Perugia and Beyond: Advanced Grammar, Conversation and Cultural Reflection is an interdisciplinary course that focuses on achieving and strengthening an Advanced level in cultural and linguistic-communicative competences (speaking, writing, reading and comprehension) regarding a wide variety of topics. At the same time, it asks students to reflect on various aspects of contemporary Perugian life and Italian culture, asking them to analyze their own experience of immersion in a different cultural environment. This course has three pillars: language, culture, and reflection. Advanced Italian language instruction is at the core of the class. Students will consolidate fundamentals of the Italian language already learned and be exposed to new grammatical concepts in order to interact on a sophisticated basis with Italians in various real-world settings. Second, they will use their language learning as a vehicle for delving into the richness and complexity of Italian culture. Third, students reflect on their experiences living in a new culture and understanding how this has impacted their perspective on the United States and their sense of their own identities. Through engaging in interactive assignments, maintaining a reflective course journal, and participating in group activities, students will learn to live in their new environment, build competence and confidence as global citizens, and understand how they can leverage their Perugia experience for their future personal and professional success.
Students will strengthen and improve upon their skills in speaking, reading, and understanding Italian, study Italian culture and experience it first-hand, and reflect on the what they have learned both about Italy, the United States, and themselves through their study abroad experience.
At the end of the semester, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate foundational skills in speaking and understanding Italian, including:
- understanding a wide range of demanding, longer clauses, and recognize implicit meaning.
- expressing ideas fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions.
- using language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.
- producing clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organizational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.
- Convey their understanding of contemporary political and economic issues in Italy
- Participate in sophisticated discussions of contemporary Italian culture.
- Engage in critical evaluation of their own culture, Italian culture, and other foreign cultures, including:
- Articulating U.S. cultural rules, norms and biases;
- Understanding how their own experiences have shaped their values and priorities;
- Knowing how to respond productively to cultural differences;
- Valuing what is important to members of another culture, including their history, politics, communication styles, economy, beliefs and social practices;
- Interpreting cross-cultural experiences from multiple worldviews and respecting the rights and feelings of other cultural groups;
- Asking complex questions about their own culture and other cultures, seeking out answers to those questions that reflect multiple cultural perspectives.
- Understand and articulate the unique benefits of their study abroad experience and anticipate how to leverage those benefits for their future personal and professional success.
• Required Text: A Course Reader that contains the materials to be covered in the course will be made available.
• Supplementary Text: Selected exercises and readings from various textbooks and workbooks will be handed out periodically.
• Dictionary: Students are strongly recommended to purchase an English/Italian, Italian/English dictionary. The library also has a number of dictionaries available for consultation.