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Lezioni online di spagnolo con insegnanti madrelingua e podcast con conduttori spagnoli per imparare velocemente la lingua di Lindita Brahaj e Gilda Notarbartolo L’apprendimento linguistico attraverso l’ascolto della radio è un metodo…


Perché studiare l’inglese e lo spagnolo adesso di Gilda Notarbartolo, Manager a La Dante in Cambridge   E` da qualche anno che è iniziata la mia esperienza all' estero, in Inghilterra per l'esattezza. Nel 2013, trascorsi circa un…


Il Centro Culturale Europeo inglese è ora parte della Federazione Spagnola delle Associazioni delle Scuole di Spagnolo per Stranieri A La Dante in Cambridge è ora di nuove celebrazioni. La missione del nostro centro è quella di promuovere…

L’influenza italiana sulla cultura scozzese

di Reece Thompson - Traduzione di Erika Marian  Negli ultimi anni la Scozia si è contraddistinta per essere uno dei Paesi del Regno Unito con la mentalità più aperta. In particolare, il boom turistico nel Paese, a partire dagli anni Duemila,…


L’importante riconoscimento è stato assegnato  alla Direttrice e Fondatrice de La Dante in Cambridge per il servizio reso alla comunità italiana all'estero negli ultimi 28 anni   Il  Presidente della Repubblica ha conferito…


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Why study a new language now is a good idea   My experience abroad began a few years ago. From Naples (Italy) I moved to the Uk.  In 2013, I spent about a year in London and after, many years in Cambridge. Despite the difficulties…

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Inspiring background story of the European Cultural Centre, La Dante in Cambridge: A creative language learning hub

By Giulia Portuese

Background of La Dante

It all started with the passion and dissemination of promoting my language and culture. I am Italian of Sicilian origins and with two sons Lorenzo and Luca born in Cambridge, my goal was to let them feel the richness of my Italian culture by giving them the gift of being bilingual. It wasn’t easy at all as in those days when they were just 5 and 2 years old (1997) there weren’t any good Italian schools in Cambridge. Just one with crowded classes of all levels with more than 30 children and one teacher paid by the government. There was a clear need for helping the Italian community and those families whose children were bilingual like mine.

After over 10 years spent at Cambridge University Press, the need for a cultural centre more than a school started to form in my mind and a strong need to make a difference in disseminating a great Italian culture and language in a country that has always had a fascination with Italian language

Think of Shakespeare, Lord Byron, Lady Morgan, Percy Shelley, John Keats, George Eliot, John Ruskin, E.M. Forster, D.H. Lawrence and W.B. Yeats to think of just a few. Think of the fascination of the Montalbano TV series that most people who study Italian know about.

The Eurovision context won by Maneskin is one of the newest groups that bring Italian at a European level.

I left CUP and with a project approved by the Dante Aligheri Society in Rome, I started La Dante in Cambridge, in September 2008 with just 6 students learning Italian. It was such fun and we joined forces with the then Director of the Alliance Française Francine Rouanet-Democrate in a dream that went beyond the dissemination of Italian (in my case) and French (in her case) but in building up and creating a European Cultural Centre based in Cambridge.

Well, I am very proud to say that, although we changed paths along the way and the AF passed on to other hands, I was able to create such a European Cultural Centre, La Dante in Cambridge which now offers language and culture in three languages: Italian, Spanish and English.

We got about 400 students per year, a nice achievement, and the knowledge that we help not just the community of Italian and Spanish but whoever is interested in these cultures. Our students are from age 5 to 90.

Yes that is right 90: we had a student who was 90 MaryAnn and came with her stick, borrowed books in Italian, attended her classes with our native speakers. That was a wonderful moment. She stayed with us for two years.

We help students who wish to learn for fun, for their exams (including my sons who did their GCSE and A-levels in Italian), business people improving their language proficiency and University entry exams. Some need languages just for travel.

This year in 2021, we were part of
East Anglia’s high-growth business programme

at Future50 for 2021.

With this interview, Kieran Miles, Programme Director at Future50

Highlights the journey of La Dante from an Italian Cultural Centre In 2010 to a European Cultural Centre with more than 400 students. The difficulties through the Covid-19 pandemic, the resilience of a great team and the transformation to carry on making an impact in language learning. He also mentioned the prestigious honorary award OSI given by Sergio Mattarella, Itaian president of Italy for the dissemination of Italian language and culture in the UK since 2010.

