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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! (LGXI004) is perfect for you. Over 16 units, 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

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

Short course cost

Entry requirements

What you will study

Starting from learning key vocabulary and expressions, you’ll progress unit by unit 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 units 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 A2 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 LGXI004 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.

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 (LGXI001), Beginners Italian 2: in cammino (LGXI002) and/or Beginners Italian 3: stai andando bene! (LGXI003).

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 before registration end date Jun 2025 - see Entry requirements for more detail £195.00

Registration closes 31/07/2024


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 2024/25 academic year. Fees typically increase annually. For further information about the University's fee policy, visit our Fee Rules.

Can you study an Access module for free?

Depending on eligibility and availability of places, you could apply to study your Access module for free.

To qualify, you must:

  1. be resident in England
  2. have a household income of less than £25,000 (or be in receipt of a qualifying benefit)
  3. have not completed one year or more on any full-time undergraduate programme at FHEQ level 4 or above or successfully completed 30 credits or more of OU study within the last 10 years

How to apply to study an Access module for free

Once you've started the registration process, either online or over the phone, we'll contact you about your payment options. This will include instructions on how you can apply to study for free if you are eligible and funded places are still available.

If you're unsure if you meet the criteria to study for free, you can check with one of our friendly advisers on +44 (0)300 303 0069, or you can request a call back.

Not eligible to study for free?

Don't worry! We offer a choice of flexible ways to help spread the cost of your Access module. The most popular options include:

  • monthly payments through OUSBA
  • part-time tuition fee loan (you'll need to be registered on a qualification for this option)

To explore all the options available to you, visit Fees and Funding.

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 broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11), or macOS Ventura or higher.

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.