Mission of The Italian Language Advisory Committee


Mission and Vision of the Italian Language Advisory Council (ILAC) Queens College of The City University of New York.

 The ILAC serves the CUNY Italian-American teaching community and seeks to offer guidance and support to all teaching staff of The City University of New York by sharing vital resources and information in this era of ever growing globalization.

The ILAC is a committee associated with The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, led by Dean Anthony Tamburri. The Chair of ILAC is elected by the committee at large and serves a two-year term that may be extended from term to term.

The committee seeks to:

  • Foster a climate of cooperation, collegiality, and exchange of teaching and research resources among colleagues.
  • Support the growth of Italian language programs at all levels of instruction within CUNY.
  • Provide training and mentorship to part-time instructors and graduate students who teach Italian.
  • Circulate information about conferences, lectures, symposiums about Italian language, culture, literature, and support scholarly academic publications.
  • Organize monthly meetings among Italianists to discuss prominent issues and make concrete policy recommendations.
  • Promote and actively work towards articulation among Italian programs within the City University of New York, especially from the Community Colleges to Senior Colleges.
  • Offer up-to-date information and document the work of the committee on the Council’s website.
Posted in Calandra, Language | Comments Off on Mission of The Italian Language Advisory Committee


ILAC Fall meetings will be

Sept 16   11:00am-1.00pm

Oct 21    2.00pm-4.00pm

Nov 4   2.00pm-4.00pm

I will publish the Agenda shorty.

Posted in Language | Comments Off on ILAC FALL MEETINGS

Italian: Fifth Most Studied Language in the US

According to the MLA’s (Modern Language Association) recent statistics, in 2009, students who enrolled in Italian courses were more than one million (1,0008, 370). This is significant since it reveals that the Italian language is still showing signs of interest and appreciation among college students. Italian language and literature courses in the US in 2009 were approximately 80.752, with a 3% increase in comparison to 2006 (Last MLA’s survey). Since 1998 the study of Italian has increased 63% which makes it the 5th most studied language in American colleges and Universities. It is also important to underline that among the 215 million English speakers, 46,951,000 people speak another language.

Posted in General, Italian, Language | Tagged , , | 1 Comment


me-lover-s-pizza-with-crazy-broad (Watch Video!)


In the midst of the latest recession, Pizza parlors — in the US there are 65,000 of them — are one of the few businesses that are experiencing an increase in sales. For example, Pizza Hut saw a 24% increase, while Domino’s is up 14%. Pizzerias are also creating new jobs: Pizza Hut has hired roughly 260 people and Domino’s Pizza few hundreds as well. Why this success? Well, this is easy to understand, the ingredients you need to purchase to make a pizza are inexpensive (cheese, tomato sauce) and the food is very filling. The word pizza is said to derive either from the Latin, pinsa/pinsere (smash, press, and crush) o from the Mediterranean pita, (of Greek origin)

What are the best pizzerias in New York City? Well, here are some recommendations:




John’s Pizzeria

Di Fara

Dom DeMarco’s


Denino’s Pizzeria

Zero Otto Nove




I leave you with a great piece on NY pizza and Mr. Trump by Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show. A word of caution: some of the language is a little strong.

Posted in Culture | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Italian Film Festival June 01-08



For tickets: http://www.filmlinc.com/films/series/open-roads-new-italian-cinema

1860 Alessandro Blasetti, 1934 Buy Tickets: Sun Jun 5: 1:00 pm | Followed by a panel discussion! Admired by the Neo-Realists, Blasetti’s rousing anthem to Italian unification chronicles the panoramic journey of a Sicilian peasant to Garibaldi’s headquarters. Please note: We will be screening a 16mm archive print which cannot be cut and mounted onto one reel. There will be brief pauses for reel changes.

1960 Gabriele Salvatores, 2010 Buy Tickets: | | Tue Jun 7: 6:10 pm | The director of Mediterraneo assembles from the RAI TV archives a fascinating portrait of Italy in boom times, chronicling a family’s search for a son.

20 Cigarettes Aureliano Amadei, 2010 Buy Tickets: Wed Jun 1: 3:45 pm | Mon Jun 6: 2:00 pm | A young antiwar activist heads to Iraq to work on a film and quickly finds himself a victim of sectarian violence and, soon, an unlikely hero. Director Aureliano Amadei in person on June 1!

Lost Kisses Roberta Torre, 2010 Buy Tickets: Thu Jun 2: 1:00 pm | Sat Jun 4: 6:45 pm | In this playful satire, the theft of a Madonna statue’s head seems to trigger visions in 13-year-old Manuela, which are quickly exploited by her dysfunctional family.

Love and Slaps Sergio Castellitto, 2010 Buy Tickets: Thu Jun 2: 6:45 pm | Mon Jun 6: 4:15 pm | In a wry, perceptive update of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?, a successful architect (Castellitto) and his wife (Laura Morante) meet their daughter’s new boyfriend. Actor Marco Giallini in person on June 2!

