries

Culture

 

Gain knowledge and understanding of other cultures

Connections

 

Develop critical thinking and engage creatively in problem-solving activities

 

Communities

 

Engage in communities at home and around the world by applying classroom learning to real-world situations

 

201-202

Tests, oral presentations

X

X

 

 

 

301-302

 

Tests, oral presentations, writing assignments

X

X

X

 

 

310-320

Activities in aural comprehension, speaking, reading and writing; Analysis of literary and cultural texts.

x

X

X

X

 

410-420

collaborative research, research papers, analytical papers, and creative essays

X

X

X

X

 

Study Abroad

Study abroad, internship

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

Assessment Activities: 

II.    Undergraduate Major Program in Italian

 

Learning outcomes for the Italian Major are assessed in ITAL 420, Italian Civilization (3 units).  

 

Direct Measures:

Learning outcome 1: Communications

a.     Written communication 

·       activity 1: analytical essay on midterm exam, in target language

b.     oral communication

·       activity 1: an oral presentation on a cultural or literary topic pertaining to the class readings

·       activity 2: question/answer session with peers and instructor directly following the presentation

Learning outcomes 2-4:  Comparisons, Culture, Connections

·       activity: a 1,500 word analytical essay on a  cultural, literary, or cinematic topic

 

Indirect Measurefor all learning outcomes:

1.     Self-assessment activity: students are given the opportunity to display their mastery of the four learning outcomes by writing a self-reflexive essay on the following topic: “Scambio culturale: Select a cultural issue of your choice related to Italian culture (any period) and discuss it in its historical context: a specific selected period, such as a decade, century, major historical or cultural events.  Compare and contrast your topic to the reality in which you live.”

Last modified on 05/13/2016

Assessment Findings: 

II.    Undergraduate Major Program in Italian

 

1.Communication

 

a.Written Communication

Proficiency in written communication is assessed by the instructor based on the analytical essay on the midterm exam.  Since during the exam students will not have the aid of online resources (translation engines, verb charts, grammar explanations, etc.) the in-class writing activity provides the opportunity to assess a student’s actual and unaided written communication skills.  The instructor assesses the writing based on vocabulary, grammar, style (awkward and non-idiomatic phrasing; incoherent and/or incomprehensible sentences), linguistic register, and syntax.  When correcting the written work, the instructor employs the holistic assessment recommended by ETS for the national College AP Board in Italian, according to the rubric below. 

 

There are six levels of proficiency in written communication, C2 being the highest, A1, the lowest.

 

 

C2 

Demonstrates excellence in written expression

·       Relevant and thoroughly developed composition based on the prompt; very coherent

and well organized.

·       Rich vocabulary and idioms.

·       Excellent use of transitional elements, grammar, and syntax, with minimal errors in

complex structures.

·       Excellent use of orthography, accents, punctuations, and paragraphs.

·       Very appropriate style and register.

C1

Demonstrates competence in written expression

·       Well-developed composition based on the prompt, coherent and well organized.

·       Appropriate vocabulary and idioms.

·       Very good use of transitional elements, grammar and syntax, with occasional errors

in complex structures.

·       Very good use of orthography, accents, punctuation, and paragraph.

·       Appropriate style and register.

B2

                

Suggests competence in written expression

·       Adequately developed composition based on the prompt; occasionally faulty coherence

and organization.

·       Mostly appropriate vocabulary and idioms, with occasional interference from another language.

·       Some use of transitional elements; occasional errors in basic grammar and syntax,

which interfere minimally with comprehension.

·       Occasional errors in orthography, accent, punctuation, and paragraphs.

·       Mostly appropriate style and register.

B1

Suggests lack of competence in written expression

·       Insufficiently developed composition based on the prompt; lack of coherence and of

organization, which interferes with readability.

·       Limited vocabulary and idioms, with frequent interference from another language.

·       Minimal or no use of transitional elements; numerous errors in basic grammar and syntax,

which interfere with comprehension.

·       Faulty use of orthography, accents, punctuation, and paragraph.

·       Lack of appropriate style and register.

A2

Demonstrates lack of competence in written expression

·       Undeveloped composition with almost no relevance to the prompt; incoherence and disorganization which impede comprehension.

·       Insufficient, inappropriate vocabulary and idioms; constant interference from another language.

·       Little or no control of grammar and syntax, which interferes significantly with comprehension.

·       Pervasive errors in orthography, accents, punctuation and paragraphs

A1

Contains nothing that is relevant

·       Mere restatement of the prompt

·       Completely irrelevant to the topic

·       Not in Italian

 

 

b.Oral Communication (listening comprehension/oral expression)

 

As indicated in Table 1 below, four measures are used to determine the student’s level in oral communication: communication (task completion & language function), vocabulary/creativity/preparation, grammatical accuracy, and pronunciation. 

 

Students receive a numeric score for each measure, and their total score corresponds to a level of proficiency in oral communication assessed in the range from C2 (highest) to A1 (lowest), as detailed in Table 2

 

Table 1: Oral Proficiency Scoring Rubric (20 points)

 

Communication (task completion & language function)

points

Exceeds expectations; communicates well-developed ideas with ease; creates with language; body language in synch with language output; excellent comprehension by auditor

7-8

Meets expectations; communicates ideas well; expresses more than the minimum; some mechanical output of language; some memorized language; good comprehension by auditor

5-6

Almost meets expectations; communicates ideas sufficiently and in a comprehensive manner; high level of mechanical output with little attempt to create     

3-4

Does not meet expectations; does not articulate ideas or create with language; reliance on mechanical output and memorization; poor comprehension by auditor

1-2

Vocabulary/Creativity/Preparation

 

Very rich vocabulary; well prepared and creative; no memorization

average vocabulary; some errors which do not impede comprehension; prepared; little to no memorization

