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Innovation in Language Education: Linking High School, University and Pre-Professional Experiences through Italian

Interactive Roundtable about Summer Internships in Business and Translation for University Students and An On-campus Pre-AP Course for HS Students*

Thur. Nov. 15, 2018  4-6pm  (School of Business Lecture Hall 101)

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Introductory speech: Paula Krebs
Executive Director
MLA (Modern Language Association)


Patricia Grunther (Italian teacher at Watchung Hills Regional High School and Montclair State University summer course coordinator)
Frank Sedita (Supervisor of World Languages & ESL, K-12, Montclair Public Schools)
Berardo Paradiso (President, IACE The Italian American Committee on Education, NY)
Guido Morsella (Italian teacher at Elizabeth High School, NJ)
James Hart (Interim Dean of Liberal Arts, County College of Morris, NJ)
Robert DiBiase (Chair, NJIHC – New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission)
Ferdinando Gueli (Head of Information, Investment and Start Up, Italian Trade Commission, New York)
Eric Perkins (International Trade Committee, Choose New Jersey, Princeton)

MODERATOR: Teresa Fiore (Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies, Montclair State University and co-organizer of summer course)

Oscar Guevara-Perez (Montclair State student intern for opera translation in Macerata, 2018/Double major: Italian and Spanish)
Talia Antonacci (Montclair State student intern at Italian Trade Agency 2018/Major in Italian and minor in Business)
Cristina Latino (Montclair State student who completed the 2017 summer intensive course before her first year on campus/Major: Italian Minor: Business)
Carolina Herrera (Student at Elizabeth High School, NJ who attended the 2018 summer intensive course)

The Italian Program at Montclair State University, through the support of the Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies, has embraced innovative approaches to teaching and professional formation in the past three years to stay in tune with the changed and ever-changing cultural and economic reality of our society in the third millennium. This intensive experimentation, made possible by enriching collaborations with institutions and individual experts both in our area and in Italy, has resulted in the implementation of a summer course for high school students on campus, and two internships in the fields of audiovisual translation for opera and Made in Italy business for the summer of 2017 and 2018 (see details in dedicated pages below).

1. Summer Italian Intensive Course for College Credit – the only course in the U.S. that currently offers a pre-AP learning experience to high school students in an on-campus setting (see 2018 Summer Italian Intensive report and 2019 HS Course on Campus

2. Internship at the Italian Trade Agency in New York and Choose New Jersey in Princeton – a paid pre-professional experience in two key offices for the development and management of Italian business in our metropolitan area (see 2017 ITA report and 2018 ITA report)

3. Internship in Audiovisual Translation for Opera in Macerata, Italy – a unique opportunity to work with a professional team during an opera season of great caliber (see 2017 Translation report and 2018 Translation report)

These programs essentially invite the students to stay connected with Montclair State during the summer and take advantage of extraordinary opportunities. Whether students spend part of the summer on campus, or sign up for a paid internship in New York or Italy, they effectively decide to spend the summer with Montclair State, hence the sub-title of this event loosely translated “Stay with Montclair State in summer,” which is a pun in Italian (“estate” means summer and “restate” means stay).

The event designs a space to illustrate these new programs with the contribution of a select number of the participants to this program including faculty organizers, High School students, High School teachers who recommend the course and/or belong to our local High School consortium, interns, internship providers, donors, administrators, etc. We envision an interactive exchange with the audience which will also be made possible by the submission of questions and stories in advance via a dedicated page that will be populated by writing to inserra@montclair.edu up to one week prior to the event. It takes a village to develop and bring these programs to fruition, and an even broader community to make them meaningful. We look forward to widespread participation across the media, local businesses and trade associations, along with educators active in Italian and other foreign languages as well, since it is our hope that such programs can foster a dialogue and identify best practices for all of us engaged in trans-national and trans-lingual education.

Essentially these programs create two critical bridges – one between the university and the high school systems, and one between the university and the professional worlds – and thus define a virtuous circle in the Italian teaching/learning environment that can be extended to other languages.


* This program grants Professional Development credits, like all Inserra events

Photo by Daniel Root