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THE ESSENCE OF ITALIAN CULTURE AND THE CHALLENGE OF A GLOBAL AGE

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... However, the most frequent argument, provided by approximately 35% of the subjects, seemed to relate to their personality, since it referred to the general feeling of shyness and embarrassment experienced when speaking (e.g., "Shyness", "I am generally reluctant to speak," "Lack of self -confidence and shyness," "I am not able to speak in public, especially in English," "I feel observed".). The frequency of occurrence of this argument can be considered surprising, taking into account the high level of extroversion and outgoingness ascribed to the Italian nation (e.g., Janni & McLean, 2003). As could be expected, the feeling of shame was also mentioned several times in reference to some FL deficiency (e.g., "I can't speak fluently and I don't know many words, so I feel ashamed," "Feeling embarrassed to say something wrong".). ...
... However, the most frequent argument, provided by approximately 35% of the subjects, seemed to relate to their personality, since it referred to the general feeling of shyness and embarrassment experienced when speaking (e.g., "Shyness", "I am generally reluctant to speak," "Lack of self-confidence and shyness," "I am not able to speak in public, especially in English," "I feel observed."). The frequency of occurrence of this argument can be considered surprising, taking into account the high level of extroversion and outgoingness ascribed to the Italian nation (e.g., Janni & McLean, 2003). As could be expected, the feeling of shame was also mentioned several times in reference to some FL deficiency (e.g., "I can't speak fluently and I don't know many words, so I feel ashamed," "Feeling embarrassed to say something wrong."). ...
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The study reported in this chapter verifies the assumption that the strength of relationship between self-assessment of foreign language (FL) skills and Willingness to Communicate (WTC) in a FL is determined by the cultural background of the students. Since self-assessment is said to be culturally-bound (e.g., Lockley, 2013; Mercer, 2011), variation in the link between the two variables found in different countries may be significant. To explore this phenomenon, a pilot study was conducted among 35 Polish and 35 Italian high school learners of English as a FL, representing the same level of proficiency (B1 +/B2 according to Common European Framework of Reference). The data for the study were collected with the use of three questionnaires, which had the form of self-report surveys. One of them, that is, the FL Self-Assessment Measure, consisted in the participants evaluating their level of different subskills in English, such as grammar and pronunciation accuracy, vocabulary range, and fluency. The two other batteries - the Measure of WTC in the FL Classroom and Measure of WTC outside the FL Classroom (Baran-Łucarz, 2014) - diagnosed the participants’ eagerness to speak in a FL in these two different settings. The outcomes showed that the Italian participants not only assessed their level of English subskills significantly higher than the Polish students, but also that they were more willing to communicate in both settings. Moreover, the results suggest that the Polish participants were more concerned about their level of English when speaking in the TL than the Italian learners. While in the case of the Polish respondents, moderate to strong relationships (Spearman rho) between self-assessment of English skills and WTC both in the classroom and naturalistic setting were found, in the case of the Italian participants the correlations were either weak or non-significant. Most of the differences between the paired correlations computed for particular subskills and L2 WTC for the Polish and Italian participants were statistically significant.
... However, the most frequent argument, provided by approximately 35% of the subjects, seemed to relate to their personality, since it referred to the general feeling of shyness and embarrassment experienced when speaking (e.g., "Shyness", "I am generally reluctant to speak," "Lack of self -confidence and shyness," "I am not able to speak in public, especially in English," "I feel observed".). The frequency of occurrence of this argument can be considered surprising, taking into account the high level of extroversion and outgoingness ascribed to the Italian nation (e.g., Janni & McLean, 2003). As could be expected, the feeling of shame was also mentioned several times in reference to some FL deficiency (e.g., "I can't speak fluently and I don't know many words, so I feel ashamed," "Feeling embarrassed to say something wrong".). ...
Chapter
This chapter reports on a qualitative and longitudinal investigation into the willingness to communicate (WTC) of Iranian migrants in their past Iranian English classrooms, in their present New Zealand pre-university classrooms, and in the community outside. By means of questionnaires, observations, stimulated recall, and multiple interviews with these learners and their classroom teachers, the question is addressed as to whether their past learning experiences affected their present WTC, and which elements of classroom and community context facilitate or inhibit their readiness to speak. In the process of this investigation, the relevance of dynamic systems theory and the usefulness of an ecological framework are explored in order to describe the nature of their WTC, ranging from the micro context of the classroom to the macro context of the wider society of Iran and New Zealand. Factors which affect their past English language learning experiences in Iran were family influence, type of school, and teacher expertise, whereas now in New Zealand their relationships with their classmates, opportunities to speak in and out of class, and the effect of different types of curriculum are revealed.
... Ettore Boiardi produced a large quantity of canned Italian food (spaghetti in tomato sauce) targeting the children of the baby boom generation and their suburban mothers, and created various types of products through the Chef Boyardee Food Products Co. (DiStasi 1989). However, in the 1920s, the American middle class was not familiar with the Italian food culture (Janni and McLean 2002). By the 1930s, Italian restaurant owners promoted Italian dining as an "experience," not just food, and modified their foods to suit the American palate (Gabaccia 1998). ...
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This study investigated both the historical development and future trends of restaurant cuisine in America. Italian cuisine is used as the basis of a prediction model. The study identifies the historical factors in menu trends in Italian–American cuisine; the factors that will influence culinary trends in the future, and whether the results can be applied to the development of a prediction model that will predict how restaurant cuisine in America may develop. This study used both qualitative (focus groups) and quantitative (online survey) methods. The growing popularity of Italian cuisine in the United States will continue to shape the evolution of America's restaurant cuisine.
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