ES.S41 | Spring 2012 | Undergraduate

Speak Italian With Your Mouth Full

Instructor Insights

Developing the Course

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In this section, Dr. Rebusco explains how she turned her idea to combine language learning and cooking into a practical, interactive, and fun course for MIT students.

Idea for the Course

"I like to eat and cook, and I like to learn different languages. And I thought maybe I can combine the two things."
— Dr. Rebusco

Dr. Rebusco discusses how she came up with the idea for this unique course.

Goals of the Course

"I thought that this course could help [the students] learn how to cook and how to recognize what’s healthy from what’s not so healthy."
— Dr. Rebusco

Dr. Rebusco talks about her teaching goals and what she hoped her students would learn at the end of the course.

Preparing for the Course

"I was trying to find cultural or grammatical topics that would relate to the dish that we were cooking."
— Dr. Rebusco

The instructor explains the ways in which she prepared for each class session. 

Dr. Rebusco purchased the ingredients for the dishes at the local Shaw’s Supermarket, Whole Foods, and Sessa’s Cold Cuts and Italian Specialties in Somerville, MA.

Creating the Cooking Assignments

"The idea of the kitchen assignment is the same idea behind a written assignment…You want to reinforce what has been learned before."
— Dr. Rebusco

Dr. Rebusco explains the weekly cooking assignments the students were asked to do  
outside of class.

Written and Oral Assignments

Students were required to complete the following activities each week:

  • Read from the instructor’s blog entry for that week.
  • Complete the exercises and assignments for each lesson.
  • Cook a dish on their own and bring it to class
    • Students purchased their own ingredients
    • In class, everyone tasted each dish and discussed how it turned out and what could have been done differently.

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Course Info

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