In our school we use the communicative method, which aims at the continuous improvement of students’ communication skills. From the outset, we encourage spontaneous and creative use of the language and priority is given to meaning over form. The fundamental aspect is that communication keeps going. In our courses we strongly believe that making mistakes is a natural part of learning a language. Students, who do their best to communicate, have every right to make mistakes. According to our teaching approach, it is not good to correct continuously and it is essential never to correct students in the stage of production. Naturally, this does not mean that correcting an error is not important. However, we reserve separate class time for addressing this discreetly. The aim is to take note of those students´ mistakes that are possible to eliminate in the stage of the learning process, to help them to figure out for themselves the correct way to communicate. The correction never affects only the individual, but happens as a general analysis on the class level and must be beneficial to everyone.
For us, the class is the ideal environment for linguistic growth: from the beginning, we work on the cohesion of the students who make up the class and lead them towards cooperation. In the class one helps another, information is exchanged, we work in pairs or in groups, we talk. As part of an interactive and dynamic methodology, the use of real communicative situations, allowing students to re-use the language of everyday communication frequently, contributes to the learning process in a fun way. In addition, we perform purely teaching play activities, allowing the student to learn while enjoying themselves.
The communicative approach gives priority to listening as well. Direct contact with the language is essential. It is not just about listening to your teacher, but about practising the language and listening to others, about having personal contact with the language, about practising sounds, improvising and creating sentences, making mistakes and learning from them.
In short, the most effective way to learn is to be totally immersed in the language you want to learn. That is why we teach from the initial level only in Italian (while providing students with useful tools for communication and understanding).
Finally, although the communicative approach considers listening and speaking priority, our lessons are structured so that the student can also develop other language skills and slowly learns to read and write.
The courses are divided in accordance with the learning levels of the Council of Europe CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), and teaching takes place on the basis of a syllabus prepared specifically for our school to meet the needs of our students.
The CEFR is an international standard for describing language ability.
A1 (A1a, A1b, A1c): 90 hrs
A2 (A2a, A2b, A2c): 90 hrs.
B1 (B1a, B1b, B1c, B1d, B1e): 150 hrs.
B2 (B2a, B2b, B2c): 90 hrs.
C1 (C1a, C1b, C1c, C1d): 120 hrs.
According to the CEFR, level A1 is the elementary level of contact. At this level, the student is able to understand and use everyday expressions and simple sentences aimed at satisfying the needs of a concrete type. He can introduce himself and others and he can ask or answer questions about his personal environment. He is capable of interacting in a simple way, provided the other person speaks slowly and clearly.
In our courses it takes 90 hours and is subdivided into levels A1a, A1b, A1c.
According to the CEFR, level A2 is the elementary level of survival. In this level the student is able to understand and communicate simple information on everyday and common topics. He can describe in an elementary way details of his life or the environment around him; he can express immediate needs.
In our courses it takes 90 hours and is subdivided into levels A2a, A2b, A2c.
According to the CEFR, level B1 is the Intermediate Threshold level. At this level, the student is able to understand (in a clear and standard spoken language) and communicate aspects of familiar topics concerning school, work, leisure, etc. He knows how to express his opinion simply and consistently on familiar or inherent matters of his own interests. He can describe an experience or an event, briefly explain a project or an idea and talk in a concise way about expectations, dreams or goals.
In our courses it takes 150 hours and is subdivided into levels B1a, B1b, B1c, B1d, B1e.
According to the CEFR, level B2 is the Intermediate Progress level. In this level, the student is able to understand the main ideas of complex texts on both concrete and abstract topics, as well as specialist discussions related to his / her field of specialization. He can interact with fluency and spontaneity to allow normal interaction with native Italian speakers. He can express himself clearly and in detail on a wide range of topics and manages to explain his point of view on a topic by providing the pros and cons.
In our courses it takes 90 hours and is subdivided into levels B2a, B2b, B2c.
According to the CEFR, C1 level is the advanced level of Competence. At this level, the student is able to understand a wide range of complex and long texts and can recognize their implicit meaning. They express themselves naturally and smoothly. They use the language flexibly and effectively for social, professional and academic purposes. They can produce clear, well-constructed and articulated texts on complex topics, controlling the structures of speech and the mechanisms of cohesion of the language.
In our courses it takes 120 hours and is subdivided into the levels C1a, C1b, C1c, C1d.
For the insertion of new students into non-beginner classes, a placement test is required, which allows us to correctly assign them to the classes based on their level.