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Italian as a second language with e-LOCAL (Electronically Learning Other Cultures and Languages)

Course description

This beginner’s course, stemming from the European project e-LOCAL (Electronically Learning Other Cultures And Languages), will guide you into the discovery of Italian language and culture. The main characters of the course are Anna and Alex. They are two Erasmus students who arrive in Bologna. Anna and Alex are welcomed in their university town by Lorenzo and Lucia and are helped in their learning process by Elena and Giovanni. The course is divided into 2 parts, part I and part II. In this second part, you will continue to follow Anna and Alex in their adventures and discover the Italian language and culture with them.

Part II is organised in 4 main units, plus an introductory unit and a final assessment unit. In units 5-8 (the numeration continues after Part I) you will find:

  • a story with seven situations and a comprehension quiz at the end;
  • grammar explanations along with related exercises;
  • cultural pills with short tests and everyday information;
  • language exercises to fix grammar, lexicon and communicative aspects.

You will also find a unit 0 with preliminary grammar information, and a final unit with the assessment of the course.

In each part of the course, where necessary, you will find a specific glossary, but please remember that you will always have the Overall Glossary at your disposal. This contains all the vocabulary used in the course. You will also be able to download the Overall Grammar, which includes all the grammar explanations of the course. You can find both the Overall Glossary and the Overall Grammar in the Additional Materials.

Intended Learning Outcomes


Basic knowledge of English is required, as it is the language of instruction of the course; having taken Part I of the course is not compulsory but it is strongly recommended.


Over and above consulting the content, in the form of videos and other web-based resources, you will have the opportunity to discuss course topics and to share ideas with your peers in the Forum of this MOOC.

Topic outline

  • Board

    Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
  • Unit 0

    Unit 0 is the introduction to the course and gives you preliminary information.

    Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
  • Unit 5

    In this unit, Anna and Alex go shopping. You will learn words and expressions related to names of shops, clothes, sizes, numbers over 100, ordinal numbers, price, quantity, as well as other useful vocabulary concerning e.g. means of transportation and directions. You will also discover curious traditions and all about Italian festivities.

    Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
  • Unit 6

    In this unit, Anna and Alex organise their time. You will focus on hours, parts of the day, days of the week, months, seasons, years. You will learn to tell about past events and to express frequency. You will also read how Italian spend their free time and you will meet some major figures in Italian cinema and music.

    Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
  • Unit 7

    In this unit, Anna and Alex deal with the expression of feeling. You will learn how to give advice and describe emotions, you will try to write an e-mail, and you will also meet new vocabulary related to weather, animals and natural environment. You will go on a virtual trip to some Italian natural attractions and you will discover something about Italian songs.

    Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
  • Unit 8

    In this unit, Anna and Alex are ready to begin their new life as Erasmus students. You will be introduced into the Italian education system. You will learn many useful words, idiomatic expressions, habits and customs related to school and university in Italy. You will also learn how to express your future plans.

    Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
  • Final Assessment

    Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
  • Additional resources

    • Folder icon
      Video transcripts Folder
      Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
    • Page icon
      Additional Materials Page
      Not available unless: You are a(n) Student


Your final grade for the course will be based on the results of your answers to the graded quizzes. You have unlimited attempts at each quiz, but you must wait 5 minutes before you can try again. You will have successfully completed the course if you achieve 60% (or more) of the total course score. The maximum score possible for each quiz is given at the top of the quiz. You can see your score in the quiz on your last attempt or on the 'Grades' page.

The course has several questions. Some of these questions will not be evaluated to complete the course. Instead, the Homework you will find at the end of each Unit and the Final Assessment you will find at the end of the course will be evaluated. The Homework, as a whole, weighs 20% of the final score; the Final Assessment weighs 80% of the final score. You can find the points assigned for each exercise just under the title of the exercise itself, while the number of the maximum attempts is indicated under each quiz. The correct answer will be shown once you have used all the attempts available. Remember, the system will record the result of your final attempt, not the best of your attempts.

The course is considered properly completed if the participant responds correctly to 60% of the questions in total. After completing the course, if you have surpassed the required score, you can download and print a certificate of participation. The certificate of participation is signed by professor Andrea Ceccherelli, scientific coordinator of the E-LOCAL project and courses.

Certificate of accomplishment

You must be registered in POK through Politecnico di Milano personal account to obtain the Certificate of Accomplishment. It will be released to anyone who successfully completed the course by achieving at least 60% of the total score in the graded quizzes and filling the final survey.

You will be able to download the Certificate of Accomplishment directly from Politecnico di Milano web services.

The Certificate of Accomplishment does not confer any academic credit, grade or degree.

Information about fees and access to materials

You can access the course absolutely free of charge and completely online.

Course faculty

This MOOC is the result of a successful collaboration between Politecnico di Milano and the University of Bologna.

It is based on the Italian course developed within E-LOCAL, a European project coordinated by the University of Bologna. Professor Andrea Ceccherelli is the scientific coordinator of the E-LOCAL project and courses. The E-LOCAL course of Italian language and culture was created by:

  • Silvia Baroni, ICTS Rosa Luxemburg, Italy (e-Story; e-Life texts units 1, 3, 6, 7)
  • Andrea Ceccherelli, University of Bologna, Italy (e-Story; e-Culture texts unit 2)
  • Cristina Donà, ICTS Rosa Luxemburg, Italy (e-Story)
  • Elisa Magnani, University of Bologna, Italy (e-Culture texts and exercises units 1, 7, 8; e-Life texts units 2, 8)
  • Elisabetta Magni, University of Bologna, Italy (e-Grammar notes; e-culture texts unit 4; e-Life texts unit 4)
  • Annalisa Planera, Tóth Árpád Gimnázium, Hungary (e-culture texts units 3, 5, 6; e-Life texts unit 5)
  • Katalin Puskas, Tóth Árpád Gimnázium, Hungary (e-culture texts units 3, 5, 6; e-Life texts unit 5)
  • Antonella Valva, University of Bologna, Italy (e-Grammar exercises; e-Culture exercises units 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; e-Life exercises; e-Language exercises; supervision)

The production and implementation of this MOOC was curated by Politecnico di Milano – METID, consistently with the competences in pedagogical design of the team and in collaboration with Antonella Valva from the University of Bologna.

Antonella Valva has collaborated with the University of Bologna since 2008 dealing with internationalisation and European projects. She was project manager of the E-LOCAL and the elocALL projects, she is at present project manager of the ILOCALAPP project. She was also tutor of Italian language at the University Language Centre and she is currently attending a PhD in digital humanities.

This MOOC could not exist without the precious support of Andrea Ceccherelli, Paola Salomoni and Alessandra Scagliarini (University of Bologna).

Contact details

If you have any enquiries about the course or if you need technical assistance please contact For further information, see FAQ page.