Task-Based Language Learning in Siena and Lyon

Language Requirement: None
Academic Standing by Program Start: Sophomore or above
Location: Multicountry, France, Italy
GPA: 2.5
Program Overview

This program is not running in Summer 2020.

Immerse yourself in everyday life in Italy and France! This four-week summer program will allow you to develop multiple strategies for learning new languages confidently and effectively. You will begin to learn Italian and French and reflect on the connections between different cultures and their unique features. You will acquire basic skills in both French and Italian through a double-pronged approach: we will start each day in class learning vocabulary and structures. Later in the day, you will carry out practical tasks by using what you’ve learned in class at a variety of local venues where you will interact with native speakers. These interactions will help you develop your oral skills, recognize and navigate cultural ambiguities, and hone your ability to work collaboratively. The first part of your hands-on learning experience will take place in the medieval city of Siena, Italy, and then we will cross the Alps to reach the French city of Lyon where you will have a taste of France.

** GEO programs are under continuous review during this period of global uncertainty and limited travel.  All program details outlined on this page, including program cost, are subject to change if global or location-specific conditions require modifications to program structure. 

Academic Details

Students will spend four weeks acquiring basic Italian and French language skills through task-based learning. This multi-cultural and multi-lingual experience in Italy and France will prepare students to become effective language learners by providing opportunities to implement effective language-learning strategies in immersive settings where locations determine tasks, language functions, vocabulary, and structures.

After three hours in the classroom each morning, students will then complete immersion activities on site, alone and/or with classmates. Activities will entail things like providing descriptions of individuals and families on site or of those in paintings at the art museum; interviewing local residents about their professions and daily lives; asking and following directions to get to specific destinations; locating and identifying, and eventually purchasing foods in local markets, etc. On weekends, students will take day excursions to a variety of nearby sites inclding Florence, the “Cinque Terra” in Italy, the alpine city of Annecy, and the charming village of Pérouges. In France students will also spend time with host families.

Course Equivalencies

Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

UO students, please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.

Faculty and Staff

Connie Dickey

Connie Dickey grew up in Oregon.  Her first experience abroad was as a student in the former "Interinstitutional Study Abroad program" in Avignon in 1976; she later spent about three years teaching English conversation and American culture in France.  After earning her Masters in Romance Linguistics at the UW in 1981 and her doctorate in Romance Philology at UC, Berkeley, in 1991, she taught at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, at the University of Louisville, in Kentucky, and at Syracuse University in New York.  She also has thoroughly enjoyed accompanying student-musicians abroad on four occasions as they completed tours of Europe giving classical music concerts on behalf of the North Carolina School of the Arts.  She joined the staff of the Romance Language Department at the University of Oregon in the fall of 2014 where she currently serves as the first-year French supervisor.

Lauretta De Renzo-Huter

Lauretta De Renzo-Huter was born in Torino, Italy where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Modern Languages and Literatures. She holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Oregon. She is currently teaching Italian at the University of Oregon where she coordinates the first-year Italian program. She has been taking students to study abroad in Italy for over twenty years. “Speaking multiple languages has allowed me to come in contact with many wonderful people all over the world and studying abroad in different countries has taught me to approach other people’s perspectives with respect and appreciation.” In her teaching approach, Lauretta promotes experiential, hands-on learning strategies that allow students to use the language in culturally authentic contexts and for practical purposes.

Housing Description

In Siena, Italy, students will stay in the Cannon d’Oro Hotel, which is located near the heart of the city. It is only a ten-miunte walk from the city center and the classrooms. It is also within the vicinity of many other cultural sites including a cathedral and museum. Students will share double, triple, or quadruple occupancy rooms depending on what is available. Breakfast is included at the hotel each morning. Students will always find small local grocers, restaurants, and cafés nearby.

In Lyon, France, students will live with a French host family. Breakfasts and dinners will be provided to students each day at their homestay except travel days. Living with a local family will provide students with the opportunity for cultural and linguistic immersion.

Dates and Deadlines
TermYearPriority DeadlineDeadlineArrival DateDeparture Date
Summer20212/15/20213/15/2021Late JuneLate July

Travel Advisories

For current health, safety, and travel advisory information, search the US Department of State country webpage.