ES.S41 | Spring 2012 | Undergraduate

Speak Italian With Your Mouth Full

Instructor Insights

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

Instructor Interview

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

Curriculum Information



Requirements Satisfied



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

Student Information


About 10 students

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


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

  • 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

  • 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.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2012
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Videos
Activity Assignments
Instructor Insights