In 2019, students from Years One to Six explored some of the new Italian Curriculum, which has a strong focus on socialising and communicating with one another. Students attended a one-hour lesson per week in our bright and spacious Italian Room. Our new Italian Room has displays of Italian food and kitchenware, a role play area, a ‘pizza couch’ and two different areas for reading books, doing group work and playing games.
During our Italian lessons, students learnt numerous Italian words and phrases with the help of oral drilling, games, cross-words, flash cards, songs, rhymes, stories, videos, online activities, word sleuths, puzzles and role-play. Students also learnt about how the Italian language works and how Italian words are often connected to English words, due to their Latin roots. I take pride in sharing my Italian culture with the students, which includes many anecdotes, photos, videos and the display of Italian realia.
The new Italian Curriculum has different topics for students to explore and we aim to build on these topics year by year. The goal is for our students to become more confident in Italian and to ensure that their learning of a language is continuous and constantly developing. Each topic includes several strands, which are Socialising, Informing, Creating, Translating, Reflecting, Systems of Language, Language variation and change and Role of language and culture.
The Year One and Two students learnt simple modelled language to share information about themselves, their age and where they live. Students also learnt their greetings, numbers, colours, body parts, animal names and some food vocabulary. They learnt how to use these words in short sentences and demonstrated their understanding with gestures, words, flashcards, pictures, actions, etc.
The students in Years Three and Four focused on their personal descriptions and information about their families. This included describing hair and eye colour and talking about the number and names of siblings, etc. At this age, students become more aware of the use of masculine and feminine words in the Italian language. In our Italian classes we are constantly looking for patterns and making links with the English language.
In Years Five and Six, the aim is for students to learn more descriptive and expressive language when talking about themselves, their families and their homes. Next year there will be more of a focus on describing their neighbourhood and what they do in their free time. In 2019, the students studied the different habitats of Australian animals and their major assessment was an oral presentation in Italian. This topic allowed students to learn about various animals and habitats, expand their Italian vocabulary and also learn how to use correct syntax and grammar when forming short sentences in Italian.
Students have responded well to learning Italian this year, with a good level of curiosity, enthusiasm and participation, particularly from our junior students. Many students learnt the animal names in Italian this year and while doing so, they also learnt how to sign the animals using AUSLAN. Most students really enjoyed learning how to sign, as it introduced another language and added an element of fun to our learning. I am looking forward to exploring the new Italian Curriculum in more depth in 2020 and will hopefully include some cooking in next year’s Italian program.
Marita Russo - LOTE Teacher