Interactive, online language immersion program that has strong focus on the history and culture of Italy.
- Web based instructional materials, photos, videos and interviews with VIP from the region being studied.
- The culture and history of Italy is taught concurrently with teaching of the Italian language.
- The immersion based approach allows students to become fluent more quickly.
There are several types of ways that people learn a new language. Traditional textbooks lack the ability to be interactive with the material and have a strong focus on vocabulary and grammar. Speak and repeat programs focus solely on learning phrases to get by without teaching an understanding of a language. While there are several other online language immersion programs, this is the only one specifically designed for use in a university classroom. The I.V.C. allows students to actively interact with the material and learn about the history, art history, literature, traditions, and culture concurrently with learning a new language. Traditional university foreign language programs focus on teaching language for the first few years of instruction and then the upper level courses focus more on culture. Because the majority of college level language students only take 2 or 3 years of classes, most students don’t have the opportunity to learn about the culture. Students learning Italian from the I.V.C. not only become fluent faster, but they have a deep cultural and historical understanding of Italy.
The I.V.C. is a virtual online immersion program in which students are treated as though they just arrived in Italy. It is based on the idea that cultural learning should be concurrent with learning a new language. Instead of grammar and vocabulary leading the lessons, the chapters are focused on culture while a student is also introduced to new words and grammatical lessons. The program follows the chronological history of Italy, starting with ancient civilizations, then pre-Roman and Roman eras, the Middle Ages, and the early and high Renaissance. Because course materials contain stories that are frequently told by actual students as they travel abroad, the I.V.C. has many of the benefits of traveling abroad without requiring students to leave campus. The I.V.C. course material relies heavily on interviews with native Italian speakers thereby providing a unique opportunity for students to listen to correct pronunciation and grammar. The specific structure of the I.V.C. allows students to learn Italian at a faster rate than a traditional textbook, but also to better understand what it means to be a citizen of Italy.
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Actively used at three universities, including Emory University.