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April 2010


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Bachelor of Individualized Study <[log in to unmask]>
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Bachelor of Individualized Study <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 8 Apr 2010 09:05:33 -0400
Dear Students,

I am writing to inform you about an exciting summer opportunity for 
language learning: an immersion course in Italian language and culture on 
George Mason’s Fairfax campus called “Little Italies.”

Little Italies, a program comprised of intensive classroom instruction, a 
lunch conversation hour and weekly cultural excursions, aims to offer 
beginning students of Italian more than the elementary and intermediate 
sequence of the basic language program (ITAL 110 and 210). In the 
classroom, students are part of their own “Little Italy,” speaking 
exclusively in Italian and developing elementary and intermediate writing, 
speaking, listening and reading skills in the language, by means of film, 
music and literature. At lunch, students eat an authentic Italian meal and 
learn about the regional differences reflected in Italian cuisine, all the 
while engaging in the social encounter of a shared meal. Students discover 
other “Little Italies” as they travel to such places as the National 
Gallery of Art to tour the Italian collection, the Festa Italiana, the 
WolfTrap National Park for the Performing Arts, and the Italian Embassy, 
thereby integrating their linguistic and cultural knowledge of Italian with 
their familiarity with the surrounding Italian-American community and 
manifestations of Italian cultural production in the greater DC/Baltimore 

The program runs for nine weeks, from May 31 to July 29, 2010. Classes meet 
Monday through Thursday from 9:30am to noon. The lunch hour takes place 
from 12:30 to 1:30pm Mondays through Thursdays. Most excursions take place 
on Fridays, as schedules allow.

Here is a sample of the student feedback we have received on the program, 
which started in 2008:

“I definitely think that the immersion aspect of the course helped me learn 
and comprehend far more than I would have in a regular course. The 
lunchtime conversation hour was fun as well as educational. I am still 
amazed at how much Italian I have learned in so short a time period. This 
course was definitely worth coming to everyday during the summer session.”

This is a wonderful opportunity for students who are interested in learning 
Italian, as well as for those students interested in satisfying the 
language requirement in one summer.

Please visit our website,, for more 
information about the program. And feel free to contact me by email at 
[log in to unmask] with any questions.

Cordiali saluti!

Kristina Olson, Ph.D.
Italian Program Coordinator