TEACHING AND LEARNING ITALIAN

I’ve done my teaching training in “Italian as a Foreign Language” in a respected Language School in Salerno, my hometown, and at the local University, while I was getting my DITALS I certification issued by the “University for Foreigners”, Siena (it’s a certification as a Teacher of Italian as a Second Language, especially focused on adult learners). Besides that, I gave classes privately to beginners, pre-intermediate and intermediate students.

My teaching method is totally student-oriented. I think motivation and expected results are the key elements to be taken into account to develop an effective, personalized programme of studies.

Teaching Italian abroad is quite different from teaching in Italy. My English students in Brighton don’t have many chances to practise outside the class. Besides that, among fellow students they naturally tend to speak English, unlike what happens in a multilingual class, where Italian has more chances to become their lingua franca, or “bridge language”.

All the above is obviously affecting my teaching strategies. I’m insisting on speaking skills, since that’s what students have the least access to, while they can still read and hear Italian from a variety of resources freely available on the web. I mostly speak Italian myself, to provide students with terms and structures to be reused straightaway throughout the lesson.

testimonial Blandine

To encourage students to speak, it’s extremely important to set a relaxed and non-judgemental atmosphere. Students should be aware that their mistakes are not only inevitable, but represent an invaluable contribution to the progress of the whole class, teacher included! To cut it short, I dare say: “The most mistakes, the better” 🙂

As to the texts, I insist on contemporary, authentic material to help students feel involved in what they need study. For instance, if you are a big football fan and your favourite team is going to play against an Italian one, won’t you feel curious to know how do Italian newspapers cover the event? Well, I’ll try and have you read what they say…

Learning Italian is not limited to non-native students: I keep learning Italian everyday!

7 responses to “TEACHING AND LEARNING ITALIAN

  1. Wow, Gianfranco! Benvenuto in Inghilterra. Congratulazioni per il tuo sforzo stupendo! Spero che tu ti divertita molto. Tuttavia, il suo inglese e’ forse troppo buono!
    John Shemilt

  2. Ciao, Gianfranco!

    As you know, I am 63 years old and learning “la bella lingua”, and I am one of the many people you have helped on the English-Italian forum. (How’s that for an unsolicited testimonial?” I will try to respond in Italian. Please feel free to correct any errors!

    Per rispondere sul serio alla tua domanda, penso che il tuo nuovo sito sia eccellente. Mi piace il layout, e le tue foto sono molto impressionanti. Il contenuto del sito è interessante e pieno di informazioni. Mi piacciono i dettagli autobiografici. Sto pensando che se tu includessi qualche parola in italiano, anche a questo punto (forse nelle didascalie delle foto, per esempio), sarebbe una buona idea.

    To answer your question seriously, I think that your new site is excellent. I like the layout, and the photographs are very impressive. The content of the site is interesting and full of information. I like the autobiographical details. I am thinking that if you were to include a few words in Italian, even at this stage (perhaps in the captions of/ to the photographs, for example), that would be a good idea.

    John

    • Hi again John!
      Thanks a lot for your comments and compliments and suggestions, I really appreciate that. By the way, adding some Italian is something I’m planning to do as soon as possible. In the meanwhile, you can still have a good laugh with my poems 😉
      I’m afraid, though, that I couldn’t explain properly what I meant with “colourful”. Sure as hell I’ve chosen the wrong adjective (in Italian I was thinking of “pittoresco”). I was answering playfully to your remark about my English “forse troppo buono” (“il tuo”, John, not “il suo”, we’re friends!) and thought that maybe an Italian guy not sounding Italian enough might discourage a number of English prospective students 🙂

      PS Your last Italian text is more than excellent! I’m really impressed!!! Maybe I would just change “molto impressionanti” to “notevoli” or simply “molto belle”. “impressive” and “impressionante” can be false friends at times…

  3. Ciao, Gianfranco!

    Grazie mille! “Il suo” was just a typo. I wasn’t being polite. With you, I would always use “il tuo” – as I did just before – unless you told me otherwise. Seriously, I just want to say many, many congratulations. Your site is excellent. If anyone anywhere near Brighton wishes to have the VERY BEST of Italian teaching/ support/ help, they should come to you. I have no doubt that people will realise this in the near future. “Word gets around”.

    I am lucky in that I have found a brilliant teacher here, and I am still very much enjoying my Italian lessons.

    As you know, I live in the north-west of the UK. On a good day – on a very good day – you can sometimes see the sea from the “front” at Southport, but you have to be lucky. The tide hereabouts goes out a very long way. It’s not Salerno, that’s for sure, but I expect Brighton has its charms!On theother hand, if you ever wish to see the true UK, you need to get north of the River Trent, in my humble opinion!

    Please be sure to contact me if you have any chance of coming up to the north-west. It would be great to meet you. I have met some lovely people on the Italian-English forum, but – I have to say – few have impressed me as much as you have with your amazing command of English and of your native Italian. I am genuinely in awe. Saluti!

    Regards,

    John

  4. Great! I suspected “suo” could be a typo: you’re far too skilled for this kind of beginner’s mistake 😉
    Thank you again for starting to “spread the word”, I’ll need it in the very near future!
    And I also appreciate you for being such a passionate “testimonial” in favour of your own region 🙂
    I’m confident not much time will pass before we get to meet in person, and keep talking about languages and life in front of a cup of black coffee instead of a black keyboard…

  5. Buon giorno , vorrei sapere quali esami si possono sostenere per poter insegnare italiano in Inghilterra, esiste un equivalente del celta?
    Thank you
    Nicola

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