A-Level Italian

Helping Pupils Flourish Through Language-Learning

Exam Board and Specification Codes: Edexcel 9IN0

Why Study Italian?

Italy has a rich cultural heritage and is a world leader in literature, architecture, painting, sculpture and music. A-Level Italian can be an asset for pupils wishing to pursue a career in art and fashion as well as many areas of business.

With stiff competition for university places, it is a great advantage to pupils to have a foreign language qualification, even if they are not applying for a language degree. A multilingual ability indicates openness to diversity and improves communication and decision-making skills.

What is Covered by the Course?

Year 1

The course is structured in two engaging themes. The themes are studied alongside a literary text or a film.

Tema 1 – I cambiamenti della società italiana.

Set in the context of Italy only, this theme covers social issues and trends:

  • L’evoluzione della famiglia italiana
  • L’istruzione
  • Il mondo del lavoro

Tema 2 – La cultura politica ed artistica nei paesi di lingua italiana

Set in the context of any Italian-speaking country/countries and/or community/communities, this theme covers artistic and political culture:

  • La musica
  • I media
  • Il patrimonio culturale

Year 2

The course covers two more themes, studied alongside a literary text or film.

Tema 3 – L’Italia, una società in evoluzione

Set in the context of Italy only, this theme covers social issues:

  • L’impatto positivo dell’immigrazione in Italia
  • I problemi della migrazione in Italia
  • Il divario nord/sud

Tema 4 – Dal fascismo ai giorni nostri

Set in the context of Italy only, this theme focuses on an important period of the Italian history.

  • L’ascesa di Mussolini al potere
  • Il Fascismo durante la seconda Guerra mondiale
  • Dalla dittatura alla democrazia

How is it examined?

The first assessment of the A level course is in summer 2019 after the completion of the second year.

There are three exams. All exams test your competency with respect to the topics you have learnt.

  • Paper 1 (Listening, Reading and Translation into English) will test your listening comprehension skills, your ability to read and respond to a variety of texts. It lasts 2 hours and is worth 40% of the A level.
  • Paper 2 (Written response to works and Translation into Italian) examines you on the novel Io non ho paura by Niccolò Ammaniti, and the film La vita è bella by Roberto Benigni. The exam will test your ability of developing a detailed understanding and appreciation of the works studied by writing critical and analytical responses in Italian. It lasts 2  hours 40 minutes and is worth 30% of the A level.
  • Paper 3 (Speaking) is an oral exam that lasts about 20 minutes and is worth 30% of the A level. It is assessed via two distinct tasks conducted entirely in Italian. Task 1 is based on any of the sub-themes studied during the two-year course. Task 2 is based on a presentation and discussion of a student’s independent research project.

Related University Courses and Careers?

Any university course is well-suited to A-Level Italian. It is particularly relevant to pupils wishing to pursue a career in the art, fashion or business sectors.

Employers value language skills for their potential to open up new markets and the ability to communicate with foreign customers and clients. Learning a new language, like Italian, also improves employment opportunities for those wishing to work abroad.

Suggested Reading:

Suggested reading

Io non ho paura – Niccolò Ammaniti

To practice grammar and vocabulary:

Parola per parola – Tony Giovannazzi

In bocca al lupo – Silvia Bertoni

Gramm.it for English speakers – G. Iacovoni, N. Persiani, B. Fiorentino

Students are recommended to read and listen to any materials and topics that interest them in Italian: newspapers, magazines, blogs, cartoons, films and songs, as well as language websites or applications.

© Kensington Park School

Kensington Park School Sixth Form,
59 Queen's Gate,
South Kensington, London,

Tel: +44 (0)20 7225 0577


Kensington Park School (Years 7-11),
40-44 Bark Place,
W2 4AT

Tel: +44 (0)20 7616 4400


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