Italian Fishing Boats, San Francisco (early 1900s)

Report of the AP Annual Conference 2011 in San Francisco

(Aug 05, 2011)
This year's Conference marked an important moment for Italian as a result of the reintroduction of the AP Program.

From July 20 to 24, 2011, The College Board’s annual Advanced Placement Conference was held in San Francisco. This year, 2011, marks an important moment for Italian as a result of the reintroduction of the AP Program, made possible through a joint effort of Italian institutions, the largest Italian-American organizations, individual sponsors, companies, and associations.

Thirty-six teachers from across the United States attended the conference, thanks to scholarships provided by the College Board, and two teachers from Italy interested in the AP program were also in attendance; they teach Italian on the U.S. military bases in Naples and Vicenza.

The presentations delivered by Beth Bartolini-Salimbeni, and Patricia Di Silvio were very well received. Particularly appreciated was Fulvia Musti’s presentation of the website www.usspeaksitalian.org. Keith Cothrun, Director of the Department of Languages and Cultures of the World AP Program, diligently followed all the presentations of the speakers.

The highlight of the event was a gala evening dedicated to the restoration of the AP in Italian, which was attended by, among others, the leaders of the College Board. On the Italian side were H.E. Ambassador Giulio Terzi, the Consul General of San Francisco, Fabrizio Marcelli, Minister Cristiano Maggipinto, scholastic directors from the Embassy and the Consulate General in San Francisco, Dr. Lucia Dalla Montà and Dr. Marco Salardi, together with other representatives of Italian-American organizations and associations that sponsored the program.

Gaston Caperton, President of the College Board, expressed great satisfaction at the return of the Italian AP Program; Mark Cavone, Executive Director of the AP Program, also stressed his satisfaction, not only as a member of the College Board but also as Italian American. Trevor Packer, in turn, Vice-President of the College Board AP Program, reaffirmed the full cooperation and willingness of the College Board for the full success of the AP in Italian.

Ambassador Terzi underscored that Italy cannot be excluded from any cultural program since it holds a pre-eminent position within the Western World vis-à-vis the history of art and culture. He also stressed the importance of the economic, political, and scientific-cultural cooperation that ties Italy and the United States.

Starting with Dante’s “De vulgari eloquentia,” the Ambassador demonstrated how Italian, though the “vernacular,” was already able, in the 1300s, to affirm itself vis-à-vis the European languages of the time, for its degree of articulation, flexibility, and adaptability to different topics, thus developing into the unifying language of the Italian people more than five centuries before political unity was achieved. He then expressed words of thanks for the agreement reached with the College Board and to all those who had contributed to the reinstatement of the AP Italian Program through a true system of action—Italian institutions in the U.S., Italian-American associations, and Italian companies.

Unofficially, many members of the College Board commented on the current happy relationship with Italian institutions recognizing the Embassy’s in-depth and tireless work. In turn, many teachers praised how the Italian institutions have now encompassed the fundamental role of the Italian language in their cultural, political, and economic relations with the United States.

 


 

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