The Italian program at Seattle University is designed to give students the opportunity to explore the Italian culture, and to learn its beautiful and musical language, while comparing their own language and culture with that of Italy, the boot-shaped European peninsula extending into the Mediterranean Sea.
Italy is a fascinating country that boasts more World Heritage sites than any other country in the world and a unique lifestyle. When students learn its language, they gain the exclusive key to access and experience not only its culture wealth (music, art, literature, sites), but also its modern society, and to become a part of it. Italy is among the seven most industrialized nations in the world and the third-largest economy in the eurozone. Its economy encompasses almost every type of industry and is particularly known for precision machinery, metal, cars, electronics, and fashion products. Italy is a main player in the world's agricultural products, exporting large quantities of wine, olive oil, pasta, cheese, fruit and vegetables. Small-medium size enterprises are typical in Italian and many of them are still family owned. Knowing Italian can open your heart and expand your horizon.
ITAL 1150 Italian Language I (5 credits)
ITAL 1250 Italian Language II (5 credits)
ITAL 1350 Italian Language III (5 credits)
ITAL 3000 Elective (5 Credits)
* All students must take at least 20 credits at Seattle Universty in order to obtain a minor.
First year Italian at Seattle University provides a comprehensive introduction to spoken and written Italian in addition to introducing students to the richness and diversity of Italy and the Italian culture. Students gradually familiarize with grammatical rules and functional skills necessary to communicate in Italian. Students will develop an understanding of grammar and pronunciation through continual interaction with their instructor and each other, guided role-play, songs and games, oral and written exercises. Class will be conducted in Italian as much as possible.
By the end of the sequence 1150, 1250 and 1350, students will have developed oral and written skills in Italian, which enable them to understand and communicate at a low intermediate level of proficiency (A1-A2 CEFR levels scale). Students will be able to:
All languages in our programs are taught in the vernacular, within their cultural context and through study abroad programs. At the end of your Minor in Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese or Spanish, or your Major in French or Spanish you will be able to:
There is so much more to experience, learn and enjoy as I continued to build upon the foundational aspects of not only the Italian language, but the in-depth culture I was exposed to this year. Furthermore, I wanted to shine a special light on the man who has inspired and prompted me to discover further one of my true passions, which is my love of the Italian culture! As I continue to refine my skills day after day, it is evident Professore Giuseppe Tassone has been the most instrumental teacher I have ever had, and has continued to equip me with tools to open up the world of Italian to me on a much more expansive scale than I ever imagined was capable!
Studying the Italian language at Seattle University was an enjoyable experience and a wonderful introduction to the culture. These Italian courses helped me a great deal when I studied abroad in Italy and gave me the necessary foundational knowledge to succeed there. While living in Turin, I was able to communicate with locals and practice my language skills and now I can speak Italian proficiently. Italian is a beautiful language and I loved studying it here at Seattle University. I would recommend our Italian language program to anyone looking to learn a language and have fun while doing so.
When being introduced to the Arts and Sciences program here at SU as a transfer student, it was a surprisingly overwhelming choice trying to decide what language I wanted to spend studying. I eventually came to the choice to study Italian because of the familiarity I had with the language since my mother is originally from Italy, but that ended up being a small portion of what made up my experience in SU’s Italian program. Not only did my fluency and overall understanding of the language improve drastically, but for the next year I found myself immersed in Italian culture that I had only ever experienced at home with my family. This made for such a wholesome and comprehensive learning experience that was present in both the in-person and online formats of the class.
The relationship with the Società Dante Alighieri, among other benefits, provides Seattle University’s students, faculty, alumni, adult learners, and members of the community the opportunity to take the PLIDA Italian Certification Exam on campus. The PLIDA (Progetto Lingua Italiana Dante Alighieri) is recognized by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Labor and Welfare, the Ministry of Education, the University of Rome and the Società Dante Alighieri in Rome. The goal of the PLIDA is to assess proficiency in Italian as a foreign language on a 6-level scale in line with the parameters established by the Common European Framework for Languages (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2). The prestigious certificate is helpful in order to enroll in an Italian university, obtain the Italian Citizenship, and permit a stay in Italy.
The Italian language program at Seattle University has a long tradition of community outreach that is somewhat linked to the ties between the founders of the university and the Italian community. Joseph Cataldo JS, an Italian Jesuit who established Gonzaga University in 1866, approved the purchase of the first campus in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood in 1890 that went on to become Seattle University.
In the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods website, one can read about the founding: In 1903, the Cabrini Sisters arrived in Seattle from Chicago and opened an orphanage on Beacon Hill at 1133 Twelfth Avenue South. Mother Cabrini wrote, “In the valleys between the hills there are about 5,000 Italians who follow us like chicks follow the hen. We hope to help them, and they will help us.” The Cabrini orphanage became an Italian mission center. At about the same time, the Jesuits founded Seattle College and Immaculate Conception parish. There has long been a strong relationship between the Italian community and the Jesuits in Seattle. In 1911, Father DeRop, S.J. arrived in Seattle and gave the first mass for the Italian community at the old St. Boniface church in the Mount Baker area.”
Years later, the church became Monte Vergine Church, named after a church in Caserta, Italy. The church school was an important part of the parish and was located in a small building behind the church. The school opened in 1918 with an enrollment of 162 students and remained in operation for more than 60 years. The church became the heart of Seattle’s Italian community and offered Italian language lessons. The teachers were Italians supported by the Società Dante Alighieri, the leading institution in Italy and abroad for the promotion of Italian language and culture since 1889. Around the church flourished Italian-American businesses such Oberto Sausage Company founded in 1918 and later on Remo Borracchini Bakery and the Isernio’s Company. When the Società Dante Alighieri in Seattle founded in 1908 with Dr. Xavier P. DeDonato as first president, reorganized in the name Dante Alighieri Society of Washington in the early eighties, Seattle University played an important role by hosting an Italian program open to the entire community that is still active today. It is thanks to the generosity of an Italian donor that the Italian credit program at Seattle University was established in 2003 under the coordination of the current faculty member along with a designated fund to support Italian studies at Seattle University and its students.
In addition to the strong relationship with the Dante Alighieri Society of Washington, the Italian program at Seattle University is in contact with the Education Office at the Italian Consulate General in San Francisco which provides scholarships, internships. opportunities for students to study in Italy, and support of Italian studies. The Italian program also participates in Seattle Opera Events, such as the Opera Italian Mixer, invites guest speakers on campus during the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) - Cinema Italian Style Festival and the International Film Festival. It also maintains contacts with alumni and benefactors and organizes events on campus open to the entire community.
Being “career-ready” means that you’ve developed a range of skills that you can transfer to different settings once you graduate. At Seattle U, we take your career readiness seriously, so we’ve created an inventory and program-level map for you to help you see what skills you’re likely to practice in your major or, as in this case, as you study your first year of a language.