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7 essential questions before applying for an Italian course.

7I am aware of the fact that it is very difficult for students who are applying for an Italian Language course in Italy to choose the school they are looking for, since there are many institutes in our country. I know what you are thinking: “ok, now, they are trying to convince me their school is the best”. Well, I am not going to advise you on any schools, but I hope you will not mind me giving you some piece of advice. Particularly I would like to draw your attention on the importance of some questions you should ask before enrolling in a school.
• First question: When was the school founded? The answer to this question may tell you how experienced is the school staff.
• Second question: What is the maximum number of students per class? Please do not forget to ask this question. Classes should not exceed a maximum number of 8 students to maximize the learning.
• Third question: Where do most of the students come from? This will tell you whether there is a predominant nationality in the school. Some schools for example have mainly English speaking students, which is not good for a student who want to practice Italian.
• Fourth question: What is the teaching method? This a difficult question, because you may probably receive different answers and you are not likely to be an expert teaching methods. However, by reading the answers you may be capable to have an idea of how much each school cares about the teaching
• Fifth question: Do the school mostly work with agents? You find this question weird, don’t you? Well, this is not a strict rule, but schools mainly working with agents normally are more “interested” in the agents than in the students.
• Sixth question: Where is the school located? Yes, ask for the exact address and check out on a map (for all Italian city maps please go to www.informadove.it) where the school premises are. Just to make sure is located in the centre of the city or in a place which is easy to reach.
• Seventh question: Will the course be held at school? Yes, another weird question, but you might happen to register in a school, which is only selling the course and not organizing it in its premises, since classes will be held in another institute, which is paying a commission to the first school for selling its courses. Yes, I know, it may sound inadmissible, but we are in Italy, a country where the inadmissible is admitted or tolerated by the authorities.
Last, but not least, please do always request a written answer from the school. In Italy we use to say: fidarsi è bene non fidarsi è meglio (to trust is good, not to trust is better)…

3 comments to 7 essential questions before applying for an Italian course.

  • Quasi tutto vero.
    Contesto solo la risposta alla seconda domanda.
    Secondo me il numero perfetto per una classe “viva” è 12 studenti. Oltre questo numero, fino a 15, la situazione è ancora nella zona dell’ottimale, ma mettere 8 come numero massimo significa avere classi che si aggirano intorno ai 5, 6 studenti.
    Personalmente sono un fautore della classe, dove si impara meglio che nelle lezioni individuali. E una classe con 6 studenti è ok, ma non il massimo. Con 10-15 studenti lavoro al meglio e credo che anche l’apprendimento si svolga in un contesto più vitale in cui più idee si confrontano.
    Certo, l’insegnante deve essere preparato a gestire la situazione, ma qui davvero andiamo in un campo diverso.
    Un saluto e complimenti per il blog.
    Carlo

  • Lorenzo

    Sì, questo può essere vero in classi omogenee, dove tutti gli studenti hanno più o meno la stessa età, un grado di scolarizzazione e un bacground culturale simili, nonché una forte motivazione. Se in classe troviamo invece studenti “svantaggiati” (esempio: stanno imparando per la prima volta una lingua straniera, hanno un procedimento di apprendimento più lento, sono completamente a digiuno di conoscenze grammaticali o morfo-sintattiche, ecc.) risulterà molto difficile per un insegnante portare avanti la classe senza scontentare nessuno.

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