Benvenuti is the word, as a new club has opened at the Malden High School, the Italian Club.
The Italian Club, founded by Dr. Giuseppe Formato and Professor Fredy Rodriguez-Diaz, aims to provide a space where students, both in Italian classes and who are just curious, are able to learn more about Italy and Italian culture.
“Despite classes being at [their current length], we are kind of restricted…in terms of what we can cover, and students have so many questions that are beyond the traditional lesson plan,” Formato said.
Dr. Formato and Professor Rodriguez both are new Italian teachers at Malden High School. Formato and Rodriguez have adapted well to MHS. with Rodriguez saying that teaching here is “really a wonderful experience because there's a diverse community here at Malden High School, and that makes me really excited.”
The Italian Club was the result of an initiative between Rodriguez and Formato, after they realized that, in the words of Rodriguez, “we wanted to do something besides the activities that we do in class…in class, we focus on teaching the language…we don't have the time to answer questions that maybe are not related to the language.” In order to rectify this, they started the Italian Club, a place to cover Italian culture, history, cuisine, and more, as well as potentially enticing new students to join the Italian classes at the high school.
In terms of the success of the Italian club, both Formato and Rodriguez hold a positive opinion, noting that interest has been increasing across sessions, and both proclaim it a large success. Formato stated that “I think it's a success…every session we've had, there's been more and more interest, and this is across subject matter and languages even…I think the feedback from the students so far has been very positive.”
When thinking about potential ways to expand the scope of the club, Formato mentioned that the club was already quite dynamic. “We were just talking about maybe doing dance… talking about history…food…doing comparisons across languages that the students know…talking about traditions,”he said. Rodriguez mentioned that the club was mostly student-directed, and it would be better to have a hands-off approach to its growth because “it's not for us, the teachers. [We are] just here to facilitate and make a decent space where they can learn and explore.”
Formato and Rodriguez expressed a final message to the students of Malden High: “If you would like to learn more about Italian language and culture, and how it may be connected to your own culture, because most of the time, there's lots of connections especially in a place like Malden High School where we have many students from the Latin speaking world, come to our club, and we'll be happy to talk to you and explore these ideas or questions that you may have…and even if you want to come just once, bring a friend, it's open for everyone.”
The Italian Club is hosted every week from 2:15 to 2:45 in H315. All are welcome.