Benvenuti al mio blog! This blog represents the culmination of all of my progress and experiences while taking Italian for, not just this semester, but the past three semesters. Italian 203 has been my favorite Italian class yet; I really enjoyed being able to delve deeper into Italian culture during this class through the projects we completed as opposed to just learning grammar and doing one or two cultural projects. This class allowed me to synthesize culture and grammar at the same time, which was really helpful. I really feel that if I were to go to Italy after taking these courses, then I would be able to communicate and appreciate the culture more so than if I hadn’t taken the classes. As I learned during the interview project, this is apparently something that Italian people would greatly appreciate and that would enrich my experience as well!

Aside from the immense help that my study of Italian would be should I decided to visit Italy for an extended period of time, studying Italian has helped me a lot even in understanding English. As a native speaker, there are many aspects of English that I have never really tried to understand, but just trusted that it worked. Italian has offered some instruction on aspects that I haven’t been exposed to since middle school, including parts of speech and verb tenses and moods. Understanding these things in Italian has made me more cognizant of how I speak, and especially how I write, in English. I’ve found of the course of my three semesters with Italian that, much like I learned English, it was more helpful to speak it and practice writing without too much help from dictionaries and notes in order to learn by trial and error, and to make mistakes and learn from them.

So, in the spirit of reflection and progress, I’ve put together this portfolio of what I think are the most illustrative pieces of what I’ve learned and what I’ve improved this semester. Over the course of this semester, we covered three main units: the body (food), spaces (museums), and relationships. Within each of these, we also covered multiple objectives: communication and being able to interpret, present, and engage in interaction; being able to make comparisons; understanding cultural practices and perspectives; making connections between Italian and other disciplines; and communities and being able to explore Italian beyond the classroom. Additionally, I reflect on my progress with vocabulary and grammar. For each objective, I picked an assignment from the semester from one of the three units and reflected on the assignment’s directions, my preparation, why I chose it for that particular objective, things I learned about Italian culture and/or the Italian language, and things I found difficult about the assignment or project. Things I chose include essays, the poster project, the slow food handout, and the cumulative exam among others, and each of which you will read about in due time. I really enjoyed putting together this portfolio and having a visual representation of the many things I learned and accomplished this semester.