4.5-5

Average vocabulary; some errors which do not impede comprehension; prepared; little to no memorization

4-4.4

Uses basic vocabulary; some errors which impede comprehension; moderately prepared; heavy reliance on memorization

3.5-3.9

Poor use of vocabulary; message is unclear due to vocabulary errors; seems unprepared

1-3.4

grammatical Accuracy

 

Excellent control of grammatical forms for this proficiency level

3.5-4

Some grammatical errors which do not impede comprehension

3-3.4

Comprehension slightly impeded by some grammatical errors

2.5-2.9

Severe grammatical errors which impede comprehension                               

1-2.4

Pronunciation

 

Excellent pronunciation; little to no mistakes

3

Fair/good pronunciation; some mistakes which do not impede comprehension

2

Poor control of pronunciation; comprehension impeded

1

TOTAL

 

 

Table 2: Conversion to Proficiency Scale C2-A1

 

Total Numeric Score (points)

Level of Proficiency

19-20

C2

17-18

C1

15-16

B2

13-14

B1

11-12

A2

Below 11

A1

 

 

 

2.Comparisons

 

Satisfaction of this learning outcome is assessed on the basis of two criteria: (1) the ability to analyze and evaluate the correspondence between sharpness of thought and aptness of expression in a literary or work or any other kind of “text” (visual or written) associated with the target language and culture and (2) the ability to combine sharpness of thought and aptness of expression in one’s own work.

 

 

 

1. Language analysis and evaluation

2.  Language use: Relation good writing-clear thinking

Criteria

Work completed in ITAL 420 demonstrates the student’s ability to analyze and evaluate the correspondence between sharpness of thought and aptness of expression in works written in the studied language.

Work completed in ITAL 420 demonstrates the student’s ability to effectively combine sharpness of thought and aptness of expression in one’s own work.

 

The following rubric is used to assess to what extent the student has met the learning outcomes in the area of comparisons:

 

 

C2

Extensive

C1

Considerable

B2

Adequate

B1

Partial

A2

Basic

1.Language Analysis

 

 

 

 

 

2.Language Use

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.     Culture

Knowledge of the target culture is defined as the ability to: 1) understand and discuss one or several areas of the target culture’s “frameworks” such as the visual arts and literature, history, economics, politics, international relations, or any other area of specific interest to the student; 2) describe and  interpret specific values, belief systems, and/or social practices associated with the target culture and compare them to those of the native culture.

Culture is assessed in two activities, described below with their respective corresponding criteria used to evaluate cultural expertise are as follows:

 

 

Criteria

1 Cultural frameworks

2. Cultural values and practices

 

Analytical essay written in ITAL 420 demonstrates a clear understanding of one or more areas of Italian culture

Self-reflexive essay written in ITAL 420 offers evidence of the student’s ability to interpret specific values, belief systems, and/or social practices associated with the target culture (Italian) and to compare them to those of the native culture.

 

 

The following rubric is used to assess to what extent the student has met the learning outcomes in the area of Culture:

 

 

C2

Demonstrates excellence in cultural knowledge

·       composition fully accomplished all requirements of the prompt

·       cultural information is accurate and relevant with few and insignificant errors

·       coherent and cohesive synthesis of cultural information

C1

Demonstrates competence in cultural knowledge

·       composition clearly addresses all requirements of the prompts

·       cultural information is accurate and relevant with few substantive errors

·       coherent synthesis of cultural information; some interpretation that goes beyond factual knowledge

B2

Suggests competence in cultural knowledge

·       composition addresses most requirements of the prompt; may describe only of aspect of example chosen

·       cultural information has some substantive inaccuracies and may be unrelated to the prompt

·       presentation of cultural information is undeveloped: may be presented as a list or as several items in isolation

B1

Suggests lack of competence in cultural knowledge

·       composition addresses requirements of the prompt partially or inadequately

·       cultural information is frequently inaccurate or irrelevant

·       presentation of cultural information is minimal, sporadic, and undeveloped

A2

Demonstrates lack of competence in cultural knowledge

·       composition fails to address almost all aspects required by the prompt

·       cultural information is almost entirely lacking or in all cases is inaccurate or irrelevant

A1

Contains nothing that earns credit

·       mere restatement of the prompt

·       completely irrelevant to the topic

·       not written in Italian

·       blank

 

 

4.Connections

 

This learning outcome pertains to critical thinking and is evaluated through a series of activities related to the completion of ITAL 420.  The final analytical essay is assessed according to the following criteria and C2-A1 rating scale:

 

 

 

 

C2

Extensive

C1

Considerable

B2

Adequate

B1

Partial

A2

Basic

A1

Unacceptable

Topic

Originality/curiosity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New learning area

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outline

Overall structure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Detailed organization

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

Contextualization

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overview of argument

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thesis statement

 

 

 

 

 

 

Body

Analysis of source material

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Argument formulation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Analytical support of thesis statement

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

Pertinence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Significance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Communities

 

The Arizona in Orvieto study abroad program provides Italian majors with classes in the target language, in-home stays with Italian families, internships with local businesses in Orvieto, and cultural programs and activities throughout Italy.  Students have the opportunity to develop engagement competencies in the areas of: diversity and identity, global and intercultural comprehension, innovation and creativity, civic and community responsibility, interdisciplinarity, leadership, and professionalism.  The Italian major’s participation in multilingual communities abroad is assessed on the basis of data collected by the on-site Italian faculty member and/or on-site director of the Orvieto program.  

Last modified on 05/13/2016

Change in Response to Findings: 

Finding are not yet available. Rubrics and tool to be used for assessment of the undergraduate program in Italian are posted in "Assessment Findings."

Updated date: Tue, 06/07/2016 - 18:32