Italian Continuers

NESA documents

Stage 6 Italian Continuers syllabus

Assessment and reporting in Continuers Stage 6

Support materials – including past HSC papers

Advice for students

HSC examinations in Continuers language courses – advice for students (DOCX 86KB) – generic advice to support students of the Continuers course to prepare for the oral and written HSC examinations.

Text types in Continuers

What are ‘texts’ (text types)?

‘Texts’ (text types) are various forms of spoken and written language, such as articles, conversations, letters and so on. Each text type varies in its characteristics of format, style, and language. In the Italian Continuers HSC written examination, the following text types are specified for production:

  1. article
  2. diary entry
  3. email
  4. letter
  5. message
  6. note
  7. notice
  8. postcard
  9. recount
  10. report
  11. script of an interview
  12. script of a speech/talk.

Note: In the oral examination, you participate in a conversation.

In the written section of the HSC examination, you are required to produce 2 different styles of writing:

  • the first style is informative or descriptive
  • the second style is reflective, persuasive or evaluative, and could require you to explain or justify a point of view.

Using the correct text type and including the correct style of content is important.

Sample tasks and practice questions

Past HSC papers can be downloaded from the NESA website.

Some past HSC questions have been used as sample tasks in this document.

For each task, identify the following:

  1. What is the purpose?
  2. Who is the audience?
  3. What is the context?
  4. What is the required text type?
  5. What is the style?

The ‘texts’ (text types)

1 – article

Purpose

  • to sustain an argument
  • to describe
  • to inform, persuade, amuse or entertain

Structure

  • titles/headings (if appropriate)
  • development of ideas/arguments
  • sequencing and linking of ideas
  • statement of conclusion or advice

Language features

  • range of tenses (perfect, present, future, conditional)
  • language can be descriptive, factual, judgemental, emotive or persuasive, depending on context
  • informal or formal register (be consistent throughout the article)

Sample question

Write approximately 200 words in ITALIAN. You have finished school and have been living away from home. Write an article for your Italian blog in which you evaluate your experiences.

2016 Higher School Certificate Examination, Italian Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2016

2 – diary entry

Purpose

  • a personal reflection on a theme, place or situation

Structure

  • date
  • opening (Caro diario,)
  • development of ideas/arguments
  • sequencing and linking of ideas
  • concluding statement (for example Ciao, Un bacio, A presto)
  • sign off with name (optional)

Language features

  • written in the first person (keep the tone/perspective of the character from whose perspective you are writing)
  • usually written in past tense (perfect/imperfect)
  • language can be descriptive, factual, judgemental, emotive or persuasive, depending on context
  • informal register

Sample question

Write approximately 200 words in ITALIAN. As part of a research study, you recently had to spend two weeks without internet access. Write a diary entry in which you reflect on the experience.

2015 Higher School Certificate Examination, Italian Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2015

3 – email

Purpose

  • to use technology-based methods of communication
  • to send greetings
  • to retell events
  • to inform
  • to seek a response

Structure

  • email conventions (you are not usually required to write an email address in the exam)
  • specific details without elaboration
  • salutation (for example, Gentile Signor, Gentilissima Signora, Cara…, Caro…)
  • conclusion (for example, In attesa di una Sua risposta, Spero di sentirti presto, Distinti saluti, Cordiali saluti, Cordialità, Stammi bene! Saluti)

Language features

  • range of tenses (present, perfect, imperfect, conditional)
  • language can be descriptive, factual, judgemental, emotive or persuasive, depending on context
  • informal or formal register (be consistent throughout the email)

Sample questions

Answer the following question by writing approximately 75 words in ITALIAN. You have a part-time job at your auntie’s shop. She expects you to work this coming long weekend. Write the text of an email to her, apologising and telling her why you cannot work that weekend.

2015 Higher School Certificate Examination, Italian Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (5 marks)  © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2015

Answer the following question by writing approximately 75 words in ITALIAN. Your best friend has asked to borrow your new laptop for the weekend. Write a brief email to talk about your concerns.

2017 Higher School Certificate Examination, Italian Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2017

4 – letter

Purpose

  • to communicate in writing with acquaintances, friends or family
  • to inform, amuse, persuade

Structure

  • town and date on the top right
  • your name and address on the right side with the address to which you are writing on the left (formal)
  • salutations (for example Gentile Signor, Gentilissima Signora, Cara…, Caro…)
  • letter conventions (for example La ringrazio della sua lettera del...)
  • ending (for example, Distinti saluti, A presto, Non vedo l’ora di sentirti, Un bacio)

Language features

  • range of tenses (present, perfect, imperfect, conditional)
  • language can be descriptive, factual, judgemental, emotive or persuasive, depending on context
  • formality of language will depend on relationship between participants (for example letter to a friend or letter to a newspaper)

Sample questions

Write approximately 200 words in ITALIAN. Write a letter to a grandparent to persuade him/her to start using more modern means of communication.

2012 Higher School Certificate Examination, Italian Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2012

Write approximately 200 words in ITALIAN. An older friend runs a preschool. You feel strongly about the importance of young children learning another language. Write the script of a letter to persuade him/her to allow you to start teaching Italian at the preschool.

2017 Higher School Certificate Examination, Italian Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2017

5 – message

Purpose

  • to inform
  • to request
  • to instruct
  • to remind

Note – the difference between a message and a note is that a message can vary in type, such as voicemail message, text message, email, social media post.

Structure

  • succinct (short and to the point)
  • general statement, description, procedure
  • lack of descriptive detail
  • frequent use of colloquial language if to a close friend/family member

Language features

  • shorter than a standard letter
  • informal or formal register (be consistent throughout the message)

Sample question

Answer the following question by writing approximately 75 words in ITALIAN. Your friend did not turn up to your birthday party and has not given you an explanation. Write a message to him/her in which you express your disappointment.

