Subject Information - Italian

Head of Department: Mrs Louise Clarke

Course Progression: Italian


In a world where international contacts are increasingly vital and where global communication is ever easier, the importance of being able to speak other languages and understand different cultures is paramount. More and more employers are looking for people with good foreign language skills and an increasing number of courses in Further and Higher Education are offering language options.

Young people proficient in foreign languages will be able to take advantage of excellent opportunities to spend part of their undergraduate studies abroad. You may find it interesting to know that employment rates for graduates with language skills are amongst the highest in the country.

Teaching and Learning

The emphasis in language learning is on building communicative competence. However, at all levels, we underpin this with solid learning of grammar and vocabulary and we develop the four skills of Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing at all stages of the curriculum.

The Department puts language learning into context through a number of enrichment opportunities both at home and abroad.

Italian (S6) Higher

Why go on to Higher?

More and more companies are looking for employees with language skills and an increasing number of universities are offering courses which link languages to science, business, tourism, hospitality and law. The Higher course aims to equip pupils with the necessary communication and presentation skills in the foreign language, which give pupils the competitive edge they need in today's modern world. Pupils are expected to work hard and are given the opportunity to prepare in advance for key components of the course. There are only four learning outcomes, which are explained below.

Recommended Entry

• An 'A' or 'B' pass at Higher in S5, in any Modern Language subject, or Latin

Course Assessment

Pupils are assessed in Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking skills. Pupils study topics from 4 contexts: society, learning, employability and culture

  • Reading  and Translation (25% of the total mark)
    Candidates respond to questions in English and translate a short section of the text into English. Candidates may use a dictionary.
  • Directed Writing (12.5% of the total mark)
    Candidates produce one piece of writing of 150-180 words based on their choice from two stimuli. Candidates may use a dictionary.
  • Listening (25% of the total mark)
    Candidates listen to a monologue followed by a dialogue and answer questions in English based on their comprehension. Candidates may not use a dictionary.
  • Assignment - writing  (12.5% of total mark)
    Candidates produce a piece of writing from a choice of written stimuli in English. This is carried out in class time and candidates have opportunities for remediation and consolidation of their writing. Teachers provide feedback to candidates during the process. This is submitted to the SQA and marked externally.
  • Performance (25% of the total mark)
    The performance is a discussion in the foreign language between the candidate and the teacher based on at least two of the contexts. This is recorded and marked internally and is subject to external verification by the SQA.

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