A Level Italian Course

Ashbourne’s A level Italian students are immersed in the culture and language as much as possible from the very start to build their confidence and fluency.


Why study A level Italian?

Italian is a vibrant language and comes with a rich cultural and historical heritage from ancient Rome and Renaissance art and literature to modern design and cuisine. If you love the arts, music, fashion, architecture, design and food then Italian is definitely a great choice and may open many career windows around the world. Italian is the closest of the Romance Languages to Latin so once you have mastered it you will find learning other latin-based languages easier. Language learning will help improve competence in English too.

Ashbourne’s Italian teacher Cristiana shares her enthusiasm and passion for everything Italian, especially contemporary literature and art. She uses original resources and introduces students to a wide variety of topics using a multimedia approach. There is plenty of room for discussion, listening, reading and writing practice. Students are encouraged to use Italian as much as possible from the beginning of the course to build their confidence and fluency.

European trip

Every year Ashbourne students have the chance to visit a major European city, such as Rome, Athens, Madrid, Florence and Barcelona, during the Spring half term. The trip is an extremely popular cultural experience and a fantastic opportunity for A level Italian students. It is also a real highlight of many students’ time at Ashbourne.

Beyond A level Italian

Modern Language and European Studies degrees are an excellent choice for Italian speakers. You can also combine your language with other degree subjects like Art History, Architecture, Business, Law and Linguistics.

Italian will give you an advantage if you hope to apply for jobs at the European Commission especially for positions such as interpreters, policy advisers and translators.

Which syllabus do we follow?

Ashbourne follows the Edexcel specification for Italian AS and A level.

What is covered in this course?

You will learn the skills – speaking, listening, reading and writing – necessary to express yourself fluently in Italian. In both AS and A level students will develop these skills by exploring a range of social, political and cultural topics which include education and employment, lifestyle, health and fitness, the world around us (e.g. tourism, transport, environment) and youth culture (e.g. music, technology, relationships).

A level students will also undertake a research project on a topic of their choice to illustrate their proficiency in Italian. They will learn how to translate from English to Italian and produce extended written work on a range of topics relating to the culture and society of Italian-speaking communities.

Who teaches this course?

Cristiana Bottigella

BA Italian Literature and Contemporary Art (Milan Catholic University); MA Cultural Policies (London City University)

Cristiana has been teaching at Ashbourne since 2014. She has experience teaching Italian to students of many different nationalities and has taught in Germany, Austria and Italy.


AS level

Crescendo (Heinle Cengage Learning)
Francesca Italiano, Irene Marchegiani

Nuovo Progetto Italiano 2
T. Marin and S. Magnelli

A level

Crescendo (Heinle Cengage Learning)
Francesca Italiano, Irene Marchegiani

Reading and resources

Penguin Parallel Texts
Penguin produce a range of Parallel Texts books in Italian, Spanish, French, German, Russian and Japanese. These contain classic short stories in the chosen language with parallel versions in English.

The Italian Bookshop
Italian and European Bookshop short walk from the college on Gloucester Road, South Kensington.

Foyles bookshop
Long established foreign-language bookshop with books and media in more than 150 languages, as well as national newspapers and magazines. Now owned by independent bookseller Foyles on Charing Cross Road.

Instituto Italiano di Cultura (London)
The Italian Institute offers a wide range of cultural events in arts, music, cinema, theatre, dance, fashion, design, architecture, photography, literature and food. They also have a library with more than 25,000 books, DVD and CDs in Italian.
Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art
Great collection of 20th century Italian art housed in a Grade II listed Georgian building in north London, as well as art library, cafe and bookshop.

A Level Menu ☰
A Level Menu ☰