On the Sea Alessandro D’Alatri, 2010 Buy Tickets: Fri Jun 3: 2:00 pm | Sun Jun 5: 6:15 pm | In a beautiful, stunningly immediate rendering of a love affair’s first flowering, a tour-guide and a student from Genoa strike up a bond. Director Alessandro d’Alatri in person on June 3!

Return to the Aeolian Islands Giovanni Taviani,2011 Buy Tickets: Thu Jun 2: 2:45 pm | Mon Jun 6: 8:45 pm | Shining as personal memoir and journey through cinema, Taviani’s touching film takes a beautiful look at the islands that have inspired Rossellini (Stromboli), Antonioni (L’Avventura), the Taviani Brothers (Kaos), and more. Director Giovanni Taviani in person on June 2!

Sorelle Mai Marco Bellocchio, 2010 Buy Tickets: Fri Jun 3: 9:10 pm | Tue Jun 7: 3:45 pm | Marco Bellocchio returns to his hometown Bobbio, and to the house in which he shot “Fists in the Pocket”, to narrate the story of the hopes, disappointments and yearnings of his own family.

The First Assignment Giorgia Cecere, 2010 Buy Tickets: Mon Jun 6: 6:30 pm | A hit at the Venice film festival, Cecere’s stunning debut follows a young teacher (wonderful Isabelle Ragonese) whose first posting brings her to a hardscrabble village with wild children and parents to whom she can hardly speak. Director Giorgia Cecere in person on June 6!

The Passion Carlo Mazzacurati, 2010 Buy Tickets: Thu Jun 2: 9:15 pm | Sun Jun 5: 8:45 pm | After a leak in his Tuscan apartment destroys a chapel’s fresco, a has-been director agrees to stage some Good Friday celebrations, which quickly turn challenging… Director Carlo Mazzacurati in person June 2!

The Salt of Life Gianni Di Gregorio, 2011 Buy Tickets: Wed Jun 1: 6:30 pm | Sat Jun 4: 9:00 pm | The writer-director of the delightful Mid-August Lunch returns with the charming tale of a man in Rome putting up with retired life and family. Gianni Di Gregorio in person on June 1!

The Solitude of Prime Numbers Saverio Costanzo,2010 Buy Tickets: Wed Jun 1: 8:50 pm | Fri Jun 3: 4:15 pm | A film not easily forgotten, Costanzo’s richly told adaptation of the massive best-seller is set at four crucial moments in the lives of two perennial loners. Actress Alba Rohrwacher in person on June 1!

The Woman of My Life Luca Lucini, 2010 Buy Tickets: Thu Jun 2: 4:30 pm | Sat Jun 4: 12:15 pm | Lucini’s sharply observed comedy with a dark underlining follows romantically wounded Leonardo back into the family fold and into new love. With a superb Stefania Sandrelli. Director Luca Lucini in person on June 4!

Unlikely Revolutionaries Lucio Pellegrini, 2010 Buy Tickets: Wed Jun 1: 1:00 pm | Sun Jun 5: 4:00 pm | After botching a high-profile kidnapping, a group of disillusioned northeasterners are forced to learn how to coexist under absurd and clandestine conditions. Director Lucio Pellegrini in person on June 5!

We Believed Mario Martone,2010 Buy Tickets: Sat Jun 4: 2:45 pm | Tue Jun 7: 8:00 pm | Wed Jun 8: 1:00 pm | U.S. Premiere! In this engrossing epic reconstruction of Italy’s 19th-century path to independence, three men find themselves plunged into the fearsome double binds of revolution and sacrifice. Director Mario Martone in person on June 4 & 7!

Whatsoeverly Giulio Manfredonia, 2011 Buy Tickets: Fri Jun 3: 6:40 pm | Tue Jun 7: 1:40 pm | U.S Premiere! In this delicious and wildly popular political satire, an unscrupulous entrepreneur returns to his suddenly law-abiding hometown and resolves to enter politics. Actor Antonio Albanese in person on June 3!

Posted in Cinema, Culture, Italian | Tagged | Comments Off on Italian Film Festival June 01-08

Lost in Translation and False Friends in Italian/English

I stumbled into this old commercial on youtube which made me laugh so hard once again. Certainly one of my favorites ! It’s also most appropriate for language instructors, you can share it with your students, I think they will enjoy it as well.



