“The way we acquire language is amazingly simple: we acquire language when we understand messages, when people speak to us in another language and we understand what they say, or we read something in another language and we understand the message. Language acquisition will take place. (Stephen Krashen on Language Acquisition)
Putting Mr. Krashen’s words differently, forget the alphabet in your first class, you will not learn it (and believe us, you don’t want to learn it). You will never hear us say “Ok, class, repeat after me…”, there is no need to get bored by memorizing grammar and vocabulary in the class.
You will find yourself engaged from the very first stages of your learning path in real-life situations in which you have to deal with the everyday spoken language. It might be frustrating at the beginning, but when you start acquiring comprehensible input of the foreign language, you will soon find yourself producing comprehensible output as well.
We know your objection: How can I start speaking correctly in one language that I don’t know from the very beginning, and how can I successfully overcome the feeling of anxiety and shame that is attached to failure?
Before we answer to that, let’s see what Mr. Krashen has to say on that with his theory on the affective filter:
“…The lower the anxiety, the better the language acquisition. In fact my hypothesis is: for language acquisition to really succeed, anxiety should be zero. Have you ever been in a situation, speaking a language you may not speak very well, when the conversation gets so interesting you temporarily forget that you’re using another language? If this is happening to you, that’s when you’re acquiring, when your focus is completely on the message the other person is saying, and your anxiety is temporarily gone.” (Stephen Krashen on Language Acquisition)
That’s what we’re here for, to lower your anxiety. This is our main role, to be tutoring you throughout your learning process. We will be motivating you, guiding you, facilitating the various learning activities that’ll take place in the class. Don’t expect us to stand on a podium and lecture you on what is right and what is wrong. Don’t expect us to know everything. We’re not going to judge you if you make a mistake. Making mistakes is unavoidable and it is part of the learning process. Teachers also make mistakes.
Having this in mind, we would like to spend some words about our testing philosophy. If you check our website, you know that each level (A1, A2, B1, B2) is divided into 3 sublevel of 30 hours each. There will be one and only one test at the end of the 90 hours. And the test will be taken directly from the pool of the past CILS exams, the official test recognized by the Italian Ministry of Education, which is designed by taking into account the directives of the European Common Framework for Languages. An example? If you complete A1 with us and then pass the exam at the end of the 90 hours, you will be certain that your level in Italian is, effectively, A1, in all the basic abilities: reading, listening, speaking, writing. There’s more to it. That means that you’re able to sit the real exam and get the real certificate, whether it is to enrich your CV, to go to Italy with something solid in your hands before your Erasmus experience or because you need to prove your language level before you start a Master’s Degree program in Italy.
Most importantly, don’t take the test as a threat to your self-esteem, take it as a great opportunity to evaluate the effective level of your foreign language, and to motivate yourself in the pursuit of self-improvement.
Usually all the Italian books for foreigners are tailored for those speakers who come from a common background with Italian (the so-called Romance or Latin languages: Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Romanian) and only recently books have been designed to meet the needs of English and Chinese speakers. Our knowledge of Turkey and the Turkish language speakers inspired us to design a specific curriculum for our students, which does not necessarily follow any textbook in particular.
We constantly make use of appropriate audiovisual content and mostly original documents (not class-orientated artificial material), like newspapers articles, ads, TV shows, short movies etc. We personally select the material and make them available for didactics purpose.
We have all certified Italian teachers with many years of experience teaching Italian to foreigners, and particularly to Turkish native speakers.