CineLezione—Current Approaches to Italian Film in the Classroom

Cav. Mary Ann Re, PhD, Director of the Coccia Institute for the Italian Experience in America at Montclair State University, welcomes participants to “Teaching Italian Symposium-Workshops: CineLezione—Current Approaches to Film in the Classroom.”

“CineLezione—Current Approaches to Film in the Classroom” marked the sixth annual Teaching Italian Symposium-Workshop. This professional development program hosted over 100 Italian language and culture teachers of all levels, from the tri-state area and as far away as Ohio and Colorado. Co-organized by Prof. Enza Antenos-Conforti and Dr. Mary Ann Re, this signature collaboration between the Coccia Institute for the Italian Experience in America and the Department of Spanish and Italian at Montclair State University, and co-sponsored by the Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies, featured an engaging keynote address by Prof. Piero Garofalo (University of New Hampshire); a lively roundtable moderated by Prof. Enza Antenos-Conforti (Montclair State University); and two-hour intensive workshops developed and presented by Prof. Garofalo, Prof. Tania Convertini (Dartmouth College), Prof. Elisa Dossena Marcon (Princeton University) and Prof. Teresa Lobalsamo (University of Toronto at Mississauga). 

“What you organized was nothing short of amazing. I found the entire experience to be inspirational,” was the praise received from the keynote speaker Garofalo. In addition to this program comprised of “ottimi presentatori e veri esperti (excellent presenters and real experts)” (Maria Abate DeBlasio, Palisades Park High School), this signature program featured the presentation of the national Coccia-Inserra Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Teaching of Italian (K-12) to Ida Nolemi-Lanza of San Pedro High School, San Pedro, California.

Paola Nastri, a faculty member at Yale University and a regular participant of the symposium series, shared these comments: “it is remarkable to see how many people attended the symposium. This is certainly a clear indication of the superior quality of the conference and also a vivid example on the part of the educators of the relevance and essentiality of workshops such as the one sponsored by Montclair State University and the Coccia Institute. Thank you for the endless effort and love that you all are devoting to the advancement and promotion of our beautiful language and culture.” Roberta Waldbaum, Anna Maglione-Sie Endowed Professor of Italian Culture at University of Denver, a first time attendee, stated, “I returned to Denver with a wealth of ideas for teaching Italian cinema and for putting into place some new initiatives of the Italian endowment at the University of Denver.”

A common refrain among the participants is “can’t wait for next year,” stated eloquently by Teresa Del Giudice (Pascack Valley High School). “I enjoy this day each year to learn about various pedagogy and teaching methods, see friends and acquaintances, and speak Italian. The legacy of Cav. J. Coccia lives on through his work: spreading the language and culture of Italy.” Save the date for Teaching Italian VII – November 14, 2014!