Students on both the Beirut and Byblos campuses have recently enjoyed the opportunity to learn the Italian language from a native instructor. Offered during the summer and fall 2018 semesters, Beginning Italian and Italian II courses, respectively, are a contribution from the Italian Embassy and Italian Cultural Institute who have funded an Italian instructor to teach full time for two semesters.
“Our goal is to expand the number of Lebanese university students developing an interest in the Italian language, with funding coming from a special plan called ‘Vivere all’Italiana,’ which is the brainchild of the Italian ministry of foreign affairs and international co-operation,” explained Edoardo Crisafulli, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute and continuous supporter of LAU.
In principle, teaching any language course by a native is expected to be more interesting,” said Paul Tabar, Professor of Sociology/Anthropology at LAU, who believes that other embassies should model the Italian Embassy’s efforts. “Our university should look into getting more embassies involved through their cultural attaches in giving language courses by native speakers and since this would serve their cultural interest and other interests as well,” Tabar explained.
So far, there has been strong interest among LAU students for the summer semester Italian language offerings, with 25 students in the Beirut course and 17 in the Byblos one.