Departmental colloquium, Teaching Writing through Innovative Strategies

The workshop proposes a few innovative pedagogical techniques that you can integrate into your curriculum which will eventually create a better learning experience for your students and can even save you time!


Tiziana Serafini

Starting with a brief overview of the writing criteria that measure writing in the elementary and intermediate levels of Italian, this presentation describes one way peer editing can be undertaken in a 101 class through a series of simple steps focusing on correct grammar and syntax, and will go on to discuss how recognition of key expressions in readings can lead to more correct writing in Italian 102. 

Tiziana Serafini received her Ph.D. in Italian Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has taught Italian language and culture at several institutions such as the University of California-Los Angeles and the University of Southern California. She has published articles on the Promessi Sposi (2003), the Stil Novo Poetry (2005), Andrea Zanzotto (2008). She contributed to the translation of works by New York and Chicago poets in Nuova Poesia Americana – New York (2013) and Nuova Poesia Americana – Chicago (forthcoming in 2016). She also coordinated the Florio Italian-English Dictionary transcription project (2013). Her review on the Italian language textbook Mosaici is forthcoming in 2016.


Luisa Gregori

In this presentation I will show how thesis-governed short essays, multi-draft composing, and collaborative writing have been shaping the process of textual creation in ITALIAN 203, producing better output that simplify the instructor’s tiring task of grading.

Luisa Gregori is a Ph.D. student and teaching assistant. Her research interests focus on modern and contemporary Italian novel, as well as Italian language pedagogy, with specific emphasis on cross-cultural pragmatics. She earned a Laurea in Lettere moderne (Italian literature) from the University of Pisa and she completed last December a MA in Pedagogy of Italian as a Foreign Language at the University “Ca’ Foscari” of Venice.


Lindsey Smith

At UW-Madison, undergraduate language students frequently encounter written texts that incorporate illustrations, photos, diagrams or other images.  However, this multimodality does not necessarily carry over into students’ written assignments.  This presentation will thus discuss multimodal composition with an emphasis on visual support through examples linked to the bande dessinée. 

Lindsey Smith is a TA and PhD student in French at UW-Madison. Her work focuses primarily on literature from the Francophone Caribbean. Her thesis examines intersections of artistic development and economic development in the works of Chamoiseau, Pépin, and others.  


Andrew Irving and Nevine El Nossery

Andrew’s and Nevine’s contribution today will explain the new curriculum for French 312 that they developed together. Andrew will give an overview of the course and explain the types of assignments and activities they assigned. Nevine will then explain how each unit was based on one or two texts that they analyzed (using their 3-step process) and then used as models and inspiration for student writing. Nevine will briefly talk about the portfolio which was also an important component of the class and its valuable learning outcomes. Andrew will wrap up by talking about the peer editing process that was a crucial aspect to our students’ writing development.

Andrew Irving has been teaching French language and literature at UW-Madison since the fall of 1989. He received his PhD from us in 1997 with a dissertation that examined the theme of solitude in the works of Guy de Maupassant. Andrew is the course chair for French 203 and has most recently taught French 322 (Intro to Literature of Modernity) and French 312 (Writing Workshop). 

Nevine El Nossery is an Associate Professor of Francophone Studies and Middle Eastern literatures and cultures. Her book, Témoignages fictionnels au féminin. Une réécriture des blancs de la guerre civile algérienne was published in 2012 with Rodopi, and she co-edited two volumes : The Unspeakable : Representations of Trauma in Francophone Literature and Art, published in 2013 and Frictions et devenirs dans les écritures migrantes au féminin. Enracinement et renégociation, published in 2011.