One of our primary goals is to provide international access to Venice City Knowledge, with a focus on English content, but we still have to come to grips with the bilingual issue at some point. After doing some homework on why classes don't work and on how to learn any language (quickly), Kyle Miller and I put together a list of key Italian words and phrases, by frequency of occurrence, that we think all Venice students should master.
a Wired article on "remembering" came out that featured the Polish inventor of SuperMemo, an intriguing program that helps the users to remember concepts by exploiting the long-forgotten (1885) discoveries of german psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus. The idea is to remind the learner to review the lesson just before he/she forgets it! The precise spacing of the reminders is what Ebbinghaus discovered and what Polish inventor Piotr Wozniak has desiged into the algorithm of Supermemo.
So, in true 2.0 spirit, we have created a randomized testing process (visible only by WPI users under ITALIAN) based on the most important key words (by frequency) which will be repeated by the students at pre-defined intervals, based on the Ebbingaus-Wozniak spacing! Isn't that something? The last exam in the sequence will be a sort of "admissions" test for the IQP 2.0 students before they begin the preparation in earnest in September. We'll see how well it works in practice!