In “L’Italiano con noi” we place a lot of importance on words. In order to communicate in Italian from the very first day, it is actually not necessary to know the entire conjugation of the present tense, but it is enough, for example, to know that words such as “mi piace” are used to express personal taste. Who of you hasn’t packed a dictionary or phrasebook before a trip?
We avoid teaching a different topic of grammar every day because it would be a bit like going from Milan to Rome through London! Such a method is neither the simplest nor the fastest and most effective way to learn a new language. Since our aim is to teach how to communicate, we introduce grammar in a gradual manner and from within the context of real life situations.
In our school, we value mistakes. While speaking correctly is important, it is not possible to speak correctly immediately. It doesn’t work that way. First, words are introduced; then, those words are gradually “placed within a grammatical form”. Mistakes are an inevitable part of that process. Moreover, mistakes constitute valuable clues to our tutors. In “L’Italiano con noi”, we know exactly how to analyse mistakes and what to focus on in order to help our students improve their speaking skills. We do that through engaging activities which include the use of Videos, songs, games, themed workshops and much more.
In short, we focus on the practical usage of language. Learning a language is a lot more than the mere repetition of prefabricated dialogs. Besides conversations, listening, and other types of typical activities, we hold task based lessons once a week. In those lessons students use language to handle real life situations, such as booking a taxi, organizing an event among friends, asking a neighbour to make less noise and so on. Not only are such activities highly communicative, but they also provide an important opportunity for the further analysis of the language.