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Elementary Italian 1: in campo!

Do you love immersing yourself in the Italian lifestyle and culture? Getting around Italian cities and interacting with the locals when shopping or asking for directions? Are you fascinated by Italian recipes, historic marketplaces, art, and beautiful landscapes? Then Elementary Italian 1: in campo! (LXI004) is perfect for you. Over 16 weeks, you’ll build up your own Italian phrase book and deepen your knowledge of this beautiful language. You will learn the essential key functions and vocabulary needed when describing things; shopping for food or for fun; to help get around a town and arranging to meet up with friends.

After successfully completing this short course, you will receive a digital badge. This can be shared on social media, added to email signatures or act as a certificate.

Standalone study only

This module is available for standalone study only. Any credits from this module cannot be counted towards an OU qualification.


Module code
Study level
To enable you to make international comparisons, the information provided shows how OU levels correspond to the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ).
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
See Entry requirements

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What you will study

Starting from learning key vocabulary and expressions, you’ll progress week by week towards being able to hold longer conversations and understand more of the Italian language in different situations. You'll explore activities such as shopping for food or clothes, making a telephone call and arranging to meet someone, and asking and giving directions.

You will have the opportunity to develop and consolidate your Italian through a rich variety of practice activities. The course covers language and learning techniques as well as culture, and you’ll also have two dedicated revision weeks to practise what you have learned, including:

  • shopping for food and clothes
  • talking about quantity and measures
  • describing things
  • food habits and traditions
  • making a telephone call
  • arranging to meet someone
  • talking about places in a town
  • saying where things are
  • asking for and giving directions
  • enquiring for opening and closing times
  • making comparisons.

You will focus on specific grammar points including:

  • the impersonal “si +verb”
  • the superlative and using -issimo
  • the compound prepositions (preposizioni articolate)
  • the demonstrative and direct object pronouns
  • the Lei form when giving directions.

You'll also be introduced to aspects of Italian life and culture, such as:

  • shopping centres and department stores in Italy
  • street vendors and traditional flea markets
  • changing shopping habits in Italy
  • Sicilian desserts and sweets
  • the origin of the expression “pronto?” when answering the phone.

Please note that although this course is non-accredited, it can be used towards the module Making your learning count (YXM130) to gain OU credits.

You will learn

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Communicate with speakers of Italian in a limited range of predictable and simple contexts relating to everyday situations.
  • Understand and use basic and more complex Italian language points (for example, questions, statements and instructions), and common vocabulary relating to everyday objects and events.
  • Recognise and use basic and more complex Italian phrases in formal and informal communication.
  • Show a basic level of intercultural communicative competence, including an awareness of Italian culture and society.

The course is designed to help you achieve a level of language proficiency equivalent to level A1 of the Council of Europe Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR).

Learner support

The course is taught entirely online, with the aid of a learning adviser to offer support where needed. You will have access to online forums that you are strongly encouraged to participate in, as they are an excellent source of support and information. These forums combine peer support with input from the language specialist learning adviser(s). Other support is available via the StudentHome website and Computing Helpdesk.

Course length

You'll study 3–4 hours per week, for 16 weeks. In total this course will require around 64 hours to complete.

Future availability

This page describes the course that will start in October 2021.

After October 2021, Elementary Italian 1: in campo! will open again for registration in January 2022.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations, which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

    Course work includes:

    No examination
    No residential school

    Entry requirements

    There are no entry requirements for this course.

    However, it's beneficial if you have some basic knowledge of Italian, similar or equivalent to the language, skills and vocabulary practised in Beginners Italian 1: primi passi (LXI001), Beginners Italian 2: in cammino (LXI002) and/or Beginners Italian 3: stai andando bene! (LXI003).

    If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact us.

    Course length

    You'll study 3–4 hours per week, for 16 weeks. In total this course will require around 64 hours to complete.


    Start End England fee Register
    30 Oct 2021 Feb 2022 £195.00

    Registration closes 21/10/21 (places subject to availability)

    October 2021 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.

    Ways to pay

    Credit/Debit Card – We accept American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Visa Electron.

    Sponsorship – If this course is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could ask your employer to sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. Your sponsor just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.

    The fee information provided here is valid for short courses starting in the 2021/22 academic year. Fees for short courses starting in the 2022/23 academic year or later may increase in line with the University’s strategic approach to fees.

    What's included

    All learning materials are delivered entirely online. You’ll have access to a course website, which includes:

    • a week-by-week study planner
    • course-specific materials and activities
    • audio content
    • discussion forums
    • support from language-specialist learning advisers.

    Please note the course website closes soon after the end of week 16 and becomes read-only. In read-only format, you can access all materials, but you can no longer complete the weekly quizzes or post in the forums.

    Computing requirements

    You'll need a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of 64-bit Windows 10 (note that Windows 7 is no longer supported) or macOS and broadband internet access.

    Functionality may be limited on mobile devices. For example, voice recorder activities, which are common in language short courses, will not work on iOS/Apple devices.

    Our module websites comply with web standards and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

    Our OU Study mobile App will operate on all current, supported, versions of Android and iOS. It's not available on Kindle.

    It's also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook, however, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you'll also require a desktop or laptop as described above.

    If you have a disability

    The course is delivered online and makes use of a variety of online resources. If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you in using a computer or the internet you are advised to contact us about support which can be given to meet your needs.

    To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our Disability support website.