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Online Courses 2020

Online Courses 2020

SIS Online learning

SIS prides itself in the teaching of Italian as a second language in a comprehensive way – allowing students to understand the socio-cultural realities that are inherently tied to the Italian language. In fact, SIS expects that students learning the language (and other subjects taught in the L2) will be able to engage with the community around them, acquiring along the way and putting into use a reflective intercultural competence. On site in Siena this is done by a full immersion experience, where students live with host families and take language and content courses taught in Italian, as well as an intercultural reflections course where the students are given space to process and reflect upon their intercultural experience. A cornerstone to the SIS pedagogy is the practice of service-learning in the community, where students on-site can get to know a wide range of social environments while putting their language skills into use (to read more about the EUFICCS pedagogy used at SIS click here). 

In the online iteration of the SIS program, specialized SIS faculty have worked carefully to develop unique materials related to learning Italian online, specifically related to Siena, Italy using all of these components. Siena provides a perfect microcosm that can represent nearly all aspects of Italian culture, past and present.  SIS strongly believes that linking the learning of a language (and other academic subjects taught in the L2) to this specific and unique place can provide an incredible added value source to the learner. Beyond live, in-person lessons with qualified instructors, students will be provided with a data bank of specific online material that will allow the student to develop a new kind of familiarity with this place, its people and its language.  This may include a series of interviews, videos, pre-recorded lectures, virtual visits and conceptual maps to help learners apply the language to online content and familiarize themselves with the linguistic and cultural context online. Though service-learning can not be done in a hands-on manner during the online courses, the aspect of service in Siena will continue to be prevalent also here with visits to, and interviews with key stakeholders in, the community service sites.

SIS online courses are designed for students who are unable to participate in a study abroad experience at the moment. The courses can also be used to prepare students for their upcoming semester abroad or to complete a foreign language requirement after a single semester abroad. 

Virtual Study Abroad: Online Course offerings for Summer 2020

Online courses for the Summer 2020 session will take place over a period of six weeks, held from June 15 – July 24. See each course description for exact time and start date. 

For each class offering there is an option to enroll in a class with other learners, or to participate in a personalized individual course. Classes that are with other learners must meet a minimum number of enrollments to be activated. 

Courses can be selected individually or as a package for a full summer term of academic credits (9 total credits). Please note that the academic content courses require an intermediate level of Italian Language proficiency, with the exception of the Intercultural Dialogue, Democracy and Global Citizenship course, which is instructed in English. 

Example of Full Package

Option 1:Option 2:
Beginner ItalianIntermediate or Advanced Italian
Intercultural Dialogue, Democracy and Global CitizenshipChoice of 1-2 content courses 

*All SIS courses are accredited by Portland State University. PSU transcripts can be purchased for an additional fee—check with your home institution to find out if a PSU transcript is necessary or if SIS courses are accepted directly for credit.

Summer 2020 Course Descriptions:

Beginning Italian Language [Class start date: Monday, June 15 at 9:00am, 3 credits]

The Beginning Italian course is for students with no previous Italian language study. This course provides students with an introduction to the Italian language, including grammatical and communicative structures using materials that are varied in both content and type. Live class sessions include a variety activities linked to frontal explanations, conversation, student presentations, discussions, videos, etc. The other hours of the course are dedicated to individual work, reading, studying, quizzes, and written assignments, as well as the study of specific aspects of Italian grammar and virtual experiences through Siena and Italy.

Intermediate Italian Language [Class start date: Monday, June 15 at 9:00am, 3 credits]

The Intermediate Italian course is for students with approx. 1-2 semesters of previous Italian language study. Upon enrollment, a written placement test will place students in the appropriate language level. This course provides students with a complete study of grammatical and communicative structures at the intermediate level. Live class sessions include a variety activities linked to frontal explanations, conversation, student presentations, discussions, videos, etc. The other hours of the course are dedicated to individual work, reading, studying, quizzes, and written assignments, as well as the study of specific aspects of Italian grammar and virtual experiences through Siena and Italy.

Advanced Italian Language [Class start date: Monday, June 15 at 9:00am, 3 credits]

The Advanced Italian course is for students with 3+ semesters of previous Italian language study. Upon enrollment, a written placement test will place students in the appropriate language level. This course provides students with a complete study of grammatical and communicative structures at the advanced level. Live class sessions include a variety activities linked to frontal explanations, conversation, student presentations, discussions, videos, etc. The other hours of the course are dedicated to individual work, reading, studying, quizzes, and written assignments, as well as the study of specific aspects of Italian grammar and virtual experiences through Siena and Italy.

Academic Content Courses (instructed in Italian with the exception of Intercultural Dialogue, Democracy and Global Citizenship. Prereq for courses instructed in Italian: intermediate level of Italian or above).

Food as Medicine [Class start date: Monday, June 15 at 11:00am, 3 credits]

This course represents a journey through the main dietary habits of Tuscany analyzed through the basic principles of biochemistry and physiology. The nutritional and metabolic characteristics of the “Mediterranean diet” will be illustrated. The benefits and limitations of this popular diet will be analyzed in light of the most recent scientific discoveries. A large part of the course will be dedicated to the use of natural substances and to the discussion of the therapeutic power of some traditional remedies used in Italy. Specific attention will be paid to plant-derived drugs and their pharmacologically active compounds. The program will be complemented by virtual excursions to relevant points of interest in Siena and Italy.

Art History: The Middle Ages [Class start date: Tuesday, June 16 at 9:00am, 3 credits]

This course explores Medieval art and culture, offering students the critical tools with which to analyze, understand and appreciate more fully the works of art produced in Western Europe from the Fall of the Roman Empire (V century) to the Birth of the Renaissance (XV century). We will explore the development of Medieval Art form Early Christian Art, to Byzantine, Romanesque and Gothic Art; Architecture, Sculpture and Painting will be examined, by considering them in their proper historical and cultural context. We will look closely at the way in which changing styles in art reflected contemporary history and cultural attitudes. With power point presentations and also visits to museums, churches and other places of historical or artistic interest in and around Siena and Florence, this course give the students every opportunity to place their studies from the classroom in context and to see works by the great masters in the original. 

Italy Land of Migrations [Class start date: Monday, June 15 at 11:00am, 3 credits]

The phenomenon of Italian emigration, one of the most numerically significant in the history of world migrations with a number of Italian descendants outside of Italy equal to the number of Italian citizens in Italy today, represented for much time one of the forgotten chapters of Italian history. After World War II and during the period of the economic boom of the 1950s, Italy certainly didn’t want to remember the suffering of all those that had abandoned Italy and endured the difficulties that this entailed in order to improve their lives. But between the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s Italy witnessed a radical transformation: the country, whose emigrant population could very well represent emblematically the migrant population of the last two centuries, transformed it from a country of emigration to a country of immigration. Italy is no longer a country from which droves have to flee but, on the contrary, a country that attracts migrants coming from many geographic areas: North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America. In this historic moment Italy finally grasped, in its collective consciousness, that which is meant by emigration. When Italy became a popular destination for migrants, a desire was awoken in Italians to remember whom they were as a people, attempting to understand the paths and journeys of many Italians throughout the world, to observe the suffering endured and the difficulties faced in the adaptation to new worlds and also the resulting successes. “The invasion” of our space finally gave relevance to the theme of emigration, putting it front and center, showing the infinite number of facets that we needed and that we need today in order to open the door to integration, or at least render us conscious of the fact that integration is possible. 

History of Italian Cuisine [Class start date: Tuesday, June 16 at 11:00am, 3 credits]

This course is meant to trace the history of Italian cooking from the Etruscan era to today through the description of recipes, recipe books, ingredients, changes in taste and different ways of eating, over the various centuries. Particular emphasis is given to the historical and linguistic dimensions of our peninsula’s resources, to the regional variations of the so- called “Italian” cooking and to the history and the characteristics of Tuscan cooking in particular; some observations will concern the anthropological and symbolic aspects of food and of eating as part of a community. Classes are organized in an interactive way: students are continuously asked to read and discuss, reflect and taste. Readings for this course include historic, contemporary and regional cookbooks, as well as historical and sociological texts and articles. Students are asked to complete written exams and oral presentations as well as a research paper that focuses on a topic of choice. 

Cultural Anthropology [Class start date: Tuesday, June 16 at 11:00am, 3 credits]

This course introduces students to the panorama of Italian culture through the study of its traditions, rites, celebrations and beliefs, which form the basis of the historical and social evolution of Italian identity. Students first become familiar with methodological and conceptual instruments and then apply them to the specific situation of Tuscany and Siena in particular. By looking at celebrations and manifestations including the famous Palio we can observe social, public, secular and religious orders present in cultural legends and traditions that contribute to the formation of the Sienese identity. We also examine perceptions of identity in relationship to foreigners and tourists and the interactions of ‘outside’ cultures with the city of Siena.

