Introduction to Italian Language and Culture

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1 Introduction to Italian Language and Culture FYS , Fall 2007 Syllabus and Reading List Instructor: Giuliana Palma Office: Trinity Commons 230; Telephone: Office Hours: M.W. 3:40-4:30 p.m.; Th. 4:00-4:50 p.m. and/or by appointment Classrooms and Schedule Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday MCEC 293 LIB 119 MCEC 293 LIB 119 2:40 3:30 2:40-3:55 2:40 3:30 2:40-3:55 Description and Statement of Objectives: To fully understand and appreciate Italy, its people and its culture, one must have a good grasp of the language. This course, therefore, integrates an intensive study of basic Italian with an overview of contemporary Italian culture. The seminar will meet four days a week. On three of those days, students will study grammar and vocabulary and use a language-based approach toward the study of Italian culture. One day a week, however, will be devoted to discussion in English of selected readings, film, and music that deal with important cultural topics. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to apply their basic knowledge of Italian to the texts and to consider the ways the language is a window on Italian culture. Whereas the films are all in Italian with English subtitles, literary and critical readings are in English (except in the case of shorter and more immediately accessible texts which students will read in Italian). At the end of the semester, students will have acquired considerable knowledge of some very important aspects of Italian culture and will be able to speak, understand, read and write in Italian at the basic level as described in the Common European Framework of reference for Languages. 1

2 Course Requirements and Grading Policy: Attendance and Participation: Attendance in this course is of the outmost importance. Because I consider the student/instructor relationship to be a social contract and because I believe that students are best served by attending all classes, I will uphold the following policy: Students are allowed three excused absences for family reasons and/or for illness during the entire semester. If you have more than three excused absences the instructor reserves the right to lower the final grade by one full letter grade (i.e. B to C ). Chronic absenteeism and non-excused absences will not be tolerated and students will be asked to drop the course. In addition, I do not tolerate tardiness because it disrupts the flow of the class (three lates are equivalent to one absence). Homework: Homework will be assigned at the end of each class period and is due in class the next day. You are responsible for the homework, which will be computed in the participation component of your final grade. Each week students will write a two page long text in English (Times 12, double space, minimum 500 words) with their critical reflections on lectures, class discussion and readings. Students should also integrate other readings and personal experiences into their reflections. These writing assignments will be due on Wednesdays and they count for 10% of the final grade (see chart below) Quizzes and exams: - For the linguistic portion of the course, there will be a quiz every other week. No make up quizzes will be given, but your lowest quiz grade will be dropped. Quizzes can be written and/or oral. There will be one midterm exam, which is cumulative. You will be responsible for all the material covered up to that point. The final exam will test your knowledge of all the material covered in the course. - For the cultural portion of the course, students will work on a Midterm project and one Final paper, the topic of which will be chosen with the instructor s help. The Midterm project is divided into two parts: a written part and an oral presentation. The written part consists of a five page paper and it is due on October 29 th, the oral presentations will take place on November 19 th and 20 th. Final grade is computed according to the chart below: Attendance and Participation 15% of the final grade Quizzes 15% Mid-term Exam 15% Final Exam 15% Texts 10% Mid Term Paper 15% Final Paper 15%

3 Required Textbooks Gruppo Italiaidea, Italian Espresso I Alma Edizioni, Firenze, 2006 Readings other than the ones found in the textbook, will be posted in Blackboard or provided by the instructor. A Good Italian-English Dictionary Calendar PRIMA SETTIMANA; Lunedì 4 - giovedì 6 settembre Lesson 1 Primi contatti The language of gestures in Italy. Kendon, Adam. Introduction: Andrea de Jorio and his Work on Gesture A translation of: de Jorio, Andrea. La mimica degli antichi investigata nel gestire napoletano General Expression of the Ancients in the light of Neapolitan Gesturing, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, XX-CVII Il Postino Communicative Functions: Greeting people. Introducing yourself. Asking pronunciation and spelling of a word. Asking nationality. Asking the meaning and translation of a word. Asking for telephone numbers. Saying goodbye Essere and Chiamarsi: first and second person singular. Alphabet. Adjectives of nationality. Regular verbs: first and second person singular. Numbers from 0 to 20 SECONDA SETTIMANA; Lunedì 10 giovedì 13 settembre Lesson 2 Buon Appetito Food and diet in Italy: a presentation by Prof. Del Puppo Boccaccio, Giovanni. Una novella Decameron. Communicative functions: Ordering in a caffè. Ordering in a Restaurant. Asking for the check. Asking prices. Nouns of the first and second group. Definite and Indefinite article. Numbers from 20 to 100 Quiz 1 TERZA SETTIMANA; Lesson settembre Io e gli altri The working world in Italy. Ginsborg, Paul. The social Hierarchies of a Prosperous Nation Italy and Its Discontent. New York: Palgrave Macmillan,

