This Course at MIT

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Course Overview

This page focuses on the course ES.S41 Speak Italian With Your Mouth Full as it was taught by Dr. Paola Rebusco in Spring 2012.

In this Experimental Study Group seminar, students learned conversational Italian and how to prepare delicious Italian meals, while developing an understanding of Italian culture. Each class consisted of three parts: language instruction, identification of cooking ingredients in Italian, and cooking instruction. The juxtaposition of language learning and cooking provided the students with a unique way to learn and practice Italian. This course was taught in a combination of English and Italian.

Course Outcomes

Course Goals for Students

  • To learn basic Italian
  • To learn how to cook and make healthy food choices
 

Curriculum Information

Prerequisites

None

Requirements Satisfied

None

Offered

The course was offered for the first time in Spring 2012; subsequent offerings are at the instructor’s discretion.

The Classroom

 

Student Information

On average, about 10 students take this course each year.

Breakdown by Major

Students were from all different backgrounds and majors.

Enrollment Cap

This course had an enrollment cap of 12 students. Ninety students registered for the course, but because the course is interactive and hands-on, having a small class was important. The students were selected by lottery.

Ideal Class Size

10-12

 
 

How Student Time Was Spent

During an average week, students were expected to spend 6 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:

In Class: Language Instruction and Cooking

2 hours per week
  • The first hour of each class was spent on grammar and vocabulary. The class was interactive and students actively participated.
  • The second hour of each class was spent identifying the Italian names for ingredients and cooking tools, and cooking a meal together.
  • Sometimes this schedule varied depending on the cooking activity; for example, if the class was baking a cake, cooking would happen first and language instruction would happen while the cake was in the oven.
 

Out of Class

4 hours per week
  • Students were required to read each week’s blog entry and complete some grammar or reading exercises.
  • Students were also required to pick one dish from that week’s class and replicate it on their own. They would bring a sample to class to get it critiqued.
 

Semester Breakdown

WEEK M T W Th F
1 No classes throughout MIT. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class session. No session scheduled.
2 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class session. No session scheduled.
3 No classes throughout MIT. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class session. No session scheduled.
4 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class session. No session scheduled.
5 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class session. No session scheduled.
6 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class session. No session scheduled.
7 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class session. No session scheduled.
8 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
9 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class session. No session scheduled.
10 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class session. No session scheduled.
11 No classes throughout MIT. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class session. No session scheduled.
12 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class session. No session scheduled.
13 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class session. No session scheduled.
14 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class session. No session scheduled.
15 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class session. No classes throughout MIT.
16 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
Displays the color and pattern used on the preceding table to indicate dates when classes are not held at MIT. No classes throughout MIT
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when class sessions are held. Class session
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when no class session is scheduled. No class session scheduled
 

Instructor Insights

In the following pages, Dr. Paola Rebusco discusses aspects of how she created and taught this course.