You are viewing information for England.  Change country or region.

Beginners Italian 1: primi passi

Have you always loved the sound and musicality of the Italian language? Are you fascinated by Italian culture and lifestyle, its cuisine, historic cities, art and beautiful landscapes? Then Beginners Italian 1: primi passi (LGXI001) is perfect for you. Over 16 units, you’ll build up your own Italian phrasebook and deepen your knowledge of this beautiful language; from reading a menu, talking about yourself and your job, to finding out more about other people. It doesn’t matter if you have no experience of the language, or you’ve picked up some phrases from travelling across Italy, it’s designed specifically for beginners, and you’ll gain some fascinating insights into Italian culture along the way.

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

You will not be awarded credits for studying this course. It is available for standalone study only and cannot be counted towards an OU qualification.

Short course

Short course code
This is a non-credit bearing course.
Study method
Distance Learning
Short course cost
See Registration
Entry requirements
See Entry requirements

What you will study

Starting from simple introductions and saying your name, you’ll progress unit by unit towards being able to hold longer conversations and understand more of the Italian language in different situations.

The course covers both language and learning techniques, and you’ll also have two dedicated revision units to practise what you have learned, including how to:

  • read a menu and order food and drink at a café
  • address people formally and informally
  • introduce yourself, spell your name and give other personal information
  • ask people how they are doing and respond accordingly
  • say where you come from and where you live
  • talk about jobs and workplaces
  • say what languages you speak
  • exchange contact details with others
  • introduce other people and talk about your family
  • describe people´s physical appearance and personality
  • describe what you are wearing.

Finally, you will also learn about some aspects of the Italian life and culture, such as the role of coffee houses in people’s daily life and the Italian minority languages.

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 Italian language points (for example, questions and statements), and common vocabulary relating to everyday objects and events
  • recognise and use basic 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.

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.

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying LGXI001 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.


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.

    Entry requirements

    There are no entry requirements for this course. It’s suitable if you are completely new to Italian and to language-learning, and it does not assume any prior knowledge.

    You will be given guidance on developing your language-learning skills such as different techniques to memorise vocabulary and approach grammatical topics.

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

    Course length

    The course is made up of 16 units, with each unit expected to take about 3–4 hours to study. In total, you’ll need around 64 hours to complete the course.

    You can begin at any time during the life of the course and study at your own pace. The course will be open to you for a time period of between 6 and 18 months depending on your course registration date and you will be advised of the specific time limitations upon enrolment.


    Start End England fee Register
    At anytime Flexible - see Entry requirements for more detail £195.00

    Registration opens on 08/01/22

    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 and there is no formal tuition for this course.

    Your study is self-directed and you’ll have access to a course website, which includes:

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

    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, may 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.