Italian for beginners: Italian language studies at the University of Iceland will now be open to students who do not have previous knowledge in the language

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"Together with Stefano Rosatti (adjunct lecturer and Head of the Department of Italian for the academic year 2017-2018) we have recently reformed the entire B.A. programme so as to make it possible also for absolute beginners to enroll in the course,” says Edoardo Mastantuoni, adjunct lecturer at the Italian Department of the University of Iceland, in an interview with Stúdentablaðið.

“There is one high school in Iceland which offers courses in Italian in its curriculum on a regular basis: Menntaskólinn við Hamrahlíð. Besides welcoming students from this school, we welcome anyone else who has no prior knowledge of Italian and intends to study it from scratch - both Icelanders and foreigners, young and old,” he adds.

It is possible to take Italian as a major, 120 credits, or as a minor, 60 credits. “This means that one can combine Italian with something else. Another possibility is taking individual courses in Italian cinema, Italian opera, Italian art history, etc,” Edoardo explains. A third option could be to take the so-called “Self-Directed Study in Italian,” a 6-, 4- or 2-credit course open to anyone wishing to obtain a few credits and who wants to learn and practise Italian. Similar classes are also offered in other languages.

“It is taught as a one-to-one course (teacher and student) or in tiny groups of three students. It is fundamentally private tuition and a luxury that is free for students enrolled in any B.A. programme at the University of Iceland,” Edoardo explains. According to him, the course is very popular, both among Icelandic students and Erasmus students.

“The teachers at the Italian Department are very young and dynamic and do a fantastic job in maintaining the high quality of teaching and, at the same time, keeping our classes popular among students. We have also created a video presenting our courses,” he adds. The video he refers to is called “Taktu ítölsku” and can be found on YouTube and gives a good insight to the education and culture at the Italian Department at the University.

“Italian has become really important in the tourism industry,” says Edoardo. “Many tourists travel from Italy to Iceland, and it’s an advantage to know how to speak Italian,” he adds. “It is also important to remember that Italy is one of the richest and most populous economies in Europe today which opens up many job opportunities, also for Icelanders.”

For more information, watch the Italian departments' video on YouTube: 

Article first published in 4th issue, vol. 92 of Stúdentablaðið.

 Edoardo Mastantuoni, adjunct lecturer at the Italian Department of the University of Iceland

Edoardo Mastantuoni, adjunct lecturer at the Italian Department of the University of Iceland