Dear Italian Language Students,
The commitment of all of us at the Dante Alighieri Society of Washington’s Italian Language Program is to bring you one step closer to Italy with our Italian language lessons. That commitment couldn’t be stronger in this trying time, when unfortunately we must engage in social distancing that separates us from our Italian friends and each other.
For those students whose passion for the Italian language and all things Italian cannot and will not be stopped, we will be offering classes Spring Quarter, but are switching from in-person to online lessons. Although we know that an online classroom is not the same as an in-person lesson, all the teachers of the Italian Program are determined to do everything they can to make this new learning experience as exciting, inspiring, educative, fun and effective as our lessons have always been.
We will keep a close eye on the rapid evolution of the situation and adjust accordingly. We will continue to look into ways to improve our language classes throughout the quarter and into the future. The following is a description of how we anticipate the upcoming Spring Quarter classes will be conducted:
Students will interact with their instructor and peers through the video conferencing Zoom platform. The Zoom platform allows real time interactions between the students and the instructor. Instructors will present in real time the grammatical structures and vocabulary listed in the syllabus with the support of Zoom Whiteboard among other tools. Just as for in-person classes, students will be able to ask questions and interact with each other. Follow up exercises will be provided – some during the online connection and others to be completed offline. During each lesson, instructors will provide opportunities for conversation as a class and in groups with the aid of images, guided interviews and other aids.
At the beginning of each online session, the teacher will share the content of the lesson with the students. The duration of the live portion of each online lesson may vary from 60 to 90 minutes. Shorter online sessions will include additional offline activities for the remaining class period.
As always, we welcome your feedback. It is a vital factor in delivering the best learning experience possible. We look forward to hearing your opinions and recommendations for improvements.
Thank you for continuing to share your passion for the Italian language and the country we all love, especially during this challenging time.
Language Program Director
No in person classes for the last week of Winter Quarter
The health and safety of our students and instructors is our number one priority. We are following closely the guidance of our local public health experts, the World Health Organization, and the CDC regarding the threat and spread of COVID-19 and are carefully assessing the impact of this outbreak on our Italian Language Program.
In order to support efforts by public health agencies to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the region, Seattle University, where Dante Alighieri Society Language Program classes are held, has announced that beginning Monday, March 9, classes will not be held in person through the end of Winter Quarter on March 20. Most other universities in the Puget Sound region have announced similar efforts.
The Italian Language Program of the Dante Alighieri Society of Washington is following Seattle University’s lead. Instead of holding classes at Seattle University, students will complete the remaining Winter quarter lessons on Tuesday 3/10 and Thursday 3/12 from home. Each instructor, with the Language Program director’s coordination, will provide instructional materials and exercises to be completed at home.
Students having questions should contact their instructor or the Language Program Director, Giuseppe Tassone.
At this time we hope to be able resume in person classes at the start of Spring Quarter on Tuesday, March 31. However, we will continue to evaluate the situation over the coming weeks and will post information on our website as well as notify our students.
Registration for spring quarter is now open for continuing students and new students and closes on March 20. Information on the classes and registration instructions are available here. The first day of class will be Tuesday, March 31. We recommend that absolute beginners start classes in the fall. Students with some knowledge of Italian are often able to start classes in the Spring quarter without difficulty. For assistance in choosing the correct class, please contact the Language Program director, Giuseppe Tassone.