Tutt* a tavola! Volume 1
Stacy Giufre, UMass Amherst
Melina Masterson, UMass Amherst
Copyright Year: 2021
Publisher: UMass Amherst
Conditions of Use
The material covered in V.1 is complete in terms of grammar and vocabulary for a first semester (101) college course. There are also numerous appropriate cultural topics presented in each unit. The number of practice exercises is limited, however... read more
The material covered in V.1 is complete in terms of grammar and vocabulary for a first semester (101) college course. There are also numerous appropriate cultural topics presented in each unit. The number of practice exercises is limited, however a supplemental workbook/lab book is available for purchase at a reasonable cost.
Grammatical explanations are clear and accurate. Cultural content is appropriate and accurate. No errors found.
The material is up to date. The textbook also permits customization to suit your own course needs. The images and videos are generally fairly contemporary and could be easily updated as time goes on.
The text is generally clearly written and presented. Grammatical explanations sometimes assume prior grammatical knowledge that the students might not have. Supplementation would be required, but this is true of most textbooks.
The layout and format is consistent from chapter to chapter. The chapters each begin with objectives and end with a review. Each chapter begins with a video (often a music video) which introduces some vocabulary and grammar structures, as well as culture. The exercises and grammar explanations are highlighted and the transitions between topics are easy to distinguish.
The book is well organized into chapters, and each chapter is dedicated to specific, appropriate points of grammar, vocabulary and culture for this level. Everything is broken down into bite-sized chunks and one topic leads well into the next.
The book is designed is such a way as to be easily used in an elementary course. The headings are clear and the layout can be quickly understood by students. However, when scrolling through the book, there are no page markers, so assignments have to be make by chapter numbers and numbered sections (such as Ch.2, section 2.2, exercise B, parte III). It may at times be tricky for students to locate specific assignments or content, having to scroll through the whole chapter to locate certain sections or numbered assignments. If page breaks were somehow include, or if clickable links could be added in a sidebar, it might make assigning easier.
The information is presented in a clear and easy to read format. The interface poses no access issues except for the aforementioned complication of having to scroll though the whole unit to find things. A sidebar with clickable unit topics and/or page numbers that could direct you straight to specific grammar points or exercises would be helpful. I love how you can click on the blue vocabulary words and listen to them pronounced. Finally, I wish there were more interactive (self-correcting) exercises. (Perhaps the workbook/lab book supplement has more of these.)
No grammatical errors were found. One small point in Chapter 1 about nouns was not explained particularly well.
"Nouns ending in –e can either be masculine or feminine," is stated as a rule. Perfectly true. Then in the activity immediately following, the students are asked to distinguish between " -e (often -me, or re)" and "-e (zione)" without explanation. Further exposition on this point would be helpful. In addition, I find pointing out a distinction about "-me/-re" nouns to be unhelpful.
This book makes a strong effort to be inclusive and sensitive-- more so than most textbooks I have seen. There are numerous points about race relations, linguistic gender neutrality (or non-neutrality), and many other interesting "note culturali" that explicitly challenge educators and students alike to address issues of equality and acceptance.
High praises for this OER! It's a cost effective alternative to big-publisher textbooks. It's comprehensive. It's practical. It's level appropriate. With a few tweeks (regarding searchable content through clickable links), it could be just as good as any other online textbook on the market. I look forward to checking out the workbook/ lab book component and the second volume, as well. Bravo!
Table of Contents
- Main Body
- Capitolo 1
- Capitolo 2
- Capitolo 3
- Capitolo 4
- Capitolo 5
- Capitolo 6
About the Book
This new open educational resource is for Elementary Italian. Our goal is for this book to be comprehensive, user-friendly, inclusive, and cost-effective. Tutt* a tavola has two parts, one for each course, with six chapters in each. Generally speaking, each chapter addresses three to four grammatical topics and includes a vocabulary section related to a cultural theme. The vocabulary is also incorporated into the grammatical presentations and exercises. There is also a short reading in each chapter regarding different aspects of culture and language, to address those questions of diversity and inclusion that are often missing from the textbooks we have used in the past. To include more culture, we have also included multimedia: each chapter begins with a song that is used as a starting point for the inductive presentation of the chapter’s content, and ends with a video (a film clip, an interview, social media) that summarizes the ideas covered.
About the Contributors
Stacy Giufre and Melina Masterson are Lecturers of Italian Studies at UMass Amherst. They have been named OER Master Creators by the COERLL’s Language OER network for their work on Tutt* a tavola.
Melina Masterson, UMass Amherst