Making Italian Art Media Accessible for Language Classrooms
- Julia Heim
- Department of Francophone, Italian and Germanic Studies, School of Arts & Sciences
Curricular Support Grant
PRIMA (The Pedagogical Repository of Italian Media Activities) is an open education resource for all Italian teachers and students interested in learning through Italian artistic media. It is a practical application of the pedagogical research that Julia Heim and her colleagues in Italian Studies have been doing for the past several years. Heim and her colleagues’ work has revealed that the standard textbooks and supplemental learning materials are not sufficient for the language student: textbooks present inauthentic scenarios and do not allow students to deepen their understand of Italian culture or contemporary Italian life. The use of Italian artistic media provides an opportunity to introduce students to creative works designed for native speakers while simultaneously implementing Universal Design methods. They allow students to engage with creative content in the target language, improve comprehension, and mirror pronunciation.
As pedagogy-focused instructors, Heim and her colleagues have also become acutely aware of the lack of diversity in both representation and learning strategies within Italian curricula and have found that the Italian artistic content that they have begun using to enrich their classrooms is also a great tool for expanding the visibility of non-white, non-cis gendered, culturally, neurologically, and physically diverse Italians in their classrooms. The combination of these research interests has motivated them to incorporate these creative media-based language activities into an open education resource known as PRIMA. The Sachs Program Curricular Support Grant will support the subtitling and transcription work on the 30+ videos currently being uploaded to PRIMA. Diversifying the language materials and the identities that are included in classrooms increases the inclusivity of those classrooms, and it is important that the DEI-forward resources do not fail to do the same.
- Curricular Support
- Department of Francophone, Italian and Germanic Studies
- School of Arts & Sciences
- Teaching Art Grant