Since 2011, I also started the Radio Dante programmes with original podcasts, also on social media FB, spotify, buzzsprout and mixcloud. We have had prestigious collaborations with the Fitzwilliam Museum for Italian Art series, the Department of Italian and Spanish at Cambridge University as well as journalists, interns that collaborated in disseminating programmes in Spanish, Italian and English over the years. Lately we have two themes which are being developed:

Radio Dante Viaggi for those who travel to Italy

Radio Dante Racconta for children stories in Italian

the same for Spanish

Radio Dante Viajes

Radio Dante Cuentos

Forthcoming there is our Ryze APP The Pocket Learning APP, for learning Italian and Spanish to begin with, later we will add English, with the following functions

  • text
  • videos
  • podcasts
  • games
  • exercises
  • articles

which aim at attracting a younger audience for language learning.

This will reinforce our Online school Platform which started in March 2020 due to the pandemic. We had to renew and with hard work, determination, after over 10 years of being a face-to-face school, we transformed and enriched what we offered to our students by switching online for adult courses. This was a difficult time for us at La Dante, huge transformation, but with the dedication and understanding of my team, teachers and most importantly our wonderful students, we were able to do just that, and I am pleased to say that the 400 students stayed with us, some were new and mostly were those that started their language journey along the way.

In 2021, I was also blessed with an OSI Honorary title for the Order of the Star of Italy from the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella for the work done disseminating Italian language and culture in the UK.

In an interview with ‘Cambridge News’ our Director tells her story

‘Dr Giulia Portuese set up La Dante back in 2010 as a way for Italians looking for work to learn English. After initially welcoming just six children and adults they quickly expanded to also teaching English and Spanish to hundreds at the school.’

European Cultural Centre La Dante in Cambridge

Giulia Portuese

Read the whole interview here

Bienestar y Español

Building up bridges in Spain and South America

Online business English at La Dante in Cambridge

It’s with great joy that so many new collaborations are being built at La Dante to promote Spanish language and culture. Thanks to our new innovative Online School Platform, our students make friends with each other thanks to a FB type of interface. This platform is cloud based and will reach remote areas where people are given new opportunities to learn the three languages and cultures that we promote: Italian, Spanish and English.

New horizons, new cultural bridges, new ‘sister schools’ are being built

We teamed up with MBestcare, a tour operator specialized in sustainable experiences. They are focused on the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of their clients. Their mission is to ‘help and care with dedication’ to all those who want to enjoy a refreshing and revitalizing holiday in Tenerife.

Their Body & Mind experience’s programme focuses on practising physical exercise, enjoying daily specialized activities as Yoga, Chi Kung or Mindfulness. Also, the students will enjoy a Sound Bath, a Forest Bath, meditation in nature session and the Oriental Therapy they like, ALL in one: learning Spanish in the wonderful Tenerife and well-being in one go.

I also recently had the pleasure to talk to Marcos Villa at one of our ‘Sisters’ schools in Spain’ in Santander, north of Spain, easily reached by boat via Plymouth or Bournemouth or via plane. It’s situated in the Sardinero area and just 5 minutes away from the sea. If you were thinking of escaping to Spain for an interesting holiday, practising your Spanish, Santander offers great historical sites as well as the sea, trips and a mix of Europeans students who will be delighted to mingle and chat in Spanish with you.

Erika Garimanno at the Dante Alighieri in Mar de Plata in Argentina is a new proactive collaboration thanks to their contribution to our Radio Dante Viajes with programmes in South American Spanish narrating life in Argentina, music, traditions and the cultural activities they are involved in. They are also part of the Dante Alighieri Society and mainly promote Italian culture and language there. Their podcasts will give a special contribution to those who wish to listen and learn the South American accent.

And if you haven’t read about it yet, La Dante in Cambridge just awarded a Quality Spanish School certificate by the prestigious association of over 170 Spanish schools worldwide, all with one mission: to promote Spanish language and culture to everyone and everywhere, helping youngsters and adults in learning Spanish for study and work reasons, to promote a system of collaborative schools, sharing ideas and build up sisters’ schools.

Always following the theme of Radio Dante Viajes, we continue to collaborate with Radio Mèxico Internacional, following their news feeds and radio programmes in South American Spanish directly through their web links. Rita Abreu, journalist and European Coordinator runs enriching and informative programmes about Mexico, music and art, films and history in Spanish.

Radio Dante Viajes is developing its themes and podcasts in Spanish with insights from life in Tenerife as well as the beautiful, historical Santander, the exotic Mar de Plata in Argentina.

Should you wish to collaborate with podcasts and news in Spanish: please contact us

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La Dante selected as East Anglia’s high-growth business

La Dante in Cambridge has been selected as East Anglia’s High-Growth Business Programme at Future 50 for 2021. You can watch the interview by Kieran Miles, Programme Director at Future50 with the Founder and Director of our school, Giulia Portuese, here.