Dr. Cedric Joseph Oliva 

Intercomprehension, Romance Linguistics, Teaching Methodology  

2016 OCT - California Community College Foreign Language Council (CCCFLC)

2016 OCT - University of Southern California

Italian Language Teachers' Workshop

This presentation discussed the need for teaching materials that address the shift in student demographics and student linguistic/cultural backgrounds that has occurred in California and the United-States. While, roughly 30 years ago, language students were primarily monolingual and monocultural when entering the L2 classroom, L2 learners are now increasingly becoming L3+ learners, and are exposed to the underpinnings of a third culture. The Italian culture connects with both components in their Anglo-Hispanic culture. These students’ cultural (and linguistic) backgrounds may become an asset if guided by the right material. 

At California State University, Long Beach, we have addressed this shift by integrating our students' existing language and cultural knowledge into the teaching of new languages and by developing: Juntos: Italian for Speakers of English and Spanish, an e-book we wrote to match the needs of our first-year Italian courses taught to speakers of English and Spanish and to be used as a supplement to a traditional textbook. While the e-book currently covers a wide range of linguistic connections, this session will present the new cultural-based material we are preparing to integrate in the next edition.  We will discuss the influence of Italian culture on Latin America, in particular the Italian immigration to Mexico. Examples will include: coffee culture, holidays and gestures.

The presentation highlighted sections of the textbook and its cultural underpinnings.  Participants learned how to respond to and anticipate the needs of students who already navigate two or more cultures. Participants were also engaged through practical examples and will be given hand-outs with lesson samples which highlight how students of Italian can use their preexisting knowledge of Spanish (or other Romance cultures) and English cultures to maximize their understanding of Italian cultural aspects. Presenters would be interested in discussing other aspects of Southern California's demographics.

2016 FEB - 4e Colloque FLE

University of Puerto Rico of Rio Piedras

Dr. Oliva dirige une session thématique: « en route vers le multilinguisme au travers de l’enseignement du Français »  coprésentée avec Dr. Donato et Alan Gomez. Cette session thématique présente différentes stratégies d’enseignement du FLE mises en place à California State University, Long Beach et   fait  une   présentation    de   

l’avancement des travaux ainsi qu’un suivi des communications faites par Donato et Oliva au colloque FLE 2014.

Les trois présentations mettent ainsi l’emphase sur ces stratégies et couvrirent des thématiques telles que celles du développement précoce des compétences de compréhension (surtout écrites, mais aussi orales) par l’intercompréhension, la formation des apprenants par les classes renversées (flipped classroom) et l’auto-formation en résultant, finalement une discussion des enjeux de ces pratiques pour la revalorisation de l’enseignement du français comme élément fondateur d’un accès favorisé au multilinguisme.

Le panel s’est appliqué à mettre en évidence les résultats émergeant de notre travail ces sept dernières années ainsi que d’autres initiatives locales et nationales pour lesquelles la création de cursus dédiés aux apprenants bilingues a été un véritable succès.  Nous avons discuté de la réévaluation de notre cursus de Français pour ces (grands-) débutants dont l’expérience linguistique pré-acquise devient de moins en moins atypique. Nous avons présenté des extraits sélectionnés de Juntos: French for Speakers of English and Spanish qui favorise justement cet enseignement renversé partiellement en autoformation, porté sur une valorisation accélérée de la compétence de compréhension. Ce travail  engage ainsi les apprenants à redécouvrir la lecture, la traduction, et les relations entre langues favorisant voisines, dans ce cas, le développement de solides compétences métalinguistiques et multilingues. C’est sur dernier point que notre session thématique s’est terminée, avec le sujet  de la valorisation du développement de ces savoir-faire multilingues (multilingual competence awareness) au travers du FLE comme par l’intérêt grandissant porté à notre cours de Intercomprehension among Romance Languages: a Road to Multilingualism.

2015 AUG - CSULB Graduate Teaching Associates and Part-Time Lecturers Orientation

2015 NOV - ACTFL 2015 San Diego

RGRLL was nicely represented at the 2015 ACTFL convention. Presentations in several panels with Dr. Donato, Dr. Muller, and Dr. Oliva. Ms. Zappador-Guerra, one of our lecturers of Italian and Ms. Joy Garza, one of our former Spanish MA student and current PhD student at UCSB also presented with us.

