Intensive Intermediate Italian (I and II)

May 2018

Gozzi is absolutely fantastic but also has super high standards for her class. She will call you out in front of the class if you come in late, yawn, or don't do your homework. That being said, she cares deeply about each of her students and you will end this course being able to confidently speak Italian for hours in conversations on any topic. My class was only 5 people, 2 hours long, 3x a week, and 99% of it was us speaking out loud about different topics - arguing, chatting about our weekends, asking questions about grammar, discussing stories and shows we had watched for the class, etc. It's really great practice and I got to know my classmates really well by the end of the semester. In Gozzi's mind, she's preparing you to go and live in Italy and not look like a fool, and she will answer any question you ask her very bluntly and honestly. She is also extremely professional in nature. Perks of this class include watching a lot of cool movies (Cinema Paradiso, La Pazza Gioia, etc.), getting a guided tour of the Metropolitan Museum in Italian, and going to see an Italian Met opera (although you have to pay for your own $30 ticket which sucks considering our tuition is so high). We also listen to songs and watch funny music videos a lot. I really respect Professor Gozzi and if you're taking her next semester, then you're pretty lucky. But make sure you actually want to learn Italian, because if you don't put in effort, you're going to get roasted.

Apr 2017

Let me start by saying this: this is not a conventional language class. Nevertheless, prof. Gozzi's class was definitely one of my favorites in my four years at Columbia and I truly encourage you to take it! The best thing about this class is prof. Gozzi - Extremely knowledgeable, attentive, understanding, precise, and demanding. What I love the most is the fact that every class was different. We could start our class by revising some grammar and soon divert our attention to discuss in details the perfect recipe to cook pasta, why Moldovans speak Italian so well, or the movie that she saw night. At first one might doubt her unconventional teaching methods and the seemingly hot-mess of a class, but soon one realizes that he or she could speak Italian and draw on vocabulary and grammar rules that weren't implicitly taught; the seemingly unorganized class is masterfully orchestrated by the brilliant prof. Gozzi! I also liked the variety of subjects and means of study. The Immagina textbook and the VHL website are very organized and cover all the necessary materials and more. In addition, prof. Gozzi uses that CourseWorks system to assign additional worksheets and interesting links. We watched some short-films, full-length films, and a 10-episode series in Italian which were all great. Watching most of them didn't feel like doing HW at all. Once a week, prof. Gozzi assigned us an Italian song, that usually conveys the weekly grammar rules. The songs are super-addictive and we had great fun singing them together in class. Last, there are some extra activities like a field trip to the Met Museum, New York Opera, and film screenings. Prof. Gozzi's knowledge of European culture is very profound and she has a way of sharing it in a very approachable, non-condescending, manner. This class is not a walk in the park but it is tons of fun and I found myself pumped before each of our sessions. After taking this class, I feel much more comfortable communicating in Italian and much more connected to the Italian culture. Oh yes, and if you put up the time, there is no reason not to get an A.

May 2009

I love Paola! She is an incredible teacher. She was able to have us go deep into the study of italian grammar and style without being a bore. This class is two hours long but definitely not painful. She is also a classy dresser and inquires into what we do on the weekends and how we are coping with all our classes. And if she gives too much homework, we can say so, and she will cut down the load! Her tests every other Wednesday can be tricky though, and she anything but a lax grader. You really have to study. Take this class!

Sep 2008

take this class! i love this woman. she is passionate and gets on your case if you slip so you get into it. she is very nice but very serious about hw and being late to class so be careful with that. but you will learn alot in a semester with her

Dec 2007

Paola's energy and passion for educating made teaching a full year of Italian grammar in one semester fun. She never hesitated to answer a question or try to better understand a question. She clearly put a lot into teaching. Aside from the typically boring grammar exercises and often dry class readings we watched two great movies and discussed them. She always went out of her way to present the material as clearly as possible to each student. Her grading was very fair and the class went along at a steady pace. She also never spoke english. I would highly recommend taking this class.

Sep 2007

This woman glows confidence. She does not simply walk into a room: she bestows her presence upon the room and graciously allows the rest of us to remain. I immensely enjoyed this course and intend to take additional courses with this instructor if I can manage it. Language is so much more than grammar, and especially with Italian, which represents such a multifaceted people, it is essential to consider what lies beneath the surface. This instructor understands that perfectly and has gone far above the call of duty with the level of cultural information she integrates into her teaching. It is obvious that the course is constantly evolving, as well--for example, she incorporated YouTube videos into our content when YouTube was still a babe in swaddling clothes. Yes, there is a mountain of homework, but there is not an ounce of waste in that mountain. The other reviews here provide an accurate enough picture of this instructor's disarming personality, but do not mention the substance beneath the charm. It is this depth, and not her entertainment value, that makes me respect her as a human being as well as a teacher. She clearly lives life fully and considers her students integral parts of that life rather than obstacles to its progress. She cares about her students not in the convenient, temporary way that many instructors do, but with honesty, wisdom and respect. In short: I am happy to have taken this class and honored to know Maria Luisa Gozzi.

Jan 2006

I can't say enough good things about Professor Noe. The course may lack structure for your taste, but don't let that discourage you from taking it. Professor Noe is a native Italian with an extremely warm and encouraging personality. She imparts a wealth of knowledge about Italian language and culture to her students. She transformed me from a reluctant student of the language to a potential Italian major. She encourages students at all levels to speak the language and improve their conversational skills. She is the most effective language teacher I have ever studied under in my life. Professor Noe corrects all of your mistakes and makes sure that you learn every bit of the material correctly, but she is fair, compassionate, flexible. I recommend her as a professor as surely and confidently as a recommend Italian as a language.

Jul 2003

Failla was an amazing Professor! One of the few I've met who is really primarily interested in his students and cares that they understand the language. Intensive Italian was four hours long and in the summer Monday-Friday and it had the potential to be increadibly bad, but with Failla he made those four hours interesting and exciting and got everyone of his students wanting to speak as best he/she could. One of the best things about his teaching style was that he encouraged conversation in Italian and also taught colooquial phrases and things necessary about everyday interactions. When it comes to work, he was tough to be sure, demanding even - there was no question you had to work hard. His quizzes were increadibly difficult, but the man has no desire to see you do poorly! He encourages his students to correct themselves, and is very fair when all is said and done. He knows his students and if he knows you are trying (which he inspires you to do), then all will be well. Take a course with him by all means!