Letter from the Chair: Department Policy for Fall 2020

Dear students,

I wanted to touch base with you and provide some information on the Italian Department plans for the Fall 2020 semester. Before I do that, I wanted to assure you that all my colleagues and I are aware of how difficult the past semester has been for all of you and of the fact that the times to come will very likely be as challenging. For this reason, we are going to be flexible in our approach to teaching and attuned to your needs. Please know that you can always reach out to us and that we are here to help and support you.

As you know by now, the university has announced that it is opening in a hybrid mode in the Fall, with some students coming back on campus and some studying remotely. Departments have been allowed to decide on the modality that they deem most appropriate to reach their objectives in each course and we have collectively decided that we will teach classes in the Italian Program online. Our reasons for doing this are not only determined by health considerations. In fact, we believe that, particularly for language courses and courses taught in Italian, the limitations involved in the need to use masks and to enforce social distancing in class are detrimental to the kind of dynamic and student-centered approach that we favor. We feel that for students it will be much better to be able to see the teacher and to interact with other fellow students even if remotely than to be distanced and  unable to see the teachers facial expression or clearly hear the sounds that they produce. This is why we will be fully online in the Fall 2020. This does not mean that classes will be interminable and boring zoom sessions. We are working hard and will continue to do so throughout the summer to take advantage of all the tools offered by technology to make classes fun and dynamic, without of course, sacrificing academic rigor. We have had a great deal of experience doing this in the Spring semester. You can have an idea of some of the things we did with our students by clicking on the following link https://italian.georgetown.edu/italian-studies-during-covid-19/ (new window)

We are interested in your ideas and feedback so please get in touch with us with any question or suggestion!

These are hard times for everyone, but we are sure that we can face them better as a community working together.

We look forward to welcoming you back in August!


Anna De Fina
Professor and Chair, Italian Department