2015 APR - Calandra Institute, SUNY

Dr. Barbara Spinelli, Dr. Anthony JosephTamburini, Dr. Christine Jamet, Dr. Roberto Dolci

The Multilingual Classroom
An Asset for Teaching Italian And Romance Languages
Italian Language Resource Laboratory
John D. Calandra Italian American Institute
25 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036
Saturday, 18 April 2015
Schools and college classrooms in the U.S. are increasingly multilingual. In order to benefit form this situation, “plurilingual approaches” have been developed  and are spreading throughout the U.S., from K-12 to colleges and universities. The goal of these approaches is to give students an opportunity to enhance their  foreign language capabilities in a faster and more efficient manner. This workshop will present how to prepare and present multilingual activity that promotes  plurilingual awareness and competence.
The “Multilingual Classroom” is a follow-up to the workshop we held last September 2014, “Intercomprehension and Multilingualism.”
Welcome and presentation of the workshop: Anthony Julian Tamburri and Roberto Dolci
9.30 – 11.00
Clorinda Donato and Cedric Oliva, California State University, Long Beach
 “Translanguaging, Transculturing, and Intercomprehension in the Italian for Spanish-Speakers Classroom: Materials and Methods for the Multilingual Student”
Multilingual students bring a set of linguistic and cultural practices from their daily lives into the language acquisition classroom. These practices, such as translanguaging and transculturing, especially in the Romance language family plus English, enable those teaching additional Romance languages to harness these practices. Together they establish the conditions for maximum language acquisition outcomes in the four skills of listening, writing, reading, and speaking. Intercomprehension, the ability to communicate across languages belonging to the same language family, is also employed as a powerful pedagogical strategy for multilingual Spanish English speakers. We will present our e-book, Juntos: Italian for Speakers of Spanish and English (and show some examples from the French version, Juntos: French for Speakers of Spanish and English as well). We will provide a demonstration of how Juntos is used in the Italian for Spanish Speakers class, together with a traditional Italian-language textbook and classroom specific integrative materials. Thus, the scaffolding of traditional text, Juntos, and integrative materials will be demonstrated. A short video of the classroom where these materials are used will also be shown.
11.15 – 12.45
Barbara Spinelli, Columbia University
“Developing Plurilingual Awareness, Co-Learning, And Multiliteracies in Higher Education Through Multilingual And Transformative Practices”
In the language departments of North America colleges and universities, teachers work increasingly in multilingual classrooms where students' language practices include multiple languages. This paper first describes the theoretical framework and the main objectives of an Italian Language blended course for Romance Language speakers, which represents one of the contexts of this multilingual challenge. In a second step it sketches the necessity of a pedagogy of multiliteracies, which includes an engaged reflection on learner’s plurilingual competences and strategies. Thirdly it illustrates the activities aimed at developing learners' plurilingual awareness and co-learning and it analyzes the qualitative data, retrieved from these activities, describing possible implications for teaching and learning.
12.45 – 2.00 — Lunch
2.00 – 3.30
Marie Christine Jamet, Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia
“The Potentiality of Intercomprehension: The Use of One’s Own Linguistic Repertoire for Learning a Related Language”
Through hands-on activities drawn from various programs of Intercomprehension, this mini-workshop will show how the knowledge of one’s own mother tongue and/or of one or more languages accelerates the process of understanding a written or spoken text in an unknown, related language, thus speeding up the quantity of input that reaches the student. Experiencing the methodology on yourself, you will understand which the strategies are used and which linguistic mechanisms are involved in order to better understand the process of language comprehension. In Italian and French.
3.30 – 4.30 — Roundtable discussion
The “The Multilingual Classroom” is part of the pedagogical activities produced by the Italian Language Resource Laboratory of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute.
This workshop has been made possible by a generous grant from Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and by the Friends of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute Foundation.
The workshop is free and open to all teachers of Italian K-16.
Teachers are asked to reserve via email at [email protected]. Space is limited.
John D. Calandra Italian American Institute
Queens College – CUNY
25 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036

2015 - Soutwestern College, California

From left to right: Dr. Cedric Joseph Oliva (CSULB), Prof. Andrea Petri  (Miracosta College), Dr. Clarissa Clo (SDSU), Dr. Clorinda Donato (CSULB), Prof. Marina Laneri Schroeder and Prof. Surian Figuerora (Western College).

