Fabio Girelli-Carasi

HYBRID LANGUAGE COURSES

SYLLABUS
COURSE DESCRIPTION
POLICIES
 

What to Expect in This Course

1) This course will be taught in HYBRID FORMAT. We will meet only once a week and the rest of your work will take place online at your own time (within deadlines.)

2)
THERE ARE NO TEXTBOOKS. First, textbooks are outrageously expensive. Second, my method requires flexible materials that match the progress of each class differently. It also requires your constant engagement in class and a period of intense work and study on your own.

3)
I expect everyone to come to class prepared and ready to engage and participate. If you are not prepared (meaning: if you didn't study the materials for class or didn't do your assignments) I will stop calling on you and you will miss the opportunity to practice and improve.

In class I will emphasize the ability to communicate orally. Initially you will answer with a word or two, but, if you keep up, by the end of the semester you will be able to create short sentences to talk about very familiar topics of every day life.

A language is made of words. Learning a language begins with learning words. YOU MUST KNOW THE WORDS.  If you don't know the words you don't know the language. There are no two ways about it.

I will teach you the most effective techniques to study and memorize.  Once you know even a few words,
in class I will teach you how to assemble them into sentences.

One thing I cannot do for you is learn the words. In my life I have tackled 7 foreign languages, among which two dead ones (Latin and Ancient Greek). I am fluent in 3 of them, I can read/write and get by in at least two more, and recently I started studying Chinese on my own. As a result of my experiences, I think I know what it takes to learn a language. And I think I know how to teach one as well.

4) My goal is to teach you how to learn Italian.  I don't know what motive you have to take this class. Some students take it to fulfill a requirement. Some, because they need 3 credits to be full-time and this fits a tight schedule (moreover, how hard can it really be?) Some have room for an elective and, again, how hard can it be?

To be frank, yes, conceptually and intellectually it is not very hard. But what a foreign language lacks in "difficulty," it makes in the amount of work/time required.  You can't expect to learn by cramming before a test.

Studying a language is like studying math, or chemistry. Knowledge is cumulative. You can't skip additions and subtractions and go directly to multiplication tables.

If you approach this class with the right attitude you will be half way there. My job is to put you in the best possible position to succeed. And remember that I want you to succeed, because your success is my success.

See you in class.

FGC

 

IT'S NOT EASY TO LEARN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE

 

To learn a language well is one of the most difficult tasks humans can undertake.

However, the beginning is a very simple process. The same curriculum, at different speeds, is used from elementary school to college. The intellectual challenge at this level is not particularly formidable, but you will need to devote time and purpose to studying.

First of all, you must learn words, lots of words. The only way to do that is to practice. There are no magic pills

 Communicative ability is the primary goal of this course. You will soon be in a position to say a few basic things about yourself, to ask questions and to understand simple statements.

Language is about communication. Without communication there is no languageIn class you will exchange information with your classmates, report  discuss topics -- all, of course, within the range of your ability.

At the end of the semester, you will marvel at how much you will have learned, and will be even more aware of how much you still need to learn to become proficient.

This is just the beginning of what I hope could be a long long journey. I wish you all the best of luck and I hope to see you one day very far along in your voyage.

 


EMAIL POLICY

CLICK HERE

 

Academic Integrity
(i.e. no cheating)


Academic dishonesty of any type, including cheating and plagiarism, is unacceptable at Brooklyn College. Cheating is any misrepresentation in academic work. Plagiarism is the representation of another person's work, words, or ideas as your own. Students should consult the Brooklyn College Student Handbook for a fuller, more specific discussion of related academic integrity standards. Faculty members are encouraged to discuss with students the application of these standards to work in each course. Academic dishonesty is punishable by failure of the "test, examination, term paper, or other assignment on which cheating occurred" (Faculty Council, May 18, 1954). In addition, disciplinary proceedings in cases of academic dishonesty may result in penalties of admonition, warning, censure, disciplinary probation, restitution, suspension, expulsion, complaint to civil authorities, or ejection.
(Adopted by Policy Council, May 8, 1991.)
 

DO NOT USE ONLINE TRANSLATION SERVICES OR DEVICES

Using an online translation service (google etc.,) an app, or an electronic device is a violation of the plagiarism policy.

You can and should use dictionaries, in electronic or paper format, but NEVER a system that translates automatically more than one word at a time.

 

COURSE ASSESSMENT  (aka HOW TO GET AN "A")

  • WEEKLY QUIZ: I will administer a quiz at the very beginning of each class. The quiz will be very tightly connected to the weekly assignments and will test both your vocabulary retention and the ability to produce language (ask and answer questions and similar work.) THERE ARE NO MAKE UPS.
  • ASSIGNMENTS: Every week I will assign a number of tasks. Some tasks will be marked <busy work> and you will send them only via email. Other tasks will be marked <for grade>. You will execute your tasks and send the assignment as attachment to an email by the deadline. You will also WRITE BY HAND the very same assignment. In class I will collect the HANDWRITTEN version and I will return it to you the following week with a grade. NO GRADES FOR LATE ASSIGNMENTS, including times when you are absent.
  • CLASSROOM PARTICIPATION AND PREPARATION: Participation is crucial. You must come to class prepared to speak. Therefore, you must KNOW the vocabulary assigned for the lesson. In class we will work on assembling the words into coherent sentences using grammar and syntax.

  • ATTENDANCE and LATENESS: I will take attendance at the very beginning of class.  If you are late, it will be noted. Three cases of lateness count as a full day.
     
  • ABSENCES and ASSIGNMENTS are part of the same category for grading purposes. TWO absences or two missed assignments, will cause your grade to drop by a third of grade (ex. from A to A-). Each subsequent absence/missed assignment will lower your grade by two thirds (from A- to B+)
  • QUALITY performance in your assignments and ACTIVE CLASS PARTICIPATION are crucial components of your work.

  • SPREADSHEET: You will record your grades (quizzes and assignments) on a cloud-based spreadsheet (I will give you instructions.)

  • PORTFOLIO: All graded papers or quizzes must be kept in a 3-ring binder. At the end of the semester I will collect the binder and evaluate your performance holistically. I will reward progress and improvement. This means that the final grade will not be simply an arithmetical average of your grades, but will take into great consideration the progress you will have made over a semester.
    • FAILURE TO TURN IN THE PORTFOLIO AT THE END OF THE COURSE WILL RESULT IN A FAILING GRADE (F).
    • I WILL ALSO LOWER YOUR FINAL GRADE BY A FULL LETTER GRADE FOR EACH DAY DELAY IN SUBMITTING THE PORTFOLIO.
    • THE PORTFOLIO IS DUE TO MY OFFICE THE LAST DAY OF CLASS (OR THE DAY OF THE LAST FACE-TO-FACE MEETING.)
    • If the portfolio is sloppy or parts are missing, you will receive an incomplete. At the beginning of the following semester you will fix the problems. Your final grade will be lower by two thirds of grade.

 

FINAL GRADE

Attendance
 

Two absences will result in a final lower grade by one fraction (ex: from A to A-)

Weekly Quizzes

60%

Weekly Assignments

30%

Final Exam

10%

TOTAL

100%

 

CLASSROOM CONDUCT No food, no drinks on the tables.  Cell phones must be kept away from your body: place them in a bag. Of course they must be turned off.  If you use your phone, I will ask you to leave the room for the reminder of the period. No tablets or laptops.

CELLULAR PHONES

MUST BE TURNED OFF, AWAY FROM YOUR DESK AND YOUR PERSON. PUT THEM IN A BAG.
LEAVING THE CLASSROOM If you leave the classroom you will be allowed back in only at the end of the lesson.