All Ratings and Reviews for Daniele Pennacchia
In response to the last review, the syllabus put out by the department says we're supposed to write one composition per chapter, tied to a web activity. We're on chapter six now and we've written two compositions this quarter, neither of which was tied to a web activity. Personally, I think compositions are important even in an introductory class because they give you practice constructing sentences and using vocabulary in a way that goes beyond what the workbook exercises do. I agree that we can all open our books and do extra exercises for practice (which I think is the only way to get an A and, more importantly, to learn the language in Pennacchia's class). I just think that as the teacher, Pennacchia should assign enough homework to begin with and collect it and grade it so that students are encouraged to practice and so they get individual feedback on work other than quizzes and exams. Of course it's the student's responsibility to review what's covered in the textbook and in class (and to go to class), but I think it's the professor's responsibility to do what he or she can to promote the kind of regular practice needed to learn a language. Five minutes of homework a night isn't going to do it. And I do not think that a student should have to do work *way* beyond what is assigned in class to succeed in that class.
I have to disagree with the negative review. Sure he could give more homework, but if you are genuinely interested in learning Italian open up your book and read some more or do extra exercises. He's extremely nice, and often disrespected. Half the class doesn't show up, but he'll continue teaching just the same even if only 3 students arrive. It is up to the student to decide how much they will get from this class. If you go every day (and clearly, you should) then you will learn something even if you are lazy. Do the homework, practice on your own, and you will do fine. It's fun, he's nice, it's not overwhelming, and remember...it is a ten week introductory italian class...and learning it from someone who actually speaks italian is beneficial.
If you're a slacker and don't really care about learning Italian, this is the professor for you. Daniele Pennacchia is a slacker too. You will have about five minutes worth of homework a day and maybe one or two compositions during the quarter that have nothing to do with material covered in the chapter you're currently on. Homework will not be collected because Pennacchia doesn't seem to want to do any grading. He doesn't seem to want to prepare for class either. He just picks exercises at random out of the textbook and fills the time until class is over. Sure, he knows Italian because he's from Italy and that seems to be his only qualification for teaching the language. But if you don't understand something, don't ask about it because he just gets frustrated.
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