2014 APR - University of California, Irvine - 

Less   and    Less   Foreign: Teaching   the   Romance    Languages through Intercomprehension.

Dr. Clorinda Donato and Dr. Cedric Joseph Oliva in presence of their host Prof. Franca Hamber from the UCI  department of Italian studies. The presentation, Less and Less Foreignon the theme of Romance languages proximities took place on April 15, 2014. See flyer below.

2014 FEB - 3e Colloque FLE

University of Puerto Rico of Rio Piedras

Qui est le public estudiantin dans l’enseignement du Français aux États-Unis? Une large et grandissante communauté d’élèves et d’étudiants bilingues, d’héritage ou d’apprentissage, ces jeunes américains bilingues qui parlent espagnol, s’attendent à recevoir un enseignement approprié à leurs connaissances pré-acquises. Cet article décrit ce public, discute de certaines des stratégies implémentées et finalement démontre ce que nous avons accomplis dans le développement d’un cursus approprié, pour ces étudiants qui avec l’avantage de connaitre une langue romane ; mais également l’avantage de savoir déchiffrer, au travers de leur bilinguisme, dans leurs langues anglaise les clefs franco-romanes, ces deux facultés étant un facteur facilitant leur apprentissage d’une tierce langue romane : le français dans notre cas. Le tout s’inscrivant dans l’optique d’une didactique du FLE à réinventer.

With two of the event co-organizers  Dr. Agnes and Dr. Matter.

2014 JAN - CERCLL - University of Arizona

Intercomprehension, Intercommunication, and the Multilingual Romance Language Classroom.

2013-2016 - French Consulate and San Predo HS

Dr. Cedric Joseph Oliva (center) and Dr. Clorinda Donato (2R) received  by their peers: Dr. Antonia Rigaud (right), Consulate Cultural Attachée-Adjointe Los Angeles; Adelaide Barbier (left), Consulate Cultural Attachée Los Angeles and  Dr. Jean-Claude Duthion (2L), Embassy Education Attaché at the Rentrée Française in Los Angeles. 

At  a school visit at San Pedro High School in September 2014. San Pedro High was the first high school to use Juntos: Italian for Speakers of English and Spanish in their Italian classes. The implementation project was lead by Ida Lanza. Here, we are visiting Diane Hartunian's French for  Spanish Speakers class. From left to right: Dr. Jean-Claude Duthion, Embassy; Dr. Antonia  Rigaud, Consulate; Dr. Diane Hartunian, SPHS; Dr. Clorinda Donato, CSULB;  Dr. Cedric Joseph Oliva, CSULB; Dr. Willian Chang, LAUSD.

2013 APR 19 - University of California, Santa Barbara -  [MORE COMING SOON]

2012 JAN  -  UCLA

(Dis)Unity: The Italian Influences on Corsican Linguistic and Cultural Developments

The island of Corsica was officially considered to be affiliated to the pre-unified Italian world on multiple levels (linguistic, geographical, ethnical, historical, etc.) until when it was ceded to France by the Genoese Republic in 1768, about a century before the formal Italian unification.  The island would continue to evolve with and within the Italian world until the language transition from Italian to French was fully complete which would not happen until the early 20th century.  

On the one hand, the islanders oscillate between a quasi assimilation with Italians accommodated by the original contiguity of their cultures and a remaining natural ability to intercommunicate; on the other hand, over the years of separation their evolution took different paths which resulted in the rupture of the linguistic and cultural continuum.  Even though many antagonisms developed after a century of majorly Gallicized linguistic and cultural influence, Corsica retains undeniably visible links and similarities with Italy, starting with its language which was over the past 40 years the center of attention of the Corsican language revival.

                   Since the 70’s, heyday of the Corsican reaquistu with the introduction of the Corsican bilingual school system, some scholars have pointed out the need for a re-appreciation of the Italian-Corsican relationship which would have a strong societal impact on several fields including  the language, the culture, the mapping, social interactions, sports, etc. Between admiration and indifference, I propose to look at the Italian influences on Corsica to define the level of “italianess” of the islanders in a sociolinguistic and socio-cultural approach to near languages and near cultures, in order to define Corsica’s “(Dis)Unity” from/with Italy.