Italian Language and Culture

Italian through Cultural Experience (in Italian only)

This Italian language and culture course addresses the four language competencies (reading, writing, listening, speaking) and includes both in-class lessons and explorative cultural activities in the streets, piazzas and public buildings of Florence. This very dynamic course has a rapid learning pace. Through language the student is enabled to explore local culture, interacting outside class on the basis of specific assignments. The course is highly flexible and is designed for students studying a variety of disciplines. The course emphasizes the explorative ability and independent learning of students who, besides carrying out homework, discover on their own new aspects of language and culture. Some themes examined in the course: young people in Italy, fashion, local history, popular traditions, etc. Note: not recommended for students who have studied more than two semesters of Italian.

Italian through Mediterranean Cooking (in Italian only)

This content-based course is for students who have already had two semesters of Italian. The course is taught entirely in Italian, and through the study of Italian regional food students will expand their cultural and linguistic competence. Italian regional cuisine is naturally linked to local history, geography, lifestyle and culture. Each class includes a grammar topic, brief hands-on cooking session of one main popular Italian dish. Frequent oral and written reports will be arranged, so that students will naturally strengthen the four main linguistic skills.

Italian through Cooking (in Italian only)

This intermediate course is taught entirely in Italian. Through the study of Italian regional food students will expand their cultural and linguistic competence. Italian regional cuisine is naturally linked to local history, geography, lifestyle and culture. Each class includes a grammar topic, brief hands-on cooking session of one main popular Italian dish. Frequent oral and written reports will be arranged, so that students will naturally strengthen the four main linguistic skills.

Italian through Film (in Italian only)

The use of film in teaching Italian allows students to be exposed to different models of language, to develop their communicative skills (by focusing on the roles of the protagonists and the importance of situation and context), and to compare and contrast different cultural systems. Drawing on Italy’s world-famous cinematic tradition, this course will explore language and communication in a variety of films that provide stimulating images of Italian society. Much class time will be devoted to analysis of language, in particular to the ways in which grammar and vocabulary are used in film dialogues portraying realistic situations from everyday life.

Italian through Theatre (in Italian only)

Italian is sometimes characterized as a theatrical language. This course, taught entirely in Italian, uses the great tradition of Italian theatre to enable students to improve their capacity in communication in Italian. Through learning how to listen and pronounce correctly theatrical texts, and through using non-verbal communication commonly practiced in the theatre (e.g. mimicry, gestures, postures, moves) alongside verbal communication, students will appreciate intercultural communication in its totality and build confidence in their own approach to communicating in Italian. Each class will have a theoretical part in which a literary or musical text will be analyzed, referring to the historical, artistic and social context in which it was a produced, and a practical part, in which students will learn the sound of words and expressions and become familiar with theatrical strategies of communication. The course will end with a small performance.

Italian for Conversation (in Italian only)

The course, taught entirely in Italian, aims to improve conversational fluency through different structured teaching techniques (i.e. dramatization, role play, role taking, oral presentation) and also to promote different strategies for listening, another important skill to be developed in order to become a real active participant in conversation. The improvement of speaking and listening abilities, together with reading and writing, will go hand in hand with broadening knowledge of the Italian culture. In this context class discussions and students’ oral presentations on themes regarding Italy and Italian people will help them become familiar with Italian society.

Contemporary Italian Civilization and Culture (in Italian only)

This course, taught entirely in Italian, examines the development of Italian civilization from Italian Unification (1860) to the present. It explores achievements in literature, philosophy, and the arts, as well as political and social movements and key events in Italy history. It focuses on the contributions of specific individuals, as well as on broader social issues such as Fascism, and political and economic developments that characterize particular time periods, including the aftermath of World War II. By the end of the course students will have developed a critical consciousness of Italian civilization, including its social, cultural, and historical dimensions, and of contemporary Italian aesthetics. They will increase their knowledge of political, economic, historical, and social forces that have influenced Italian culture. Students who successfully complete the course will come away with an interdisciplinary perspective on the development of Italian civilization, a greater appreciation of Italy’s heritage, and a richer understanding of contemporary Italian society.

Italian through Service Learning (in Italian only)

This course, taught entirely in Italian, aims to give students a singular experience of study abroad. The focus of the course is both on the Italian learning outcome and the opportunity to experience and reflect upon community-based volunteer work in the program city. Students are required to attend weekly seminars (for a total of 30 hours) on cultural and language issues, sharing experiences based on their service learning. Particular attention will be dedicated to socially engaged subjects like ethnicity and immigration, youth and volunteer work, children and school, stereotypes and intercultural relations, globalization. The course also entails volunteer placements in organizations engaged in socially meaningful tasks: working with women, children, the elderly, students, immigrants, cultural associations, disabled people and the environment (at least 15 hours of on-site activities per semester to be arranged by and starting from the fourth week of the semester). The service learning will be supervised by the professor and local tutor(s). Please consider that students will have to devote additional hours for independent learning, preparation and follow-up of the activities and transport. Students will reflect on their learning through case study reports and journals based on participation and observation in the service learning location.

Communication in Public Administration Internship

This internship provides professional experience in the field of Communications at a prestigious public office. The intern is monitored by both the onsite supervisor and an LdM faculty member. The grade assigned by the faculty internship supervisor reflects assessment of weekly reports, two papers, and an overall evaluation. Ten/twelve hours weekly at the internship site; student internship schedules and onsite duties may vary.
The internship provides an inside look into Florence’s Public Administration. With this unique experience the students establish themselves as part of a communications team and learn valuable technical skills, while providing information to the English speaking community of Florence. Interns develop and carry out various activities which include but are not limited to: translating important news and announcements from Italian into English; finding the main points of an official document and making a short summary of those points for online publication; using specific databases and maintaining a website; working as a liaison with external offices; drafting translations from English into Italian.

Prerequisites: Advanced Italian 1 completed (ITL 301 level) and concurrent enrolment in an Italian class (ITL/ITC). Proficiency in Italian required. Since the translations are from Italian into English, high proficiency in written and read English is expected. Recommended: strong writing and communication skills; translation experience. Proficiency in Italian required.

Admission contingent on student CV, two reference letters, writing sample in English, formal letter of intent in Italian (due by application deadline) an Italian language placement test and on-site interview.