Eastchester High School World Language teachers Gessica Roviezzo and Laura Marcoccia bring a global perspective to their classes as they incorporate a multitude of disciplines into their lessons.
During one AP Italian class, Roviezzo’s students worked in groups and studied reproductions of paintings in their classroom. The students used their language skills to discuss the different techniques that the artists employed.
“We want the students to look at a piece and create cross-cultural understandings. Our goal is for them to be able to analyze and use their language skills through the arts. We are trying to move away from the classic grammatical memorization technique and moving towards using language in an authentic way.” said Roviezzo.
Both Roviezzo and Marcoccia are participating in a one-year professional development program sponsored by the Italian Consulate through the Calandra Italian American Institute. Thirty teachers across New York State have joined the program and receive training from professors at the University of Ca’ Foscari in Venice. They collaborate in weekly modules to discuss ideas, create lessons and receive input for innovative teaching techniques.
The teachers explained how the program has enriched their classes. “CLIL is an innovative way of teaching languages through a global lens, utilizing the rich collection of the Italian arts while giving students the opportunity to express themselves using the Italian language and culture as a vehicle.”
Roviezzo and Marcoccia have already started to implement the classroom activities which have proven to be a success. Their hope is to continue and expand this new methodology in all levels of Italian instruction.