“I am most passionate about bringing my knowledge [of tasting] to consumers, “said an enthusiastic Orietta Gianjorio, a native Italian from Rome,...
A visit to San Diego’s Italian Cultural Center, San Diego State University and Online Italian language programs will reveal that the typical grammar and memorization of language has taken a turn toward teaching more practical aspects of using the Italian language.
“The Italian Cultural Center (ICC) is not just a school, we use different channels to reach out to students; students need a connection to real life,” said Rossella Broglia, ICC’s Director of Language Programs.
“Italian is complicated, so to study the grammar is important, but so are the channels of study regarding food, literature, history and art. Studying the Divina Commedia (a new addition to the ICC courses) opens the door to the real Italy.” Other new courses being offered are Italian Advertising, Italian Cinema and the Short Story Book Club.
Born and raised in Pavia, a small city located 40 miles south west of Milan, Rossella earned her Laurea Degree at University of Pavia majoring in Economics. After moving to San Diego she joined the Italian Cultural Center of San Diego and started teaching Italian as a foreign language to adults. She has been actively involved in the cultural activities of the center ever since she moved to the U.S. and is currently serving both as a teacher and as a Director of Language Programs.
Her passion for the Italian culture and language together with her desire to improve her teaching skills motivated her to go further in her education. She received her second Master’s Degree, in Education and Promotion of the Italian language and culture abroad at the University Ca’ Foscari of Venice with a thesis directing the launch of an Italian American School in San Diego.
Motivated by the strong desire to give her two children not only the opportunity to grow up learning the beautiful Italian language and rich Italian culture but also the chance to preserve their Italian heritage.
Professor Clarissa Clo, the Director of the Italian Program at SDSU is also an advocate of the importance of the Italian Language and Culture, and incorporates Italian upper division studies in the fields of Cinema, Business and Special Issues.
“You have to teach language in context, to relate the experience to students in class,” stated the professor. “Grammar analysis, music lyrics, the conjugation of sentences are all important, but so is actually examining the context in which these aspects of language are used.”
Professor Clo teamed up with documentary director Angelo Bozzolini for a special course in studying Italian Cinema, specifically, documentary film making. Bozzolini was on vacation from Rome in San Diego to talk about his second documentary, Il Carattere Italiano (The Italian Character) at the recent 8th annual San Diego Italian Film festival.
In discussing his collaboration with Professor Clo he stated, “The purpose of the meeting was to look at and discuss the historical background of Italian Cinema.” Taking turns in the interview with Professor Clo, Bozzolini said that the course was in the process of shooting, editing and discussing what they were doing as they progressed toward creating individual and team documentaries. “I could see from our first meeting that the class was very excited as they all worked to create and develop an idea with a personal urgency,” said Bozzolini.
“Making a film about courage and identity, especially living here in a border state, trying to get a feeling of who I am,” was a project by Spuehler-Santoyo, one of Professor Clo’s students. Student Andrea Hiley, related her efforts in “hoping to make a documentary about someone I know who went on a cross-country trip.” Students Marck Manga, Perla Ortiz, Veronica Golawski and Zoe Zablow were busily discussing their idea of creating a short Italian studies advertisement as a cultural production.
Although students were excited about their cinematic endeavors, some were anxious, but were encouraged by both the professor and director. “We have the opportunity to have a professional in the course,” exclaimed Professor Clo, smiling at the students and the director.
“We need to take advantage of this time and his expertise, to learn from him, to use his knowledge; he is here for our benefit.” Bozzolini added “the purpose of our being together is to learn something, it’s to give you an idea of how this works in the real world.”