In Italian Studies courses, only Italian is spoken, and grammar structures are presented implicitly — embedded in realistic-communicative contexts. The department felt, however, that students could also benefit from a further interactive review, this time in English. This series of videos is part of a larger effort the Italian department has undertaken over the past 6 years, aimed at the creation of primary and ancillary instructional components needed for the language program (textbook, workbook, online learning platform, & multimedia materials).
The Digital Studio and Italian department decided to develop videos, filmed by instructors in the Italian department, offering chapter-by-chapter highlights in English of the grammar points contained in the corresponding units of the textbooks. These highlights allow students to hear proper pronunciation and usage in context and reinforce important concepts being taught in the class. The series also includes an introductory video designed to familiarize students with basic grammar concepts (nouns, adjectives, prepositions, etc). Depending on individual learning needs, students would be able to watch the videos in advance of a learning unit, preview its grammatical content, or utilize them as a final review before quizzes and tests.
A unique aspect of this project was that the faculty took a collaborative approach to teaching and creating content for Italian Studies students. The combined efforts of 13 instructors from the Italian Studies department and the Digital Studio team added an effective new way for students to reinforce their classroom learning and exposing them to multiple pedagogical approaches.