As I finish my third and final semester of Italian at Duke, it is interesting to reflect on the past three semesters and see how my language abilities have grown. The grammar and vocabulary skills I acquired in Italian 101 and 102 have served as a basis for the projects and presentations we have completed in Italian 203. Italian 203 taught me how to use these basic skills and apply them to situations that resemble real life scenarios. For example, the presentations require being able to quickly think of and speak in Italian, using the grammar and vocabulary we had previously only been tested on during examinations.
Furthermore, my semesters of Italian have helped me to develop on social and personal, and academic levels. During all three semesters, we have completed group projects. These projects have allowed me to create unique academic relationships with my peers. The projects allow me to combine my strengths with others’ strengths to create the best possible product. Additionally, we have peer reviewed others’ portfolios in Italian 203. This has given me insight into my peers and myself. Reading other students’ portfolios and providing them with constructive feedback allowed me to view coursework from an unbiased point of view. It also allowed me to learn from my peers’ strengths. On a personal level, in Italian 203 I have been able to reflect on my personal experiences in the course through the many cultural projects. I have been able to think about my views on the cultural differences between Italy and America, what it means to experience culture shock, in addition to other reflections. In relation to academics, I am an Art History minor here at Duke. Italian is particularly useful in the world of Art History. Much of the art I have studied comes from Italy, and so I have had the opportunity to learn about Italian history. Especially with the Italian unit in this course, it has been interesting to have overlap in my art history classes and Italian class.
As I mentioned previously, the skills we acquired in Italian 101 and 102 have set the foundation for the information we studied in Italian 203. While we continue to learn new vocabulary and grammar, much of the course focused on applying the grammar and vocabulary we already had to more complicated projects and scenarios. I believe this has solidified the information further. Because of this, I believe my knowledge of the Italian language has grown the most in Italian 203.
I began taking Italian to learn a new and exciting language. I came into Italian 101 with very few expectations. It is safe to say my 3 semesters of Italian have fully exceeded these expectations. Although, I have just completed my final semester of Italian, I believe I will be able to use the skills I have learned throughout my two remaining years Duke and beyond. Furthermore, I will be going abroad to Copenhagen in the fall and will take an introductory Danish course. I believe the language learning abilities I have learned in Italian will assist me in my study of Danish.