A Global Citizenship Course: Teaching English Through Art (Maria Carlotta Avanzi)

Akita JALT is pleased to welcome Maria Carlotta Avanzi (Akita Prefectural University) as the guest speaker for the chapter’s October meeting.  The details of her talk are below:

Title: A Global Citizenship Course: Teaching English Through Art


Art history can be a powerful tool for teaching English; however, this tool is still underestimated and underused. Nowadays, young people travel more often to international destinations; therefore, they may be interested in learning about art because they plan to see with their own eyes the artworks discussed during the course.

Art history is a meaningful subject for travelers and even more so when taught in English, which is a lingua franca (i.e., a global means of international communication). Therefore, art courses taught in English favor and enhance the students’ acquisition of the English language by leveraging their interest in other cultures.

Here, I present the methods that I use in the Global Citizenship course at Akita Prefectural University, where I teach art history to help my students learn about the cultural backgrounds of other countries. During the course, my students learn how to describe objects in English and more specifically recognize the meaning of new English words by identifying their Latin or Greek roots. This course helps my students to expand their English vocabulary in addition to learning scientific and technical terms that will be useful for their major.

Date: October 22nd (fourth Saturday of the month)

Time: 2:00–3:15ish

Location: ZOOM

*All current members the Akita Chapter will be sent a link to the meeting.  Other Members of JALT who would like to join may email the Akita chapter and request a link to the meeting.

Speaker’s Bio

Maria Carlotta Avanzi is an assistant professor at Akita Prefectural University (Honjō Campus). She obtained her Master of Law (2007) and Master of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (2012) at the University of Turin, Italy. She has been living in Japan since 2014. In 2018, she received her Master of Aesthetics and Art History at Kyoto University where she is currently pursuing her doctorate. Her main research area focuses on Japanese Buddhist sculptures from the seventh century and their relationship with Chinese and Korean art. Her recent interest in art history as a method for helping students become familiar with foreign languages led her to produce this Global Citizenship course, which focuses on teaching English through art.

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