This course is for students with no previous knowledge of Italian. It aims at giving the student a complete foundation in the Italian language, with particular attention to the oral and written communication of everyday use and to all aspects of Italian culture. The course will be conducted in Italian (after the first couple of weeks) and will involve the study of all the basic structures of the language—phonological, grammatical, syntactical—with practice in conversation, reading, composition, and translation. In addition to the basic Italian textbook and an array of supplementary computer and Internet material, the course will include texts from prose fiction, poetry, journalistic prose, songs, films, recipe books, and the language of publicity. Conference work (in group) is largely based on reading and writing, and the use of the language is encouraged through games and creative composition. In addition to class and group conference, the course also has a conversation component in regular workshops with the language assistants. Supplementary activities such as opera and relevant exhibits in New York City are made available when possible. The course is for a full year, by the end of which students attain a basic competence in all aspects of the language.