Italian False Friends/Falsi Amici in Italiano

Attualmente: currently NOT actually (in realtà)
Camera: room NOT camera (la macchina fotografica)
Cocomero: watermelon NOT cucumber (cetriolo)
Comprensivo: understanding NOT comprehensive (completo)
Confetti: sugared almond NOT confetti (coriandoli)
Confrontare: to compare NOT to confront
Crudo: raw NOT crude (volgare)
Educato: polite NOT educated (istruito or colto)
Educazione: good manners NOT education (istruzione)
Eventuale: any NOT eventual (finale)
Fabbrica: factory NOT fabric (tessuto)
Fastidio: annoying NOT fastidious (pignolo)
Fattoria: farm NOT factory (fabbrica)
Firma: signature NOT firm, as in company (azienda) or firm, as in a mattress (rigido)
Gentile: nice NOT gentle (dolce or leggero)
Intendere: to understand NOT to intend
Libreria: bookstore NOT library (biblioteca)
Magazzino: warehouse NOT magazine (rivista)
Morbido: soft NOT morbid (morboso)
Noioso: boring NOT noisy (rumoroso)
Parente: relative NOT parent (genitore, madre, padre)
Patente: license NOT patent (richiesta di brevetto)
Peperoni: peppers NOT pepperoni, the spicy sausage (salame piccante)
Preservativo: condom NOT preservative (conservante)
Pretendere: to expect NOT to pretend (fare finta)
Rumore: sound NOT rumor (voce)
Sensibile: sensitive NOT sensible (ragionevole)
Simpatico: nice NOT sympathetic (comprensivo)
Stravagante: eccentric NOT extravagant (sprecone)

List provided by Michele Fabio @ http://bleedingespresso.com/2009/02/false-friendsfalsi-amici-in-italian.html


Posted in General, Italian | Comments Off on Lost in Translation and False Friends in Italian/English

Contemporary Italy — online course at Brooklyn College

 There is a new course being offered at Brooklyn College starting Fall 2011, the title of which is Contemporary Italy — Italian 3515 Net1. The course will be fully online. This course would be particularly suited for students who need or want to take an extra course but can’t because of a conflict or time constraints, or need another course for their major or to graduate. The course is given in English and is open to everyone. Italian majors who want to count it toward their major will be required to do the work in Italian Registration information for visiting students from other CUNY and non-CUNY campuses can be found at http://www.brooklyn.cuny.edu/pub/visiting.htm

Course Description: A survey of thought, art, literature, politics, and the social and economic milieu of contemporary Italy. Emphasis will be placed on the historical and cultural forces that have transformed Italy from an agricultural country into one of the world’s major economic powers. This course will introduce students to Italy’s social and political institutions, artistic and literary movements, intellectual trends, the economic system, the family, the role of the Catholic Church, the environment, the “Southern Question,” traditional political parties and recent transformations, language and dialects, feminism, education, “Tangentopoli,” current trends. The material for the course will be supplemented by films and documentaries about contemporary Italy.

Required text: Mario Mignone, Italy Today: Facing the Challenges of the New Millennium, New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2008 (Paperback)

Posted in Culture, Italian, Online Learning | Tagged | Comments Off on Contemporary Italy — online course at Brooklyn College

ILAC Resource Page

We just updated the resource page of our website in which you will find all sorts of resources pertaining to Italian language, literature, culture, music, comics, opera, etc. that can be shared with students and colleagues at your institutions. You might also want to add this link to your syllabi

If you want to share other useful resources with our community, feel free to contact us either by twitter or email.

Posted in General, Italian, Language | Comments Off on ILAC Resource Page

Anglicisms in Italian and W i dialetti!


 Tutte le settimane controllo sul sito del Corriere della Sera per leggere le pillole di saggezza che Severgnini dispensa dalla sua rubrica “Tre minuti una parola“. Trovo questa clip (sorry Mr. Severgnini!) molto divertente e facile da inserire come elemento culturale all’interno di uno dei nostri corsi di italiano. L’argomento: “gli orrori” (li definisce proprio cosi’) che facciamo quotidianamente usando un inglese italianizzato.

Altri video che vorrei consigliare per i nostri corsi sono le pubblicita’ prodotte dalla RAI in occasione del 150˚ anniversario dell’unificazione italiana (1861-2011). Il mio preferito è il primo video, il quale mostra tutta la ricchezza dei dialetti italiani, ma anche la loro l’incomprensibilità! Provate a capire quello che dicono ! Ho fatto vedere questi due video ai miei studenti i quali li hanno accolti con molta simpatia. Buona visione !


Posted in Culture, Language, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Comments Off on Anglicisms in Italian and W i dialetti!

Today’s Agenda

At today’s meeting we discussed the following topics:

  • Articulation between CC and SC
  • General Edu/transfer CUNY proposal
  • Creation of an online resource portal
  • Sharing materials and resources
  • Ebook
  • Regents/Advanced Placement Program in Italian
  • Election of Chair, and Secretary
  • Internships opportunities
  • Study Abroad
  • Organize events for Italian month (October)

We have a twitter account ! http://twitter.com/#!/ILACCalandra

The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute mailing address is:

25 West 43rd Street 17th Floor New York, N.Y. 10036

Telephone:(212) 642-2094    Fax:(212) 642-2030  Email is calandra@qc.edu

Posted in General, Italian, Language | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Today’s Agenda