At MIT, Dr. Paola Rebusco usually teaches physics to freshmen. But, on behalf of the MIT Experimental Study Group, Rebusco has devised an appealing course – Speak Italian with Your Mouth Full – where she combines teaching two things many people love: learning to speak Italian and cooking Italian food. The course summary reads:
The participants in this seminar will dive into learning basic conversational Italian, Italian culture, and the Mediterranean diet. Each class is based on the preparation of a delicious dish and on the bite-sized acquisition of parts of the Italian language and culture. A good diet is not based on recipes only, it is also rooted in healthy habits and in culture. At the end of the seminar the participants will be able to cook some healthy and tasty recipes and to understand and speak basic Italian.
As Rebusco explains in a short video, this course has the advantage of making the language lessons a little less abstract. It gives students a chance to apply what they’ve learned (new vocabulary words, pronunciations, etc.) in a fun, practical context. Above, we start you off with the first language lesson in the seminar. It begins where all basic courses start — with how to say your name. Below, you can watch the class learn to cook fresh pasta. Along the way, the course also teaches students how to make espresso, risotto, homemade pizza, bruschetta, and biscotti. Lectures for the course can be found on the MIT web site, YouTube andiTunes. Speak Italian with Your Mouth Full also appears in our collection of Free Foreign Language Lessons and 800 Free Courses Online.