Josie’s teaching method interweaves the language with music, dancing, acting and creativity in general.
Using this unique technique, Josie has managed to combine her two passions: Italian and performing arts.
Josie chooses a different theme to focus on each term, and the students explore it in fun ways.
The themes vary from the emotions of theatre to international musical jargon which has adopted Italian terms to describe tempo and rhythm, such as allegro, vivace and adagio.
Josie said one of the most interesting aspects of the program is seeing the students’ imaginative and amusing responses to the activities.
With just 40 minutes of class time a week at her disposal, Josie must capture the students’ attention quickly with fun and interactive activities which help to consolidate certain words and concepts in their minds.
All instructions are given in Italian throughout each class.
Josie often writes her own songs to use in the classroom, with the help of her children who are also passionate about music.
Every two years, the school organises an Italian Day or a play which follows the adventures of two nonni.
Four years ago, the nonni were struggling with their grandchildren and their future dreams, while last year they were travelling around the world.
This year, it was time for an Italian Day.
On Thursday, June 13, the entire school took part in the occasion, which drew inspiration from the theme of Italian cuisine.
The day coincided with the religious celebrations for the Holy Trinity, and a mass was also held to acknowledge this.
The festivities began with a parade in which students wore specially-made costumes inspired by Italy and its food.
Josie’s costume paid tribute to Leonardo da Vinci, replicating his most famous painting, The Mona Lisa.
The day included various classroom activities tailored to each level.
Preps and Year 1 and 2 students made Italian trottole, or spinning tops, and paddle ball games.
Meanwhile, the older students put their imagination to the test: Year 3 and 4 students had to transform the shape of the Italian map into something else (for example, one student turned it into a dog), while Year 5 and 6 students were introduced to the Zentagle method and had to create the Colosseum or the Leaning Tower of Pisa by drawing structured patterns of lines and geometric shapes.
The afternoon was full of laughs with the show Ristorante Mangiabanane by La Comica Variety Productions.
Next term, the whole school will be involved in preparations for the Carols by Candlelight, a Christmas concert which will be performed at the end of year and will feature Italian songs as well.