The nature of the learners
Students have prior experience of learning Italian and bring a range of capabilities, strategies and knowledge that can be applied to new learning. They are expanding the range and nature of their learning experiences and of the contexts in which they communicate with others. They have a growing awareness of the wider world, including the diversity of languages, cultures and forms of intercultural communication. They are considering future pathways and prospects, including how Italian may feature in these.
Italian language learning and use
This is a period of vocabulary and grammar expansion and of experimentation with different forms of communication (for example, digital and hypermedia, collaborative performance and group discussions). Learners use Italian to communicate and interact with each other and with online resources, to access and exchange information, to express feelings and opinions, to participate in imaginative and creative experiences, and to design, interpret and analyse a range of texts and experiences. They develop strategies for self-correction by referencing their developing understanding of grammar and context. They explore language variation and change, noticing how intercultural experience, technology, media and globalisation influence language use and forms of communication. Learners investigate links between the Italian language and cultural representation and expression. They learn to analyse and reflect on different viewpoints and experiences, including their own cultural stance, action and responses.
Contexts of interaction
Learners interact with peers and teachers in local contexts that relate to their social and learning worlds, and with some members of broader Italian-speaking communities and cultural resources through virtual and online environments.
Texts and resources
Students work with a range of texts, tasks and experiences which involve both independent and collaborative planning and performance, as well as some resource development, and intentional and strategic use of language and cultural resources. They learn to interpret, create, evaluate and perform different types of texts (for example, procedural, persuasive, narrative) across a range of domains. Genres such as media resources, fiction and nonfiction texts, performances and research projects allow for exploration of concepts of personal and contemporary relevance (such as the environment, identity, relationship, diversity and inclusivity).
Features of Italian language use
Learners experiment with intonation and supporting gestures to convey emotion or create emphasis in texts. They learn to use possessive, reflexive, demonstrative and relative pronoun forms. They are encouraged to extend their use of language beyond familiar contexts. They use verbs (irregular and reflexive) and increase their range of adjectives and adverbs, comparatives and superlatives. Students learn to construct more extended texts by using relative clauses and by relating episodes in time (for example, prima … poi … infine). They use the present perfect, imperfect and future tenses, and begin using the conditional tense. They continue to expand language for interaction, initiating and maintaining conversations, seeking clarification and repetition, and contributing to structured discussions in Italian.
Level of support
While learners are increasingly autonomous when using Italian in familiar domains, they require continued scaffolding and support when using the language in less familiar contexts involving more abstract concepts. They draw on peer support, working collaboratively with each other, sharing knowledge to construct meaning. They are supported in relation to language use through explicit teacher instruction and feedback, and are provided with opportunities for reflection through structured tasks and scaffolded discussion. Students extend their critical analysis skills and autonomy as learners through activities such as evaluating the effectiveness of dictionaries and online translators, managing records of their learning, and building resources for independent work.
The role of English
Some of the discussion and reflection in relation to learners’ developing communicative competence, intercultural capability and language analysis are carried out in English, to allow for more elaborated discussion, but learners are increasingly supported to build language to express ideas, opinions and reactions in Italian.