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.
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.
Great teacher! She makes class really interactive and fun. She uses Youtube and Pop Culture a lot which makes class really easy to get through despite the massive amount of work you do. I felt like I learned more Italian in one semester than all the foreign language I took through high school.
This was a great class. Gozzi is entertaining and hilarious and always keeps the class interested. I feel that I have truly learned a lot of Italian, and although there is a TON of material to go through, I never felt too rushed. I would definitely recommend this course, even though it is a big time commitment. Gozzi creates a nice class atmosphere and everyone gets to know each other, which is nice. Intensive elementary is well worth the workload, and is a good investment of your time.
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.
Very good teacher. I was amazed at how well she controlled the class and kept us interested and entertained, especially for the first half of the semester. It seemed as though the second half, when class motivation was lacking, she was unable to lift everyone's spirits all the time. However, for those that wanted to be there, she was always extremely helpful and made the material clear. You can't go wrong with Maria Luisa, people. You won't regret having chosen her.
Prof. Gozzi is a good instructor. She is pretty organized, and has a nice personality. I thought that her best quality was that she dedicated a significant amount of class time to explaining the topics covered in the textbook. Course content was basically a repeat of Beginning II, but went more in depth.
Professor Gozzi's vagueness (perhaps characteristically Italian) can be a bit annoying: she's not always clear about what particular assignments are, when things are do, and so forth. This became a particularly problematic issue at the end of the semester. The class on the whole is rather loosely structured, which makes it relatively low-stress, but perhaps not the most intensive way to learn a language. These drawbacks aside, the class was always enjoyable and entertaining, although it often felt more like a casual conversation and reading course than a high-level language course.
I adore Professoressa Gozzi! I would highly recommend both her and this class to anyone interested in taking Italian. She moves quickly through the material but never leaves you feeling rushed or left behind. By the end of one semester of Italian, I was astonished at how much IÂ’d learned. Bottom line: Gozzi is amazing. IÂ’m even contemplating taking her rapid reading and translation class (which, honestly, IÂ’ve no use for) just so that I can be in her class again.
With all seriousness, Maria Luisa Gozzi is perhaps the living, breathing antithesis of competent instruction. For instance, on the first day of class, she wrote EVERY VERB TENSE on the board in completely illegible handwriting (consuming 2 hours) -- not the best way to introduce students with LITTLE TO NO KNOWLEDGE OF ITALIAN to the language (or her handwriting--which did not improve). Class assignments and discussions seem to be as random as the number of meatballs in the Jay Hall cafeteria's unpalatable spagetti. Not to mention as PAINFUL.
The bottom line: Maria Luisa Gozzi is the best professor I've had at Columbia in my two years here. This elegant, calm, witty Italian will leave you impressed. However, she expects her students to work as hard at making class interesting as she does. Class is a lot of conversation, rather than the usual lets-study-more-rote-grammar-exercises; this is where Gozzi really shines. Conversation with Gozzi is uplifiting, intelligent, and remarkably witty. In her well dressed Italian style, I almost think she should be a fancy socialite on the upper west side. If nothing else, Gozzi will charm you and leave you in love with Italian.
I'm happy to write a few words about Professor Gozzi because I took her course in Italian translation and it was one of the best classes I've had at Columbia. Professor Gozzi has a real flair for language; she enjoys working with the nuances and other expressive qualities of Italian and English, and she's gifted with a light mocking wit that makes the time spent in her classroom an enjoyable experience. The workload was moderate, and she appreciated the time and the effort put into getting it done. She conducted class in a relaxed and friendly but purposeful manner; we laughed a lot, but we also got a lot of work done. This is the kind of class that you can't take too often at Columbia. We enjoyed it so much that we went all went out to dinner together one time and then threw ourselves a party at the end of the semester. I think she's among the best Columbia has to offer. She has a way of bringing out the best in you; you come out of her class feeling more intelligent than perhaps you really are, but this gives you great confidence anyway. It's a question of knowing how to motivate her students; if for no other reason, you want to do well in her class because it's fun to engage with her very intelligent and cultivated and clever mind. She says things that catch up with you later and you realize how funny they are. She was easily approachable outside the classroom, and seems to genuinely enjoy the contact she has with the students. Her frankness keeps you on your toes, however, you can't play the fool with her. She lets you know that she expects the best from you, and if you at least try your effort won't go unnoticed. You'll want to do a lot more, though. She's sympathetic, intelligent, clever, elegant (not a typical feature of professors), witty and demanding--you can't do much better than this. You'll come out of her class a better person than when you went in.
An excellent language teacher who assigns a pile of homework and has a hilarious ironic sense of humor. Gozzi's strength lies in her organization and efficiency--the class may meet for just fifty minutes, but her schedule accounts for each one of them. Very approachable, and if you're having problems keeping up they're understanding and helpful. If you want to stay on Gozzi's good side, show up on time.