His Excellency, the Ambassador of Italy, Dr Maurizio Zanini, recently launched a new online Diploma in Italian at NUI Galway, first university in Ireland to launch such a programme. Run by the Discipline of Italian Studies at the University, the new course will commence in September and is open to students all over the world.
Speaking at the launch, Ambassador Zanini, highlighted the importance of thinking of Europe as the coming together of multiple cultures and languages, “Studying Italian will enhance the knowledge and understanding of Europe as a whole, and will make individuals more competent European citizens.”
The course concentrates on all four main language skills, listening, speaking, reading and writing, and provides a gradual introduction to the structures and functions of the language. In addition, a module on oral and intercultural skills will introduce various aspects of Italian life from an intercultural perspective.
Unlike many distance learning programmes designed for independent learning, this new course is based on a collaborative, communicative approach and students are encouraged to participate in virtual class activities with their peers and e-tutors.
NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, said: “The online Diploma in Italian is a groundbreaking experience employing the latest skills in e-learning and will enable learners to study Italian in their own time, wherever they are, and as part of a community of e-learners.”
The online course has been designed and developed by Dr Laura McLoughlin and recently graduated PhD student Dr Silvia Bernabei. Dr McLoughlin is the winner of prestigious European Awards for innovation in the teaching of languages, and has a particular expertise in the area of technology enhanced pedagogical approaches. The new course has been tailored to suit the requirements of students who need flexibility in their time and mode of study, and/ or who do not live in Galway. The Diploma in Italian is open to everybody and is designed for those who have no previous knowledge of the language.
In order to facilitate interaction and create a supportive learning environment, face-to-face on campus sessions will take place as part of the course. A practical introductory session in the use of computers will also be given at the beginning of the course to ensure that all students have basic computer skills.
Professor Paolo Bartoloni, Head of Italian at NUI Galway, said: “Learning a new language will provide invaluable skills. There is no doubt that the profile of the professional of the future will be that of a person who can adapt quickly and effectively to new situations and environments, who speaks more than one language, and who is at home in more than one country. Language students will be mobile, cosmopolitan, and ready and happy to embrace and negotiate different cultures and traditions.”
Closing date for applications is Friday, 13 July and full details of the online Diploma in Italian are available on www.nuigalway.ie/italian/onlinediploma.html. For further information or queries contact the Course Director, Dr Laura McLoughlin, at 091 492240 or firstname.lastname@example.org.