Volume 2 Issue 1 November 2004

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This collection contains the articles and book reviews featured in FULGOR Volume 2, Issue 1, November 2004.


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    Foundations Italian 1. Maria Benetti, Carmela Murtas, Caterina Varchetta, Roberto di Napoli (2001) [review]
    (Department of Languages, Flinders University, 2004-11) Rebelos, Margareta
    A review of 'Foundations Italian 1' by Maria Benetti, Carmela Murtas, Caterina Varchetta and Roberto di Napoli published by Palgrave 2001. ISBN 0-333-91237-3. 'Italian 1' is a basic language course in the Foundations Languages Series published in 2001 by Palgrave and designed for students taking a language option at a tertiary institution. The book is structured as 10 units, which are to be taught over a period of 24 weeks. It is expected that on completion of the course, the students will be able to communicate in the Italian language in several basic situations. The authors employ a task-based teaching approach. The focus is on the development of the four macro-skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing; and on the ability to use them for effective communication.
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    Silence in Second Language Learning. Colette A. Granger (2004) [review]
    (Department of Languages, Flinders University, 2004-11) Mrowa-Hopkins, Colette Marie
    A review of 'Silence in Second Language Learning' by Colette A. Granger published by Multilingual Matters LTD, Series: Second Language Acquisition 6 2004. ISBN 1-85359-697-3. The fundamental question that the author attempts to elucidate is: “What is the significance of silence in the process of learning to speak” (p. 5) in a second language? This puzzling question sits uneasily within the common sense view that speaking a language is helpful for learning it, and within the more theoretical view of the second language learning process as an apprenticeship into new discourse practices. This title may even seem unsettling, if not downright paradoxical, from a language pedagogy perspective entrenched in a Western tradition that requires classroom participants to engage in some kind of dialogic exchange. A further difficulty rests with the methodological issue of how to analyse the meaning of silence when the content is absent. Finally, one might question the usefulness of such an exploration. The author genuinely acknowledges these conflicting issues from the start and clearly states her intention to address them systematically. To this effect, she adopts a psychoanalytic theory as an interpretive framework for her study.
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    Montedidio. Erri De Luca (2001) [review]
    (Department of Languages, Flinders University, 2004-11) Glenn, Diana Cavuoto
    A review of 'Montedidio' by Erri De Luca published by Feltrinelli 2001. ISBN 88-07-01600-1. In 2001, the appearance of two luminous novels about boyhood rites of passage and the loss of innocence caught the imagination of the Italian reading public. Although Niccolò Ammaniti’s 'Io non ho paura' and Erri De Luca’s 'Montedidio' were very different in their narrative approach and techniques (Ammaniti’s text had originally been developed for cinema), their sensitive exploration of human relationships from a child’s perspective assured them prize-winning success in the highly competitive literary market. However, while Ammaniti’s protagonist, Michele, spends his free time pedalling through a wide open, rural landscape, the unnamed boy in 'Montedidio' must grow his adult wings amidst the crush of a sprawling urban metropolis: the ancient city of Naples, a city that never sleeps.
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    The Italians in Australia. Gianfranco Cresciani (2003) [review]
    (Department of Languages, Flinders University, 2004-11) Bouvet, Francesca
    A review of 'The Italians in Australia' by Gianfranco Cresciani published by Cambridge University Press 2003. ISBN 0 521 53778 9. With a new publisher, a new title, a new look and updated text, 'The Italians in Australia' is the revised edition of Gianfranco Cresciani’s 'The Italians', first published in 1985 by ABC Enterprises as an accompaniment to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s television documentary of the same name. 'The Italians in Australia' differs from the original work in that minor textual and pictorial changes have been made throughout, and the last two chapters, on post-WW2 Italian migration and political and socio-economic changes in Italy, have been expanded. The author is well known for other extensively researched publications on Italian migration to Australia.
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    Homografesis en "Misteriosa Presencia: Sonetos" (1936), de Juan Gil-Albert
    (Department of Languages, Flinders University, 2004-11) Martínez, Alfredo
    Juan Gil-Albert’s (Alcoy, Spain, 1906) second book of poems 'Misteriosa Presencia: Sonetos' was printed in Madrid in 1936, but its distribution was aborted by the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. After the war, Gil-Albert was forced to exile himself to France and Mexico, while his poetic voice was silenced in Francoist Spain. His early production would only be reprinted in 1972, within the famous anthology 'Fuentes de la constancia'. Therefore, the influence of his 1936 homosexual sonnets on his contemporaries must have been very marginal; and yet, there is little doubt that other homosexual poets of this generation, including Luis Cernuda, must have been familiar with some version of them. Modern readers of 'Misteriosa Presencia' will discover in the book not only one of the most complete and articulated homoerotic collections of its time, but also a prelude to a panoply of homoerotic themes that would be fully developed in Gil-Albert’s later works. This paper sets out to use Lee Edelman’s concept of homographesis to study the modes of representation of the homosexual voice, its modes of appropriation of the other, and the literary topics associated with this type of love. Some of the sonnets contained in 'Misteriosa Presencia' are analysed in depth.
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    Teaching mixed-ability groups at tertiary level: The case of Italian
    (Department of Languages, Flinders University, 2004-11) Rubino, Antonia
    Teaching languages to mixed-ability groups of learners is quite common in post-secondary University courses, particularly in the case of Italian. This is due to such factors as the widespread teaching of Italian at primary and secondary level, and the very diverse degrees of exposure to Italian and/or Dialect of the background learner. In such situations it is of paramount importance that the students perceive the learning environment as responding to their linguistic needs. This article presents a classroom-based research study of a group of post-secondary learners of Italian at the University of Sydney. It explores some major issues related to their linguistic diversity and discusses the pedagogical intervention that was put in place to respond to their needs. The article focuses upon the establishment of a positive and collaborative learning environment and the adoption of a flexible curriculum as two crucial factors that contribute to promote students’ positive attitudes and to turn the composite nature of the group from an issue to an asset. Furthermore it aims to inform classroom practices of colleagues involved in similar instructional settings.
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    Les avatars de l'absurde dans "Mendiants et orgueilleux" d'Albert Cossery
    (Department of Languages, Flinders University, 2004-11) Hafez-Ergaut, Agnès
    This article deals with the notion of the absurd and explores its interpretation from a non-Western point of view in a novel by the Egyptian writer Albert Cossery, 'Mendiants et orgueilleux'. It argues that the novelist parodies the philosophy of the absurd by using characters whose outrageous actions and attitudes ridicule what was acclaimed by Sartre as new humanism. It aims at demonstrating that Albert Cossery, by presenting an image of the absurd distorted by parody and ridicule, refutes the notion of the absurd and advocates the superiority of the principle of life over a philosophy that undermines its integrity.