Italian Language Courses

Why should I study in a small city?
Who are the teachers?
Who organises the teaching?
How long does a lesson last?
How do I know what my Italian language level is?
How do you evaluate my level and find the right course for me?
Can I change level if the course I’m taking isn’t right for me?
What teaching method is used?
If it is a communicative approach, does that mean that grammar isn’t taught?
How much can I learn?
Is there a relationship between the length of the course and learning the language?
How many students are in the class?
What is done in the classroom?
What teaching materials are used?

Why should I study in a small city?
Cities such as Orvieto and Bolsena are privileged places for learning Italian. They are small cities, on a human scale, ideal places to take a study holiday in complete relaxation. The life style of these two cities still reflects habits and traditions, so studying in Orvieto and Bolsena also means entering in direct contact with a truly ‘Italian’ way of life, far from the chaos and frenetic rhythms of large cities.

Who are the teachers ?
The Lingua Sì teachers are all university graduates. To teach with us they must be screened and, if considered suitable, they can participate in training courses that are held every year. Professionalism, enthusiasm, creativity, friendliness and willingness are basic criteria for being selected.

Who organises the teaching ?
There is a Lingua Sì supervisor for the teaching methods, responsible for everything concerning teaching, course organisation, teacher recruitment and training, and coordination of teaching activity. The teaching supervisor can always support the teachers in finding the right material and for giving advice on the best strategies for lessons. This is an important reference point for students regarding a variety of teaching questions ranging from advice on course typology and structure, to the materials used, to the approach in teaching, and much more.

How long does a lesson last ?
A lesson lasts 50 minutes; the only exception is the individual course (standard and intensive ones) where lessons last 60 minutes.

How do I know what my Italian language level is ?
The information you provide on your registration form is only a reference point for us, so don’t worry if it is actually a little more or less than our criteria for the various levels. If you want to know more, you can see descriptions of the various levels of the common European framework of reference for languages.

How do you know what my Italian level is and find the right course for me ?
In order to evaluate your level, first of all we need to do a test that is the same for all levels. This test tells us basically how much Italian you already know. The level of comprehension and oral production is no less important. This is why on the first day of the course we organise a conversation to check if it corresponds to what we evaluated with the written test, or if there are considerable differences. Last of all, choosing the right course is done by evaluating several factors: in addition to the written test and the interview, it is important to consider the duration of your stay, your aims and your character. There are students who prefer to repeat what they have already studied in the past and those who prefer moving forward, towards a more difficult level.

Can I change level if the course I’m taking isn’t right for me ?
If you feel that your course is too difficult or too easy, talk to your teacher who can give you advice and explanation. If you still have doubts, you can arrange to meet with the supervisor of Italian lessons. Two things are very important for us: 1) that you are pleased with your study experience with us, and 2) that the level of the classes doesn’t change, this is to the benefit of all participants. So if you feel that your knowledge of Italian isn’t right for the course you are taking, we will help you find a solution.

What teaching method is used ?
The teaching method used by Lingua Sì is a communicative learner-centred approach.
This approach is based entirely on communication, hence on classroom interaction. In addition, the student is immediately assigned a primary, active role so that from the very first day of lessons he or she gets used to communicating in Italian by interacting with the other students and with the teacher.

If it is a communicative approach, does that mean that grammar isn’t learned ?
Grammar too plays a fundamental role in our lessons, but it is never dealt with in a theoretical, boring way. Every rule is always explained within a context and never abstractly, and is always presented using engaging, amusing activities.

How much will I be able to learn ?
Learning a foreign language takes time, so it is best not to trust the ‘miracle’ methods that promise instant results. What we are sure of is that with us learning times are shortened, since our main goal is to develop communicative skills – meaning the ability to speak in Italian.

Is there a relationship between the length of the course and learning the language?
Obviously the more time you spend in learning the language, the more you’ll succeed in learning. But this doesn’t translate exclusively into lesson hours; in general it means the amount of time you dedicate to the language. The first important thing is to select the course most suitable for your requirements, even by online consultation with our teaching supervisor. Furthermore we heartily recommend that you take full advantage of your stay in Italy, not just using Italian in the classroom, but using it all day long outside, talking with other students after class, going to the coffee bar or restaurant, shopping, to the cinema, library, etc. In order to urge students to speak in Italian all the time, we organise many leisure time activities, such as excursions in Orvieto and environs, tasting wines and local products, dinners and parties.

How many students are in the class ?
There are a maximum of 12 students in the classroom, the average is 5 or 6. Obviously such small groups guarantee a truly tailor-made course, based exclusively on the requirements and language needs of the students.

What is done in the classroom ?
The teaching method we use is made up of many activities, each one having its specific aim, for example activities for the written language and for the spoken language, activities for creating and understanding and grammar activities. For example, in the classroom we will read newspaper articles, comic strips, excerpts from literature and poetry and we will write letters and short stories. We will listen to recordings of conversations amongst Italians, watch videos, and above all we’ll talk a lot.

What teaching materials are used ?
Textbooks which were created for communicative teaching are integrated by a wide variety of materials, authentically made by Italians for Italians, such as newspaper articles, literature excerpts, and even recordings of conversations, videos and films. By using authentic material, from the very beginning the student is in contact with the language, as it is really used, so that all its difficulties come out right away.

Do you still have questions? Do you want to know more?
Contact us: [email protected]