2016 Higher School Certificate Examination, Italian Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (5 marks)  © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2016

6 – note

Purpose

  • to inform
  • to request
  • to instruct
  • to remind

Note – the difference between a message and a note is that a message can vary in type such as voicemail message, text message, email.

Structure

  • succinct (short and to the point)
  • general statement, description, procedure
  • lack of descriptive detail
  • frequent use of colloquial language (does not necessarily mean informal register)

Language features

  • shorter than a standard letter
  • informal or formal register (be consistent throughout the note)

Sample question

Answer the following question by writing approximately 75 words in ITALIAN. Write a thank-you note to your teacher acknowledging how his/her support and guidance are helping you make decisions for the future.

2013 Higher School Certificate Examination, Italian Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (5 marks)  © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2013

7 – notice

Purpose

  • to inform
  • to seek a response (for example looking for a pen pal or looking for a roommate to share accommodation)

Structure

  • heading/addressee
  • specific details without elaboration
  • statement of conclusion or advice (for example giving contact details)

Language features

  • often written in present tense
  • language can be descriptive, factual, emotive or persuasive depending on context
  • informal or formal register

Sample question

Answer the following question by writing approximately 75 words in ITALIAN. You are studying at a school in Italy and looking for a flatmate to move into your place to share the costs. Write a notice to be placed on the school noticeboard.

Adapted from 2018 Higher School Certificate Examination, Chinese Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2018

8 – postcard

Purpose

  • to provide information, amuse or entertain
  • to retell events and experiences (for example who, where, what, when)

Structure

  • salutations (Cara…, Caro…)
  • brief description or message
  • formulaic ending (Ciao, A presto)

Language features

  • descriptive language
  • personal impressions
  • present or past tense, for example what it is like, or where you went, what you did, what you saw

Sample question

Answer the following question by writing approximately 75 words in ITALIAN. You are on a homestay in Italy. Write a postcard to a friend describing how well you have settled in with your host family.

2010 Higher School Certificate Examination, Italian Continuers, Section III, Question 13 (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2010

9 – recount

Purpose

  • to inform or entertain
  • to retell past events or experiences
  • to retell a series of events

Structure

  • introduction/orientation (set the scene – who, what, where, when)
  • events sequenced in chronological order
  • closing statement

Language features

  • often told in the first person
  • descriptive language
  • often told in past tense (imperfect, perfect)
  • time words to connect events (for example innanzitutto, poi, dopo, finalmente, nel frattempo)
  • words which tell us when, where, with whom and how
  • linking words (for example cosi, perché, ma, però)

Sample question

Write approximately 200 words in ITALIAN. Write a recount of a significant event, reflecting on the impact it has had on your life.

Adapted from 2009 Higher School Certificate Examination, Italian Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2009

10 – report

Purpose

  • to present information about a class of things (to classify) OR
  • to describe the way things are
  • to organise facts
  • to draw conclusions

Structure

  • general statement or classification
  • series of paragraphs that describes
  • logical progression
  • concluding statement or summary

Language features

  • supporting evidence, such as statistics, examples
  • factual
  • language specific to the topic
  • objective language
  • linking words (for example però, perché, comunque)

Sample question

Write approximately 200 words in ITALIAN. You recently completed a month of work experience. Write a report for the school newsletter evaluating whether the experience was beneficial.

Adapted from 2017 Higher School Certificate Examination, German Continuers, Section III, Question 12(b) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2017

11 – script of an interview

Purpose

  • to find out information (for example a story or a response)
  • to communicate ideas, opinions and attitudes
  • to draw conclusions

Structure

  • salutations
  • clear idea of the purpose of the interview (Vorrei parlare di…)
  • question and response sequence (initials followed by a colon, for example A: and B:)
  • use of filler expressions (ma sì, ma no, naturalmente, in effetti)
  • conclusion (for example, Grazie per l'attenzione)

Language features

  • question forms (by the interviewer)
  • register – use polite language (for example, Lei)
  • phrases to delve deeper (for example Cosa ne pensa di…? Perché...?)
  • transition strategies when switching topics (Ora vorrei parlare di un altro argomento, di cui parliamo, di passare al prossimo argomento)

Sample question

Write approximately 200 words in Italian. You have interviewed an Italian exchange student for your school magazine. During the interview, the student reflected on his or her experiences at your school. Write the script of the interview.

2011 Higher School Certificate Examination, Italian Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2011

12 – script of a speech/talk

Purpose

  • to communicate ideas, opinions and attitudes
  • to entertain
  • to persuade
  • to welcome
  • to thank

Structure

  • salutations
  • introductory statement of purpose (for example Oggi parlerò..., ti parlo oggi perché...)
  • ideas and information organised and linked
  • concluding remarks (for example Per concludere, infine)

Language features

  • choice of expressions to engage the audience
  • descriptive words
  • range of tenses
  • usually subjective language (this depends on the context)

Sample questions

Write approximately 200 words in ITALIAN. You have been asked to address the school assembly to help persuade students to develop a healthier lifestyle. Write the script of your speech.

2014 Higher School Certificate Examination, Italian Continuers, Section III, Question 13(b) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2014

Write approximately 200 words in ITALIAN. You are mentoring a group of junior students in their first year at your school. As their mentor, you are going to present a speech at an assembly in which you provide them with suggestions for adjusting to their new environment. Write the script of your speech.

2018 Higher School Certificate Examination, Italian Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2018

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