The Perception of Italian Language and Culture and its Impact on College Class Enrollments, Ann Webb, UG '23 (3965293)
This presentation discusses the pressing problem of dwindling enrollments in Italian departments at the college-level nationwide and examines the perceptions of the departments of the language and culture in general that prompt students to feel hesitant enrolling in Italian courses. I argue that further research should be conducted into the impressions college students have formed about Italian as a foreign language such that misinformation can be combated, pedagogical change can be instituted where necessary, and Italian departments can ensure that this culture and language that have so much to offer do not go understudied and underappreciated. Interestingly, the scholarly consensus about some of students’ major concerns regarding studying Italian can be demonstrated easily here at Princeton by looking at posts on RealTalkPrinceton, an anonymous blog where students can ask for suggestions and help. By using RealTalkPrinceton posts as examples to highlight broader phenomena, I analyze two of the major concerns college students have about Italian departments and consider possible sources for these qualms.