Our Online Italian language program is free and open to all. We offer four online courses that cover all levels, from beginner to intermediate and advanced, ending with an Italian culture course at the advanced level called AP® Italian Language and Culture.
All our online courses are “self-study.” This means that students proceed at their own pace and cover just as little or as much as they wish. When they take our courses students have complete control over their learning process.
Please note that Wellesley College doesn’t grant credits for our Online Italian program.
Our online courses Italian Language and Culture: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced will be open on edX from February 22, 2021 until December 31, 2022. Please note that a new iteration of these three courses will open on edX February 13, 2023.
Free access to each course will last for 12 weeks from the day you enroll. If you want to retain perpetual access to the course beyond the initial 12 weeks, you need to join the Verified Track ($49). Register now for:
AP® Italian Language and Culture
AP® Italian Language and Culture (2022-2023) is a fully online course approved by the College Board. Registration is free and access to course materials is perpetual as long as you register before the course is archived. Register now for AP® Italian Language and Culture. A new iteration is typically published on edX in late August.
If you want to be part of an online live class and be best prepared for the AP® Italian exam, you can register for one of Wellesley’s online live instruction classes, conveniently offered in the evenings and/or Saturdays. These classes are taught in conjunction with the free AP® Italian Language and Culture course. Upon completion, you'll receive a certificate from Wellesley College with a letter grade that you may present to your high school for registration on your transcript.
Watch the course videos to learn more:
Our sequence of online courses Italian Language and Culture: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced offers a variety of tools to study a foreign language. For example, online you will find:
Situational videos (called Ciak!, which means “clapperboard” in Italian): you will follow eight Italian students in their daily lives and interactions on our campus. What a great way to learn authentic conversational Italian!
Downloadable Podcasts: become a participant in each Ciak! video and practice Italian when and where you want on your portable device!
Grammar charts, with or without audio files: study and review grammar through concise, clear and downloadable pdf files, and practice pronunciation with our embedded audio files.
Short video lessons: as if in a real classroom, learn each new topic with the instructor’s direct guidance.
Video interviews: learn from various native speakers as they talk about different aspects of Italian culture.
Short “Letture” (readings): practice reading comprehension while learning about Italian culture.
Discussion board: your chance to communicate (in Italian!) with other students on a variety of suggested topics.
Ready to test your skills? Practice and review with a variety of self-correcting activities.
Italian culture is also an integral part of this course. Through our interviews and readings you will learn about:
daily life in a small hill town in Northern Italy;
major differences between Italian and American universities;
Italian films that won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film;
summer vacations in Italy;
Dante and his masterpiece “The Divine Comedy”
Italian theater “Commedia dell’Arte”
And much more!
When you join the Verified Track:
- You will gain access to all graded Tests.
- You will receive a Verified Certificate of Completion when you complete our course requirement, i.e. a cumulative score of 60% on your Progress Report (you may drop 2 Tests) by December 31, 2022, the day this course will be archived.
- You will retain perpetual access to all course materials beyond December 31, 2022. Please note that after December 31, 2022, although you will retain access to all course materials, you will no longer be able to obtain a Verified Certificate of Completion.
When you join the Verified Track:
- You will gain access to all graded Tests.
- You will receive a Verified Certificate of Completion when you complete our course requirement, i.e. a cumulative score of 60% on your Progress Report (you may drop 2 Tests) by June 1, 2021, the day this course will be archived. Please note that perpetual access to this course materials is granted to all learners, whether they are auditors or on the Verified Track.
AP® Italian Language and Culture provides students with an interactive learning experience that combines the highest academic standards with the goal of language proficiency.
This College Board-approved online course suits the needs of students who have a variety of learning goals:
Preparation: You want to prepare for the AP exam independently at your own pace, or perhaps you want to improve your language skills and find out more about contemporary Italian society: sign up now and cover as little or as much as you need to get ready! You will have access to all the material from the moment you register.
You want to be best prepared for the AP exam and also be part of an online live class with other students and an instructor. Wellesley College offers, in conjunction with this edX course, Online live instruction classes (in Spring 2021) so that you can practice the language regularly. Our Online live instruction classes follow the same curriculum as this edX course. If you choose this option, you will receive a Certificate from Wellesley College with a letter grade that you may present to your high school for registration on your transcript. You will also experience how languages are taught at Wellesley College! Register here for one of our Online live instruction classes.
AP® Italian Language and Culture can also be used by high school teachers to design an interactive and engaging AP® Italian Language and Culture course: teachers will find online a variety of authentic materials ready to use in class, a suggested syllabus and a complete testing program.
- Watch video interviews with Italian speakers, including:
- Renowned cook Lidia Bastianich on Italian cuisine
- Soccer player Andrea Pirlo on his sports career
- Italian journalist Federico Rampini on the Italian Constitution
- Architect and inventor Carlo Ratti on the Italian “Senseable Cities”
- Read literary excerpts from some major writers of the 20th and 21st centuries, including Umberto Eco, Italo Calvino, Susanna Agnelli, Laila Wadia, and others.
- Review relevant media coverage and advertisements including:
- Newspaper articles (from Corriere della Sera, Il Sole24Ore and La Repubblica)
- Radio programs
- Relevant realia (e.g., print and TV ads)
- Complete grammar reviews with downloadable pdf charts and self-corrected activities.
- Audio files: As the Spoken Interpersonal Communication portion of the AP® Italian exam is very challenging, we have created twelve audio files of conversations designed to help students practice their spontaneous speaking skills. These audio files may be used in class or as self-study.
Any college, university, or institution where Italian is taught can license and customize their own version of our Italian online courses through a special licensing program offered by Wellesley College.
By adopting our online program in your curriculum (whether in face-to-face, “blended,” or fully online classes) you will give your students a technology-enhanced and widely tested learning experience that is both free and convenient: quite a change from the expensive and often obsolete textbooks currently available. Our online material includes all teaching and learning tools (videos skits, video lessons, downloadable grammar charts, self-correcting exercises, etc.) you need to offer an engaging and academically challenging Italian class.
You can view our courses which are currently active on the edX platform as MOOCs.
The following table shows our four online courses and their corresponding level in a typical semester or quarter based academic calendar.
Name of Wellesley College courses on edX
Corresponding course in the Semester system
Corresponding course in the Quarter system
Italian Language and Culture: Beginner
First semester (101)
Italian Language and Culture: Intermediate
Second semester (102)
Italian Language and Culture: Advanced
Third semester (201)
Third quarter and Fourth quarter
AP Italian Language and Culture
Fourth semester (202)
Fifth quarter (“bridge” courses)
If you are interested in knowing more about this initiative (including licensing and pricing, as well as course contents and tools you’ll be able to customize), please contact Daniela Bartalesi-Graf at email@example.com, Department of Italian Studies, Wellesley College.