Jan 25th 2016

Italian Language and Culture: Advanced (edX)

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Enhance your knowledge of the Italian language and learn about Italy’s culture and history including theater, opera and the poet Dante.

Benvenuti e Benvenute! (Welcome!)

Learn how to perfect your skills in Italian (speaking, listening, reading and writing), and by the end of this course you will be able to express opinions and hypotheses, and sustain an argument using a variety of registers. You will also expand your vocabulary to include topics beyond everyday conversation.

This language course offers a variety of tools that will help you learn in different ways:

- Situational videos (called Ciak!, which means “clapperboard” in Italian): you will follow eight Italian students in their daily lives and interactions on our campus. What a great way to learn authentic conversational Italian!

- Downloadable Podcasts: become a participant in each Ciak! video and practice Italian when and where you want on your portable device!

- Grammar charts, with or without audio files: study and review grammar through concise, clear and downloadable pdf files, and practice pronunciation with our embedded audio files.

- Short video lessons: as if in a real classroom, learn each new topic with the teacher’s direct guidance.

- Video interviews: learn from various native speakers as they talk about different aspects of Italian culture.

- Short “Letture” (readings): practice reading comprehension while learning about aspects of Italian culture.

- Discussion board: your chance to communicate (in Italian!) with other students on a variety of suggested topics.

- Ready to test your skills? Practice and review with a variety of self-correcting activities.

Italian culture is also an integral part of this course. Through interviews and readings you will learn about:

- the challenges that the Italian economy is currently facing;

- the origin and nature of the Italian Constitution;

- Italian environmental challenges and solutions;

- the significance of Dante’s journey in the Divine Comedy;

- the “Commedia dell’Arte”, an Italian theatrical genre;

- Italian opera and its ties to the “Risorgimento;”

- the origins of the Mafia;

- the “Taranta” or “Pizzica”, a traditional style of music and dance from Southern Italy;

- the recent immigration and the Italian citizenship law.

Whether you are a traditional, visual or auditory learner, you will find the tools that best fit your unique way to learn a foreign language.

This course has been successfully taught in different settings to more than 1,000 students: entirely online to Wellesley College alumnae and students, and as a mix of face-to-face and online instruction at Wellesley College and MIT. We are now proud to open it on edX, confident that your learning experience with this unique online course will be as enriching as it was for the many students who have already taken it.

Buono studio e buon divertimento!

What you'll learn:

- Express your opinions, feelings, likes and dislikes, and make hypotheses on a variety of subjects, including current issues affecting your hometown and the world.

- Enhance your Italian writing skills.

- Understand simple texts written for native speakers, such as newspaper or magazine articles.

- Important grammatical structures, such as the subjunctive in all its tenses, hypothetical clauses, imperatives, present and past gerunds and infinitives, and the passive voice.

- Italian culture, including the economy, environmental challenges, theater, opera, the Mafia, dance, and law.