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West Orange High School Italian Students “Parlano del cibo” with Florence Counterparts

WEST ORANGE, NJ – West Orange High School students in Sra. Rosanna Zamloot’s Honors Italian class were able to “Parlano del cibo,” – talk about food – with their friends in Florence on March 28, thanks to Google Meet.

Students from Liceo Giotto Ulivi, located in Borgo San Lorenzo, a town just outside of Florence, finished their regular school day and returned to share information with WOHS Italian class regarding foods they eat – “Pasti, merende, ricette, e curiosita.”

“We have a combination of 40 students that meet twice per month virtually to do this intercultural exchange,” explained Zamloot, “and I work with Professor Emanuela Agasisti, who teaches English.”

“In addition to meeting virtually, they also work on collaborative projects.  We use Google class in live format and work as a whole group and in small groups thanks to the break-out-rooms.  We have discussed home, family, community, school, activities, interests, well-being, fashion, environment, technology, gender identity, LGBT rights, music/art, meals and more,” she continued.

WOHS students Sean Harrington and Jose Paiva showed his video on how to make Taylor Ham and egg sandwiches. This was amusing to the Italian students, who eat a bit differently than their American friends. They enjoy foods like Peposa (beef and chianti), Panzanella (state bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, basil, water, oil, and vinegar), Cacciucco (fish, garlic, onions, and vegetables), Cantuccio (biscotti, sweet wine), and Schiacciata (bread, ham, pepper, cheese, or Nutella).

Students and teachers then went into breakout rooms to continue their discussion in smaller groups. WOHS students learned that their friends lunched around 2:00 pm and had dinner at 8:00 pm. Snacks included pasta, meat, and chips.Interestingly, America’s idea of Italian food (spaghetti and meatballs – served separately in Italy), penne vodka, garlic bread, sausage and peppers, and Fettucine Alfredo – were not commonly eaten in Italy, though everyone agreed on pizza. Students in both groups presented different angles on food in their respective countries.

“We really like meeting with the other students,” said Harrington.

“It really helps us to speak Italian better," he continued.

“When we started our Google Meet, we were speaking 80 percent English and 20 percent Italian. Now we’re speaking around 75 percent Italian and 25 percent English.”

“We get to learn about a different culture and develop friendships,” added Paiva. Students sometimes chat on Facebook or Instagram as well.

“Thirty West Orange High School students and I will meet with Professor Agasisti and her students in Florence on April 9 and 10.  We depart for Italy on April 6 for a ten-day tour. The chaperones accompanying me are Mr. Carlo Felici (Italian teacher at Liberty Middle School) and Ms. Anna Maria Grammatica (Italian teacher at Roosevelt Middle School). The tour will take us to Venice, San Gimignano, Florence, Sorrento, Capri, Pompeii, and Rome.  The students at the end of their trip will receive 3 credits from George Mason University,” Sra. Zamloot concluded.

Italian Honors

WOHS Italian Honors students Jose Paiva and Sean Harrington

Italian Honors

World Language Supervisor Felix Plata and Sra. Rosanna Zamloot enjoy a chat with Italian students

Italian Honors

Italian students present their reports

Italian Honors

WOHS students present their reports

Cynthia Cumming
March 29, 2023