Our Italian language program engages all students from years 3 to 7 in a range of activities that explore the language, culture and history of Italy. For one hour a week students are exposed to new Italian phrases, stories, music, photos and food.
A variety of fun games and interactive tasks help to teach basic Italian vocabulary and communication skills. The Italian program aims to improve the students’ skills in viewing, reading, responding, listening and speaking in Italian and students are assessed on these areas of learning throughout the year
Through out 2013 there was a major focus on developing and reinforcing students’ literacy skills in both English and Italian which is beneficial to students of all ages. Since 60% of the English vocabulary comes from Latin, knowing Italian can help improve students’ reading, writing and decoding skills in English.
We also dedicated time to learning about the Italian culture and this was achieved through the use of cross-curricular activities, such as artwork and drama. Students were offered the opportunity to learn a new language for the purpose of communicating but it also raised their cultural awareness and provided them with many new learning strategies and study techniques.
In 2013 our topic was ‘Mangiamo, Mangiamo!’ which translates as ‘Let’s eat, let’s eat!’ Students learnt about Italian food and eating customs. Many classes also sampled Italian foods such as ‘provolone’, cheese, olives and pickled vegetables, known as ‘giardiniera’. A favourite, of most students, was the crusty Italian bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
In September we had our very special Italian Day which was based on Italian food. This exciting whole-day event included ‘restaurant relays’ and creating artwork based on Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s famous fruit and vegetable faces. There was also a wonderful costume parade, lots of games, pasta-building and an ice-cream van serving authentic ‘gelato’
With Italian food being so popular in Australia the students seemed to enjoy this topic as it was something they could relate to and discuss with others in class. I am sure that students will also enjoy next year’s topic - ’Il Mondo’ which means ‘The World’.
Grazie! Signorina Russo