4 Communicative functions: Introducing someone. Asking and giving personal details. Talking aboout your work. Speaking formally. Verbs ending in are; essere: third person singular. Nouns which do not change. Regular verbs; fare, essere and avere: third person singular. Names of occupation which do not have a feminine form. Peculiarity of nouns. Simple prepositions. Numbers from 100 onwards. Formal and informal communication. QUARTA SETTIMANA; settembre Lesson 4 Tempo libero Leisure time in Italy. Calvino readings from Marcovaldo o le stagioni in città: Library Session Communicative functions: Talking about Leisure time. Talking about how often you do something. Expressing likes and preferences. Fare, andare and stare: third person singular. Regular verbs: presente indicativo. Verbs sapere and conoscere. Adverbs of frequency. The verb piacere. Asking questions. Quiz 2 QUINTA SETTIMANA; 1-4 ottobre Lesson 5 In giro per l Italia Italian language around the world. De Mauro, Tullio Linguistic Variety and Linguistic Minorities. Ed. Forgacs and Lumley Italian Cultural Studies. New York: Oxford University Press, Communicative functions: Describing a place. Asking and giving directions. Asking and telling time. Adjectives of the first group. Simple prepositions. Irregular verbs: presente indicativo. C è/ Ci sono. adjectives of the second group. Asking the time. Respiro SESTA SETTIMANA; 8-11 ottobre (8 9 Trinity days ) Lesson 6 In albergo Vacanze e turismo Communicative functions: Booking a hotel room. Complaining. Offering a solution. Describing a house. Asking and giving information about a house. Asking and giving timetable information. Modal verbs. Bene/Buono. Male/Cattivo. The months. Ordinal numbers. Compound prepositions. What time...? Pane e Tulipani Quiz 3 4

5 SETTIMA SETTIMANA; ottobre Lesson 7 Un fine settimana Italy and the Mediterranean. Dainotto. Roberto Europe (in Theory). Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2007 Communicative functions: Planning a trip. Talking about a trip. Talking about the weather. Asking information in a travel agency. Passato prossimo. Irregular past participles. Past time expressions. Adverbs of time. Ci vuole/ci vogliono. Mediterraneo OTTAVA SETTIMANA; Lesson ottobre Vita quotidiana Religion. Pratt, Jeff Catholic Culture. Italian Cultural Studies. Ed. Forgacs and Lumley. New York: Oxford University Press, Communicative functions: Talking about working hours. Describing a typical day. Describing your daily routine. Best wishes and congratulations. Describing holidays and traditions. Midterm Exam Reflexive verbs. Presente indicativo. Position of the reflexive pronoun. Possessive adjectives. October 25th NONA SETTIMANA; 29 ottobre -1 novembre Lesson 9 La famiglia Family. Ginsborg, Paul. Family and Consumption Italy and Its Discontent. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, Communicative functions: Identifying family relationships. Describing your family. Possessive adjectives. Possessive sdjectives with words denoting family relationships. Passato prossimo of reflexive verbs. Ricordati di me Midterm Paper due October 29th DECIMA SETTIMANA; 5-8 novembre Lesson 10 Sapori d Italia Music Activity: Discussing Puccini s Tosca. A presentation by Prof. Douglas Johnson Communicative functions: Describing food and eating habits. Grocery shopping Direct object pronouns. Ne as partitive expression. Partitve use of di + article. Quiz 4 5

6 UNDICESIMA SETTIMANA; novembre Lesson 11 Fare acquisti Young Italians and fashion. Reading Leopardi, Giacomo Operette morali : essays and dialogues / 1982 Communicative functions: Shopping for clothes. Making polite requests. Expressing tastes and preferences. Indirect object pronouns. Use of indirect pronouns contrasted with direct pronouns. Condizionale presente for making polite requests. Più, meno, troppo. The adjective quello. Caterina va in città DODICESIMA SETTIMANA; novembre (21-25 novembre: Thanksgiving Vacation) Oral presentations TREDICESIMA SETTIMANA; novembre Lesson 12 Da piccola Cultural topic: Emigration, Immigration and Social Identity Passages from Melania Mazzucco s Vita Communicative functions: Describing animals. Talking about your childhood. Describing past situations. Talking about habitual activities in the past Imperfetto The use of the imperfetto compared to the passato prossimo. Lamerica Quiz 5 QUATTORDICESIMA SETTIMANA; 3-6 dicembre Lesson 13 Non è bello ciò che è bello Italian Women. Passerini, Luisa Gender Relations. Italian Cultural Studies. Ed. Forgacs and Lumley. New York: Oxford University Press, Le Fate ignoranti Communicative functions: Giving a physical description of someone. Giving a description of someone s personality. Making comparisons. Describing a house. Expressing wishes. QUINDICESIMA SETTIMANA; 10 dicembre Revisione generale. passato prossimo of cominciare and finire. Comparatives. Superlatives. Condizionale presente. ESAME FINALE : 18 DICEMBRE ore 12,00 6

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