Our school employs only highly qualified native teachers, all with a University degree and vast experience in teaching. Group sizes are small (min. 4 max 12 students) and the teaching approach is student-centred. Modern 'communicative' teaching techniques are used, with students learning the language through using it, and not just 'studying' it passively
Our teaching method is based on communication: from the first day on, at all levels, only Italian will be spoken. Students are actively requested to exercise the four fundamental functions of the language: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Naturally this method includes the study of the rules of syntax and grammar, which are essential to language learning, but which, alone, are not sufficient for gaining fluency. But learning Italian does not consist, for us, in just teaching grammar and vocabulary. We want to allow our students to gain insight into the Italian way of living and thinking, therefore we organize cooking classes, shopping tours through street markets, visits to traditional handicraftsmen, where you will get in touch with the day-by-day use of the language, full of idiomatic expressions, “modi di dire” and peculiar vocabulary.
The School follows the Common Europe Framework of Reference for Languages, a guideline internationally used to assess achievements of learners of foreign languages across Europe. The six reference levels of CEFR are the method used by the school in programming courses, teaching the language and grading the proficiency.
The University of Siena has followed the recommendation of the CEFR and set up a system of validation of language competences named CILS (Certificato di Italiano come Lingua Straniera) of which we adopted standards and methods also preparing our students to take the examination, either in Pistoia or in their native country.
Our school offers courses on 4 ability levels, following the Assessment Grid of the CILS of University of Siena, while for highly advanced students we can arrange private tutorials at C2 level.
If you want a course that suits your particular professional and personal needs, as well as your own time schedule, we suggest you ask for our tailor-made private tutorial programme.
Here the basic information about the courses:
Elementary Course (A1)
Students learn the basic elements to be used in a day-by-day contest: introduce oneself, go shopping, ask for information, order food in a restaurant.
Pre-intermediate Course (A2)
Students improve their knowledge of the language and learn to speak in simple terms about different topics and tell their experiences
Intermediate Course (B1)
Students work on vocabulary and form of the sentence in order to acquire more refined expression skills. Grammar structures are more complex and students are guided to face difficult communicative situations
Advanced Course (B2-C1)
Deepens and improve the knowledge of the language giving the students the tools for easy communication on different topics. During the lessons teachers will always work on
- Oral communication skills (speak, listen, talk)
- Written text comprehension (read)
- Knowledge of grammar structures
- Vocabulary improvement
Our school focuses on oral communication in “real” situations. Therefore we adopt an integrated method which uses all different techniques and tools of modern didactical theories which allow a personalized approach to learning Italian as a foreign language