The linguistic learning process reflects the combination of the spontaneous and guided learning path of the EUFICCS methodology: Italian language therefore is a fundamental part of the study abroad experience at SIS Intercultural Study Abroad.
Our approach to language instruction is based on student needs 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.
Intensive Language Course
Semester students attend the initial three week intensive course for 75 hours (8-week summer students attend a 2-week intensive course for 45 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 then attend Italian language courses for 8 hours a week: they continue learning language and culture, delving more deeply into grammar, vocabulary and practical communicative functions. At the end of the semester, depending on their level, students achieve the primary linguistic competencies of speaking, comprehension 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 or PLIDA certification exams during the semesters. Two exams are offered during our Italian course; each includes sections testing speaking, writing, reading, and comprehension abilities. 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 next level towards the end of the semester.
Language Partners and Tutors
Students are offered opportunities during the semester to practice their spoken Italian 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 SIS Intercultural Study Abroad) to receive help and more information about studying language and content courses.