Intercultural Dialogue, Democracy and Global Citizenship [Class start date: Tuesday, June 16 at 9:00am, 3 credits]

*course instructed in English

He who is closed in a cage of his own culture is at war with the world 

and he doesn’t know it.” 

Robert Hanvey

   This course combines structured and guided reflection with fundamental issues that characterize today’s world both in a global and a local perspective. Students are invited and led to reflect on the ever-changing challenges that await them as future global citizens.

   The course opens with a historical and philosophical discussion about the paradigm of hospitality and its corollaries guiding students to reflect and ponder on how this paradigm has been changing in recent times. It leads students through the understanding of the concept of otherness and includes a brief overview on human rights. It goes on with discussing the history of European institutions and Europe’s efforts to spread the concept of intercultural dialogue and deeply analyzes the most recent European outcomes in terms of democracy protection and democratic competences development.

   Reflection in the course is carried out thanks to the discussion of cultural topics that reveal their inner meanings and deepness when put in the right perspective.

   The aim of this course is to empower engaged global citizens with the necessary knowledge and a reflective attitude that will allow them to open to the world without getting lost, to discover the confines of their own culture, to see reality from different perspectives and to feel common ties of humanity under the flow of apparent differences.

Second Language Acquisition: EUFICCS Methodology [Class start date: Tuesday, June 16 at 9:00am, 3 credits]

*Graduate level course (intermediate level Italian minimum)

   This online course is meant as a training course on second language teaching and specifically on the innovative EUFICCS approach. It aims at developing those linguistic and intercultural competencies necessary for grad students and future teachers to approach second language teaching and acquisition in the European panorama of the 21st century. This is possible thanks to the integration of the different components of the methodology: language teaching, content teaching, service-learning, reflection. The course includes a theoretical part: the EUFICCS methodology is carefully analyzed in-depth, all its components are described and put into a theoretical frame,  the development and assessment of intercultural competence is discussed. A more practical phase is also provided, in which students are first presented EUFICCS didactic materials and subsequently asked to create their own didactic unit.

   Students will be required to actively participate in the online class, foster open discussions on the covered topics, complete course assignments. They will also have to take a midterm test concerning the theoretical aspects and a final one in the shape of a didactic unit related a topic chosen together with the instructor. They will also be asked to keep a reflective journal in which they take note of all the personal changes and improvements over the duration of the course.

Course Calendar

Every Friday, weekly assignments for following week will be sent, as well as list of pages to read and study, written homework with deadlines, etc. 

BEGINNER SCHEDULE

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
(live sessions)(live sessions)(live sessions)(live sessions)Italiano written & audio visual material for next week
9:00-11:00amItaliano live session9:00-11:00Global Citizenship9:00-11:00amItaliano live session9:00-11:00Global CitizenshipContent written & audio visual material for next week

INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED SCHEDULE

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
(live sessions)(live sessions)(live sessions)(live sessions)Italiano written & audio visual material for next week
9:00-11:00amItaliano live session9:00-11:00Global Citizenship/Art History/EUFICCS9:00-11:00amItaliano live session9:00-11:00Global Citizenship/Art History/EUFICCSContent written & audio visual material for next week
11:00-13:00 Food as Medicine/Italy Land of Migrants11:00-13:00 History of Italian Cuisine/Cultural Anthropology11:00-13:00 Flora and Fauna/Italy Land of Migrants11:00-13:00 History of Italian Cuisine/Cultural Anthropology

Example of course calendar – Italiano

Week 1: June 15 – 19

Week 2: June 22 – 27

Week 3: June 29 – July 3 (Midterm + Palio activities)

Week 4: July 6 – 10

Week 5: July 13 – 17 (Oral presentations)

Week 6: July 20 – 24 (Final exam)

Example of course calendar – Content

Week 1: June 15 – 19

Week 2: June 22 – 27

Week 3: June 29 – July 3 (Midterm)

Week 4: July 6 – 10

Week 5: July 13 – 17 (Oral presentations)

Week 6: July 20 – 24 (Final exam + Final paper)

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