Italian IV inspires students


As you walk into Ms. Bennett’s Italian IV Honors class, you can see students collaborating on worksheets, while Italian-language music runs in the background. In terms of curriculum, the class includes things such culture, imperfect, past, and reflexive tenses, and speaking; verbs such as trovare (to find) and viaggiare (to travel) are among the verbs taught in the class, according to Ms. Bennett.

The Italian IV program is unique in that is the only program of its kind in Pinellas County. “I feel very honored and privileged to be the only one teaching Italian,” Ms. Bennett said, “especially the most beautiful language in the world.” As to why the Italian program stands alone in Pinellas, Ms. Bennett explained that, for a while, “they didn’t have a test for a teacher to be certified in Italian.” Ms. Bennett further explained how Italian in the U.S. is mostly confined to the Northeast. “Up north, Italian is very, very popular,” Ms. Bennett said. However, Ms. Bennett also emphasized that Italian is growing “faster than German, Spanish, and French,” as many American companies like IBM, Citibank, and Motorola are doing business in Italy and “a lot of employers want their employees to learn the language.”

learning the Italian language is such a beautiful eye-opener. It’s the most romantic”

— Ciara

Brittni Gallace, 12th grade, said she is taking the class because “I didn’t want to take Spanish, and I’m Italian.” Brittni said she enjoys Italian class; “I love Ms. Bennett!” Brittni said. Breanna McDermott, 12th grade, said she enjoys the class because “it’s like a family atmosphere,” saying that because there are only 8 students in Italian IV, “over the years we’ve learned to trust each other.” Ciara Galluccio, 12th grade, said she likes Italian IV because “it’s like being with all my best friends at the same time.” Ciara added that “learning the Italian language is such a beautiful eye-opener. It’s the most romantic.”

Ms. Bennett is confident that the OHS Italian program will continue. “No, I am not concerned at all,” Ms. Bennett replied when asked if she was worried about the Italian program’s future, “because every year, I get more and more students.” When asked why students should take an Italian class, Ms. Bennett explained “the reason they should study it is because it’s the most beautiful language in the world, and it’s closest to Latin,” which is from where many English words derive. For more information on the Italian program, see Ms. Bennett in Room 234.