May 11, 2005

Popoff, Gabrielle Silver_nugget
[V1101] Elementary Italian I and [V1102] Elementary Italian II

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Having never taken a language class at Columbia, I was nervous at first. But at the very first day, I knew that Elissa was going to make this class fun and not something to stress about. Elissa does make you work like any other professor, but she has a real gift in making any concept in Italian very easy to understand and the homework (i compiti) is never an overload. Elissa does call on people as is expected, however, its not like a spotlight is on you as she calls on everyone equally. You are expected to speak Italian most of or all the time. Yet, if you do break out into English, don't fear. Elissa might respond back to you in Italian, but its not like you committed a carnal sin or anything. As for Elissa, her amazing fluency (being from Pennsylvannia no less) does allow her to speak Italian the whole class, but sometimes she'll explain it in Italian and then explain what she said in English. Or Elissa will just very briefly talk in English for fun, but she is funny no matter language she speaks in. Trust me, if Elissa is still teaching (as she is writting her dissertation for her PhD), register with her!


The workload is much less at night (actually I recommend it!). On the one of the two days that you meet: a couple pages of workbook or listening lab due; the other day quz; Course requirements: one 300 word composition; one easy reader story (very short and you watch a video of it after); oral presentation (Elissa gives you two choices: the department or her style-choose hers); midterm and final (like two quizes in one with listening comprehension)