Location of Study: Sorrento, Italy
Program of Study: Sant’Anna Sorrento Lingue
Sponsors: Albert J. and Helen M. Ravarino Family International Scholars in Italy Award, the College of Arts and Letters, and the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures.
A brief personal bio:
I am a rising junior from Colorado Springs. I am majoring in Medieval Studies and Italian. I love history–political history, art history, intellectual history, any history–and I am especially fascinated by the transition between Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. I take theology and math classes whenever I have time. I love to read, play the cello, and take long hikes in the Colorado mountains.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
First, I want to learn more about Italian culture. After all, Italy has produced so much that is worth studying, from the Romans to Dante to Federico Fellini. Second, I love history, and Italy has one of the richest histories in the Western world. However, I can’t fully engage with Italian culture or history until I can do it in Italian. Thirdly, Italian is a major tool for my study of medieval history. I am captivated by medieval sacred architecture, and I plan to spend the spring and summer of 2019 in Italy studying the churches of Rome. This research will form the basis of my senior thesis, and I will need to read and speak Italian in order to access important sources. Furthermore, serious study of medieval history requires proficiency in several languages. Italian will be a springboard for Latin, French, Spanish, and other languages that I will need in the future. I realize that I cannot learn Italian just from a classroom; rather, I need to be immersed in it. The SLA grant is making that possible.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
Right now I have learned all Italian grammar, but it is a struggle to bring it to mind when speaking. I want my conversations to be much more fluid. I also want to be able to read Italian quickly. Ideally, I would reach a point where I could read Italian books or newspapers at home for practice and enjoy it. I want to improve my ear for Italian so that I can eliminate simple mistakes from my speaking and writing. I want to start to build a scholarly vocabulary so that I can read, write, and speak about history and architecture in Italian. Most of all, I want to return from Italy this summer inspired and confident and ready to return in the spring.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
1. By the end of the summer, I will be able to speak Italian without crafting every phrase before speaking.
2. By the end of the summer, I will be able to read Italian sentence-by-sentence instead of word-by-word.
3. By the end of the summer, I will have expanded my vocabulary to include both more everyday phrases and more academic terms.
4. By the end of the summer, I will be able to comprehend Italian spoken at a moderate or high speed.
5. By the end of the summer, I will have enough confidence in Italian to seek out linguistic interactions, even if they are beyond my level of mastery.