Hello again! This weeks article is about what to look for in a language school. As someone who went to a language school to learning Italian, I can say that I have some experience with this. I’m talking about going to a different country and learning through immersion as well as taking a class. There are multiple benefits to this, because you aren’t learning just the language, you are learning the culture, which is very important. So for those of you who may be looking for a language school but aren’t sure which one to pick, here you go! This is what to look for in a language school.
Small classrooms are great, because not only does that mean smaller class sizes and less people, it also means that you can really get to know the people around you. If you make friends with your classmates you can go out and practice the language together. And for those of you who are shy at first, getting to know you classmates can help you not feel as scared to answer a question the teacher poses at the class. It’s also better for one-on-one questions with your professor before and after class because there won’t be a huge crowd waiting to talk to them.
If you are in a classroom with a teacher that speaks the language as a mother tongue, you are golden. Not only will they make sure that you are pronouncing words correctly, they also know the language in a way that you can’t. They are the key that unlocks your ability to speak like a native, so this bullet is an important one. Also you can get special help, for example, when I went to the Kappa Language School here in Rome, my teacher and I would meet in the classroom about an hour before class, and I would read out loud in Italian. Not only did this help my pronunciation, it also gave me new vocabulary to study and reinforced the things that I was learning.
I can even use the example from the bullet before for this one. My teacher spent and hour everyday, of his own time, to listen to me butcher his language while I read The Lightning Thief in Italian. He didn’t have to do that, but he put in the extra effort because he wanted me to succeed. You want to find a school with teachers like that. He became a good friend, and that’s another benefit, you can make friends with your teachers. In addition to that, if you have a teacher who is excited to teach, then you will be excited to learn. And on those cloudy days, when everything seems grey and you don’t want to come in to learn, because you feel like you aren’t getting any better, they are more then willing to help you cheer up and show you how far you have come.
Okay, now this one is pretty important too. If the school organizes events and trips, it really shows that they are trying to get you immersed in the language. They want to show you their culture and to practice not only with the natives, but also the other students who are in more advanced classes. You can see your progress when you talk to the people who are in less advanced classes, and that is encouraging, because it really shows you the progress you’ve made and how far you have come from the beginning. It’s usually a good environment and you make friends with people you didn’t know before and have a great time with people who have the same goal as you.
Alright, that’s the tips that I have. You want to make sure you find a school that fits you, and for me, these are the things that I looked for. If you have anything else you think I’ve missed or have a suggestion, please comment below!
Every language has its own puns and double meanings, but for language students it is always tricky to find out when they are accidently embarassing themselves by using innocent words in inappropriate contexts.
Here’s a list of 10 very innocent Italian Words you might want to use carefully while you’re in the process of learning italian.
L’intervista a una delle nostre docenti, Maria. Enjoy! 😀
1. Raccontaci un poco di te (istruzione, occupazione, esperienze significative, ecc.)
Mi sono laureata nel 2003 alla Federico II di Napoli in Lettere Classiche con una tesi in Glottologia. Sono stata sempre affascinata dalle lingue, da quello che hanno in comune e da ciò che le distingue.
Dopo la laurea ho scelto di seguire un dottorato in Semiotica e Filosofia del linguaggio presso l’Università degli Studi di Siena, che mi ha permesso di acquisire una visione più teorica sul linguaggio e su quegli elementi che fanno di una lingua una lingua (in questo senso le letture più approfondite di Tullio De Mauro sono state di un’importanza fondamentale per la mia formazione).
Con questa esperienza alle spalle, e con la voglia di trovare uno sbocco più pratico e più immediato a quello che avevo imparato durante gli anni accademici, mi sono iscritta a un corso per insegnare l’italiano come lingua seconda.
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This is the first part of the transcription of our speech at the workshop Le parole sono importanti, organized by our friends from Happy Languges and hosted by our school on July, 28th 2014. We are confident it can provide some useful guideline to those, Italians or foreigners, are willing to implement the use of movies in their teaching method. The transcription is, of course, in Italian, but you can contact us and request a translation.