A new Italian language text book for art lovers, Stellare: Learning Italian with Cultural Stars

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Diana C.
The Fashion Institute of Technology of the State University of New York

Inspired after my presentation at the 2013 Georgetown Italian Language and Culture Conference, I have created a new book of my art-based lessons – including a recipe by Lidia Bastianich, references to films by Nanni Moretti and Fred Kuwornu, an interview with Letizia Battaglia, a song by Gianmaria Testa, and paintings from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.  These cultural experiences are all the subjects of my book’s language exercises: for example, there is a short essay assignment prompt with the sentence at the start of Nanni Moretti’s classic, Caro diario (“C’è una cosa che mi piace fare più di tutte...”); and students are asked to fill in verbs in the “passato prossimo” to describe one of Giacomo Casanova’s amours.  A brief, synthetic introduction to Italian, the book covers verbs in the “presente,” “passato prossimo,” and “imperfetto,” as well as nouns, prepositions and pronouns.  The volume is meant as a supplement to standard college texts that present grammar exercises as separate and distinct from short essays on aspects of Italian culture.  All proceeds of my book will be assigned to the organization, EMERGENCY USA, to fund medical care for refugees in Sicily.  Over 170,000 refugees arrived in Italy by sea in 2014, and the crisis is ongoing, with 1,800 deaths so far in 2015.  My book, self-published to maximize charitable revenue, will be available by the end of July 2015.  I would like to present my book in the context of culture-based learning plans at the 2015 Georgetown Conference

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