Plaza Italia

Memoria presente: A Workshop for Educators about the Common Spanish Legacy in Italian and Latin American Cultures

Memoria presente: A Workshop for Educators, Guidance Counselors and Student Teachers about the Common Spanish Legacy in Italian and Latin American Cultures (online event)

Thur. Oct. 14, 2021  4-5:30pm    VIDEO OF THE EVENT FLYER
Introductory remarks
: Katia Paz Goldfarb (Associate Provost for Hispanic Initiatives and International Programs), and TBA
Presented and moderated by: Teresa Fiore (Inserra Chair)
Respondent: Ashly Espinoza (DePaul Catholic HS, Wyane, NJ and MSU graduate in Italian)

This workshop illustrates and creates a dialogue about the method and content of teaching Italian to Spanish Speakers, which on several campuses across the country has increased enrollment numbers in language departments thanks to a trans-lingual and trans-cultural approach that leverages the multiple competencies of LatinX students. In particular, the workshop focuses on the specific contributions to this approach offered by the ongoing NEH project “Memoria presente: The Common Spanish Legacy in Italian and Latin American Cultures.” Materials coming from such diverse fields as film, journalism, botany, art, and linguistics are made available online along with concrete suggestions on how to include them in the Italian classroom via examples of exercises and activities.

The purpose of the workshop is to disseminate information about a research project in the broader community, and to create a network (a virtual “plaza Italia”) of college professors, high school teachers and counselors, student teachers, administrators and public advocates interested in supporting the teaching of languages in innovative ways and with a particular eye towards the changing demographics of our student population and our society at large. The method and content addressed during the workshop may be easily adapted to other languages.

The workshop will include a short presentation about the current NEH-awarded project “Memoria presente” and Italian for Spanish Speakers: A Trans-Language, Trans-Cultural, Trans-National Project at MSU but it aims at being primarily a forum for discussion to build synergies across units on campus and across levels of the K-16 system. Some of the questions we expect to address as part of the conversation are:

  1. At at time in which the internationalization of the curriculum has become one of the central objectives of university missions, what type of specific study abroad programs can the trans-linguistic and trans-cultural approach discussed in this workshop produce (destinations, formats, etc.)?
  2. Equally important, as universities define their impact based on community service, how can the trans-linguistic and trans-cultural approach help define effective interventions to support LatinX students — whose role has evolved from being a “minority” to representing a major force in numbers — to enhance self-confidence and even accelerate their learning and graduation? Topics include: The Seal of Biliteracy and active feeding mechanisms from HS- to college-level education.
  3. More specifically, as Hispanic Serving Institutions respond to the call of reaching concrete results with their strategies, what new programs can be designed and offered in order to set up models for inclusion that counteract access inequalities? How can existing donors’ gifts become relevant to this aim? Topics include: Earmarked scholarships for academic programs and paid internships designed for LatinX students with multiple language and cultural skills.

Presented in connection with National Hispanic Heritage Month 2021
Linked to the NEH-awarded project “Memoria presente” and Italian for Spanish Speakers: A Trans-Language, Trans-Cultural, Trans-National Project (see also the Methods page)
Included in the new series “Dentro/Afuera: The Interconnections between Italian and Latin American/Spanish Cultures”

Organized and sponsored by the Inserra Endowed Chair at Montclair State University
In partnership with the Office of Hispanic Initiatives and the Montclair State University Network for Educational Renewal (MSUNER), Center of Pedagogy.
In collaboration with the Italian Program (Dept. of World Languages and Cultures)

Short link for event’s page: