BLOG ENGLISH

Latest news at La Dante in Cambridge

Consult our blog to get latest news!

CLIL: Interviewing La Dante's teacher trainers

, ,
Mary Spratt and Helen Baker have run our two weeks’ CLIL course for a group of secondary teachers from Zaragoza, who taught a variety of disciplines from PE to Music and Art. We’ve interviewed them after the end of the course.

CLIL: practical tips for teachers

, ,
Is there a recipe for CLIL? Much has been written on what CLIL is and why to do it but there is very little practical guidance on how to plan and teach CLIL lessons.

The mayor George Pippas unveiled a commemoration plaque for the 10th anniversary of La Dante in Cambridge

, ,
The event marked the significant contribution the European Cultural Centre La Dante in Cambridge has had in the community promoting and disseminating language learning and culture

La Dante in Cambridge celebrates its 10th anniversary on February 24th and on April 24th

, ,
The European Cultural Centre La Dante in Cambridge, a not-for-profit cultural association recognised by Dante Alighieri Society in Rome (Italy), is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

The benefits of learning English and tennis

When learning becomes a great language experience deepening yourself in tennis, friendship and enjoyment of the language           There is something special about having a group of talented…

English for children: learning through games

Learning English for children aged 5-11 years old, their approach to learning through games When looking for full immersion for kids in Cambridge, look no further as this year with our English teacher Sima Shimi we had a programme that…

More aticles below

Discover Radio Dante!

, ,

RADIO DANTE HISTORY

Radio  Dante started to be broadcast on  3rd  March  2012,  founded by  Director  Dr. Giulia Portuese-Williams of the European Cultural Centre La Dante in Cambridge. The main objective of La Dante is the dissemination of European languages and cultures, in particular Italian, Spanish and English.

In 8 years, we have produced more than 100 radio programmes, trained 60 interns in radio broadcasting and marketing, built collaborations with  Colleges and Universities all over Europe and with La Dante Alighieri Society’s 500 offices around the world.

TRILINGUAL PODCASTS

Radio Dante broadcasts every two weeks with half an hour in English and half an hour in Spanish or Italian on Cambridge 105 radio. We also publish our podcasts on Radio Dante’s website, on La Dante in Cambridge’s website, on Spotify , on our Facebook account and on other social media.

THEMES

We cover cultural themes on our radio programmes:

MUSIC

We broadcast from classical to pop music. Moreover, we interview professional musicians who speak about their music, their artistic journey.

HISTORY

Knowing our roots allows us to discover the historical links that bind us to other countries. Our team is made up of people of different nationalities, which enriches the historical topics our journalists cover.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

We also offer our listeners advice on language learning and other topics to enrich their lives and develop their skills.

TRADITIONS

To know the traditions of a community is to understand the way in which they relate among family, friends and the environment. Thanks to the multiculturalism of our team, we can tell our listeners all about the traditions of each region from different perspectives.


Pictures of our team at the broadcast studio

PARTNERSHIPS

We have been working for the past 8 years with the Department of Italian and the Department of Spanish at Cambridge University where academics often come and participate to interviews (this has happened prior to the pandemic).

Over 60 University Students chose us for a successful professional internships over the years, knowing the work experience at La Dante is valuable and well regarded all over the world. We have partnerships with the Universities of Valencia, Madrid, Zaragoza, Seville in Spain as well as the Universities of Venice, Bologna, Florence, Rome and Siena in Italy.

RECOGNITIONS

We are recognized by the British Government and by La Dante Alighieri Society, which is a a Cultural non-for-profit organization with 500 offices around the world.

7 Reasons to Learn a New Language

, ,

WHY STUDY ANOTHER LANGUAGE?
AND WHY STUDY ITALIAN OR SPANISH?

1. Connect!We can improve the way we speak

One of the most rewarding aspects of the human experience is our ability to connect with others.  Being able to communicate with someone in his or her language is an incredible gift. Bilinguals have the unique opportunity to communicate with a wider range of people in their personal and professional lives.

Connect with the world

2. Advance Your Career

Language skills can be a significant competitive advantage that sets you apart from your monolingual peers. Learning a second language also opens additional doors to opportunities for studying or working abroad.

3. Feed Your Brain 

The many cognitive benefits of learning languages are undeniable. People who speak more than one language have improved memory, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, enhanced concentration, ability to multitask, and better listening skills. They switch between competing tasks and monitor changes in their environment more easily than monolinguals, as well as display signs of greater creativity and flexibility. If that weren’t enough, as we age, being bilingual or multilingual also helps to stave off mental aging and cognitive decline.

Madrid Gran Via

4. Deepen Your Connection to Other Cultures

Language is the most direct connection to other cultures. Being able to communicate in another language exposes us to and fosters an appreciation for the traditions, religions, arts, and history of the people associated with that language.

Firenze

5. See the World

Traveling as a speaker of the local language can revolutionize a trip abroad. While monolingual travelers are capable of visiting the same places, travelers who know more than one language are more easily able to navigate outside the tourist bubble and to connect and interact with the place and its people in a way that is often inaccessible to those without the language.

6. Boost Your Confidence

Any language learner can attest to making his or her share of mistakes while discovering a new language—often in front of an audience. It’s a necessary part of the learning process! Learning a language means putting yourself out there and moving out of your comfort zone. The upside is the amazing sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when conversing with someone in their native language.

7. Gain Perspective

As we explore a new language and culture, we naturally draw comparisons to what is most familiar. Learning about another culture sheds light on aspects of our own culture—both positive and negative—we may not have previously considered. You may find a greater appreciation for what you have, or you may decide to shake things up!

Aprendizajes y celebraciones en una cuarentena

Entrevista a Claudia

España ha sido uno de los países más afectados por el Coronavirus a nivel mundial. De marzo a junio, la totalidad del país se vio sumido en una estricta cuarentena de 3 meses y 15 días, lo que constituyó un hito sin precedentes para toda la población.

Se han visto múltiples noticias a nivel internacional, sin embargo, ¿cómo fue vivir la experiencia realmente? Claudia, una adolescente de 17 años, nos responde a cómo fue vivida la cuarentena desde su pueblo en el Alto Palancia, Altura.

Altura es un pueblo del interior de España de aproximadamente 3500 habitantes, con costumbres y festividades muy arraigadas en las que participa activamente toda la población autóctona y la de los municipios vecinos. Esto ha creado, a lo largo de los años, un fuerte sentimiento de comunidad que también comparte Claudia, ya que es alturana y ha vivido toda su vida en este entorno: “Nos apoyamos mucho los unos a los otros y la pandemia me ayudó a saber cuáles eran las personas que verdaderamente me importaban”, afirma la entrevistada.

No obstante, en un inicio, se le vino el mundo encima al enterarse de que tendrían que estar confinados: “Soy consciente de que no volveré a tener esta edad y pensé que este sería un año perdido. Sin embargo, conforme fueron pasando los meses, a pesar de que tuve muchos momentos de crisis, aprendí muchas cosas. La primera fue una nueva forma de vivir la música”.

  1. Una nueva forma de vivir la música

“Tan siquiera sabía que había altavoces distribuidos por todo el pueblo, pero no hubo un día en el que no se escuchara música. Durante 30 o 40 minutos, a las 6 de la tarde, se escuchaba tanto Flying Free, Un beso y una flor o canciones de La Bella y la Bestia.

Claudia nos cuenta la importancia de la música durante la cuarentena, ya que sirvió para unir y animar a la gente a pesar de la distancia. Asimismo, nuestra entrevistada forma parte de la banda musical de Altura, a través de la cual los miembros se animaron los unos a los otros enviándose vídeos para seguir compartiendo su pasión por la música ante la imposibilidad de reunión.

“Tampoco se pudieron celebrar las fiestas como siempre, así que inventamos nuevas formas de vivirlas a través de la música. Con motivo de San José, todos los músicos de la Comunidad Valenciana salimos a los balcones a tocar “Amparito Roca” y “Paquito el Chocolatero”. Había un directo en Internet para poder seguirlo. Fue muy emocionante sentir cómo nuestra esencia de celebración, fiesta y tradición no podía perderse”.

  1. Carnavales improvisados

La entrevistada afirma que uno de los mejores recuerdos del confinamiento fueron los carnavales online que acabaron surgiendo de forma espontánea entre los jóvenes del Alto Palancia: “Inicialmente, usábamos Houseparty para estar en contacto con nuestros amigos, y como las llamadas eran abiertas, acababan entrando otras personas del Alto Palancia para animarnos y darnos fuerzas los unos a los otros. No sabemos cómo ocurrió, pero esto llevó a una especie de carnaval online diario, donde la gente entraba disfrazada a las conversaciones y el resto tenía que adivinar quiénes eran. Es una de esas cosas especiales que jamás me habría esperado que ocurriese. Acabamos todos disfrazados, disfraces en ocasiones verdaderamente originales y divertidos, riéndonos y fortaleciendo vínculos con personas con las que tal vez no teníamos tanta relación”.

  1. Tradiciones que se suman

La tradición más importante en Altura es la del Berro, celebrado el 25 de marzo. Esta debía de haberse celebrado unos días después de que empezase la cuarentena en España, pero los alturanos, decidieron que no se quedarían sin celebrar una de sus fiestas más importantes: “Ya que no teníamos muchas formas de poder expresar que estábamos celebrando el nacimiento del Berro, decidimos salir con cacerolas a nuestras ventanas para crear una mascletá antes de que Zarzoso tirara la oficial. Las camareras de la fiesta tiraron fuegos artificiales y la banda salía a sus balcones a tocar los pasodobles tradicionales. ¡Teníamos que celebrar nuestra fiesta, hombre!”.

  1. Un verano diferente

Con la llegada del verano llegó también una “nueva normalidad” al territorio español, y ante la imposibilidad de hacer las mismas cosas que otros años, Claudia aprendió a vivir el verano de una forma distinta: “Estuvimos mucho más en contacto con la naturaleza. No podíamos salir de fiesta, pero descubrimos que había tantos sitios a los que ir: miradores, montañas, playas, calas… En definitiva, ha sido un verano increíble”.

  1. Selectividad y el futuro

Claudia actualmente estudia el último año de bachiller, por lo que confiesa estar inquieta ante la posibilidad de que esta situación pueda afectar a su futuro en la universidad: “Estamos todos un poco perdidos y tampoco los profesores saben qué decirnos”.

Por otro lado, la entrevistada espera no tener que volver a una situación de confinamiento, aunque sí considera que la pandemia ha tenido su parte positiva: “Tanto para lo bueno como para lo malo, voy recordar por siempre este año y todas las cosas que he aprendido. Es extraño, pero cuanto más inestable es tu entorno, más fuertes se hacen los vínculos con las personas que te quieren y a las que quieres. Ahora ya sé que aunque cosas negativas e incontrolables ocurran, tengo no solo a mi familia y amigos, sino a toda una comunidad que se hace fuerte ante las adversidades”.

In tutto il mondo si avviano le celebrazioni per i 700 anni dalla morte di Dante Alighieri

Tra pochi mesi entreremo nell’anno in cui ricorrono i settecento anni dalla morte di Dante Alighieri, avvenuta nel 1321. Agli inizi di settembre si sono aperte le celebrazioni nazionali di questo importante Settecentesimo anniversario, alla presenza del presidente della Repubblica, Sergio Mattarella, a Ravenna, luogo in cui morì il Sommo Poeta (il servizio del Tgr Toscana). Per l’occasione è stata restaurata la tomba e  la serata si è conclusa con il canto XXXIII del Paradiso, l’ultimo della Divina Commedia, recitato dall’attore Elio Germano. Il ricco calendario di iniziative dedicate al padre della lingua italiana riguarderà non solo Ravenna e la regione Emilia Romagna, ma l’intero Paese. Fino a settembre 2021, infatti, saranno coinvolti circa 70 comuni e molti luoghi legati a Dante, come il castello di Gradara, la rocca che secondo la leggenda ha fatto da sfondo al tragico amore di Paolo e Francesca di cui e` raccontato nella Divina Commedia.

“Commemorare Dante”, ha detto Alessandro Masi, segretario generale della Società Dante Alighieri, ”significa rendere omaggio al padre della nostra lingua e ad un caposaldo della letteratura europea e mondiale. Significa anche celebrare il simbolo che racconta al mondo l’Italia, il suo umanesimo e la sua identità fatta di bellezza e accoglienza”.

Chi era Dante Alighieri sommo poeta

Nato a Firenze nel 1265, Dante (battezzato Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri)  è considerato il padre della lingua italiana e uno dei simboli più rappresentativi della nostra cultura in tutto il mondo. La sua “Comedìa”, divenuta famosa come Divina Commedia, da secoli è considerata la più grande opera scritta in lingua italiana e uno dei capolavori della letteratura mondiale. Descrive un viaggio nell’aldilà, toccando con mano i drammi e le sofferenze dei dannati, le pene a cui sono sottoposti (a seconda dei peccati di cui si sono macchiati) e le glorie cui hanno diritto. Un viaggio nella storia e nell’uomo, tra emozioni, speranze e sentimenti eterni.

A ravvivare ogni anno la memoria del poeta, c’è, dallo scorso,  anno una giornata nazionale dedicata a lui, il Dantedì, nato su proposta del Ministero per i Beni e le attività culturali e per il Turismo, che si celebrera`ogni 25 marzo.

Anche lo scorso anno quindi, ci sono state celebrazioni in tutta Italia, quando tutti furono simbolicamente chiamati a leggere alcuni versi della Commedia di Dante Alighieri.

I segreti per imparare quattro lingue e le nostre lezioni di spagnolo

di Giulia Portuese, Direttrice de La Dante in Cambridge

Bisogna sfatare il mito che spinge molti a pensare di “non avere più l’eta` per imparare una lingua” o che sia “meglio studiare le lingue da bambini”. Oggigiorno con le metodologie basate sull’approccio comunicativo e con lezioni dal vivo, in persona o online,  e`davvero facile acquisire una seconda o terza, o, perche` no, quarta, lingua. Non ci sono limiti d’età. Durante i nostri corsi di italiano alla Dante di Cambridge ho conosciuto una studentessa inglese di 90 anni, Ann, che amava leggere libri in italiano per hobby. Come Presidente del mio Comitato, per me e’ stata una rivelazione, e senz’altro motivo di orgoglio, vedere la gioia di una signora inglese di una tale eta` nel poter leggere testi in una seconda lingua o parlare al telefono  con gli amici italiani. In questo momento, con l’isolamento che abbiamo avuto e le restrizioni che stiamo vivendo in Italia e in Europa, abbiamo più tempo da dedicare ai nostri interessi e più opportunità di dedicare tempo ad aggiornare le nostre abilità. Molti italiani scelgono di studiare  lo spagnolo. E` facile seguire lezioni online con insegnanti di madrelingua e qualche compagno di classe, semplicemente dalla propria stanza o in giardino o con il proprio portatile al bar.  Lo spagnolo suona molto simile all’italiano per la sua origine latina, pur conservando le peculiarità della sua grammatica.  Noi tutti a La Dante, grazie alla parte del nostro team spagnola (tra insegnanti e assistenti di marketing) ci divertiamo a studiare questa lingua e ad imparare molte curiosità su questa cultura e sullo spirito di socializzazione di questo popolo mediterraneo che sentiamo così vicino a noi e che ha così tanta storia parallela a quella italiana. Sapete quanti bar ha la Spagna per abitanti? In Spagna c’è un bar ogni centosettantacinque abitanti. E questo non sorprende se pensiamo al clima mite di questo incantevole Paese e al modo di socializzare degli spagnoli fuori casa con amici e famiglia. E sapete qual e l’origine delle Tapas? Tapas significa coperchio. La leggenda vuole che il Re Alfonso X creò un decreto per cui era obbligatorio servire una ‘tapa’ con le bibite alcoliche così da evitare che i clienti si ubriacassero velocemente. L’ origine di questo termine (coperchio)  e’ quindi la conseguenza di come era servito: sopra la bibita.” Di solito una fetta di prosciutto o formaggio.

Quanto tempo ci vuole per imparare una lingua come lo spagnolo?Per raggiungere un livello di comunicazione semplice e basico da sfruttare in vacanza, ad esempio per essere in grado di  comunicare nei ristoranti e chiedere come stai agli amici in Spagna,  bastano tre mesi. E’ interessante pensare che l’apprendimento all’inizio è stimolato dall’ascolto regolare della lingua, bastano dai 10 minuti ad un’ora al giorno. Vi consiglio pochi minuti al giorno da dedicare all’ascolto delle notizie su Slow news in Spanish o giocare con la lingua utilizzando Duolinguo. Queste applicazioni gratuite facili da installare sul cellulare aiutano molto ad imparare divertendosi allo stesso tempo.

Se invece l’obiettivo è di comunicare per lavoro, per studio, o addentrarsi nella cultura, allora ci vogliono  più dedizione e passione e riuscire ad arrivare a 480 ore per acquisire un ottimo livello linguistico. Bastano 3 ore al giorno per appena 6 mesi o se si studia 1 ora al giorno per 160 giorni. Non è  tanto se si pensa che ce ne vogliono 2200 per imparare lingue più complesse come il cinese o il giapponese.

La ricerca mostra che imparare una lingua fa bene allo stimolo della memoria e riduce la possibilità di avere l’alzheimer. Krashen, linguista americano dice che per ridurre la senilità: basta leggere, bere caffe’ e imparare una lingua. 

Io ho già 60 anni e sto imparando la mia quarta lingua, lo spagnolo, appunto, a La Dante in Cambridge con insegnanti madrelingua e altri cinque studenti che come me hanno la passione per la lingua e la cultura spagnole. Parlo già fluentemente l’italiano, inglese e francese e trovo facile e intuitivo sentire l’insegnante dal vivo, unirmi ai gruppi meet-up gratuiti per far pratica ma specialmente fare amicizia con altri spagnoli quando viaggio o durante i miei studi.

Ora con le ristrettezze dei viaggi, cerco anche di ascoltare Radio Nacional de España (Spain), che potrete trovare in streaming online, e soprattutto mi piace guardare alcune serie tv con i sottotitoli in spagnolo come La Casa de Papel su Netflix, in castigliano, o Narcos che per ascoltare lo spagnolo del Sud America. Il mio spagnolo in meno di un anno è  arrivato ad un ottimo livello.

Inoltre e`possibileascoltare notizie e programmi culturali in Spagnolo gratuitamente su siti e canali come la BBC https://www.bbc.com/mundo . Anche BBC KS1 e KS2 https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize offrono moltissimo e così Youtube (date un’occhiata a Un elefante va a la ciudad e altre storie del genere. ) . Tra le risorse disponibili in rete ci sono molti audiolibri su Audible.com o e`possibile ascoltare i programmi radio bilingue in spagnolo e inglese di Radio Dante (www.radiodante.org o www.ko-fi.com/radiodante ) Ci sono diversi podcast scaricabili, che consentono di ascoltare le puntate mentre si è in viaggio, o in coda al supermercato, o in giro in bici il fine settimana.  Una delle ultime novità di Radio Dante è proprio una nuova serie in spagnolo: Radio Dante Viajes racconti, tradizioni e musica in Spagnolo a cura delle nostre inviate Belen e Lidia, e Radio Dante Microcuentos per bambini: racconti via podcast ottimi per migliorare l’ascolto.

Se avete passione e voglia di scoprire, imparare ed esplorare usi e costumi, altre culture, vi invito a ad ascoltare queste trasmissioni.

In ogni caso date pure un’occhiata alla www.ladante-in-cambridge.org e parlatene con gli amici. Sono tutte dritte che favoriscono l’apprendimento veloce di una lingua. Fatemi sapere se posso darvi altri consigli, saro’ felice di avere i vostri commenti online o condividere con voi altre novita’ sull’apprendimento delle lingue.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

o Volete provare una lezione gratuita con un’amico o un’amica per vedere quanto e’ veloce imparare alla Dante? Mandateci pure un email a spanish@ladante-in-cambridge.org con il codice Spanish Free lesson/Il Confronto October 2020

Seguiteci su:

www.facebook.com/La.Dante.Cambridge/

www.instagram.com/ladanteincambridge

ARE YOU UP TO A GREAT ONLINE EXPERIENCE OR DID YOU THROW THE TOWEL IN TO LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE ONLINE?

How we enjoy and develop our language learning experience online

Here at La Dante in Cambridge, we are riding the big wave, having moved all of our language courses online for Italian, Spanish, and English.  Many of us are at home during the lockdown and really wish our time was well spent: consolidating or just learning something new. Our desire to travel will always be there, whether we do it this summer or in the autumn, wishing to visit friends in Italy and Spain, sipping that prosecco by the lakes or in the main square in Sevilla chatting to friends.

We have a great language learning experience at La Dante in Cambridge and our objective is to help people understand other cultures, help them succeed in their exams, help families whose children wish to talk to their grandparents in Italian or Spanish.

Many of our students have already asked when we will be back for our face to face lessons at la Dante, and the answer is, of course, people will always want to learn face to face to have a laugh and to have the eye contact with other students, share a cake during a class to celebrate someone’s birthday………it’s all about the culture and La Dante will open on September 1st. In the meantime, there are so many ways to enjoy and take advantage of this special time during lockdown: we can all learn how to use Skype or Zoom or Google Meet, our team has been helping some of our students who were not familiar with the platforms. There is also so much help on google search and our team of teachers has been great at facilitating the online classes.

We took the opportunity to ask our teachers 5 questions about the online learning experience at La Dante in Cambridge:

1)    Why do you think people should take this opportunity to learn a new language during  lockdown?

Ludovica – Italian teacher at La Dante in Cambridge

Ludovica Frezza, Italian teacher from Napoli: “Definitely, in this situation, it seems that time never passes, but by learning a new language you can spend one or two pleasant hours with your teacher and/or classmates. In this way, you change your routine by having fun, learning something new and meeting new people even if you are locked in the house.

Emilia Marra, Italian teacher from Catania:  Learning a new language is an excellent antidote against the sense of loneliness that we all have been experiencing in these strange months. Being part of a class that shares the same passion for languages not only allows you to interact with new people, external to your family group and circle of friends but also to learn a new tool through which to communicate.

Silvia De Paola, Italian teacher from Rome:  Sure, I agree with that. Learning online is great. It is an excellent resource for people who can comfortably connect from home and definitely take advantage of this situation. Furthermore, it is also an occasion for socialization which is crucial for everyone at this moment in which we are all asked to keep the safe distance from others to protect against the coronavirus disease.

Luisa Tammaro, Italian teacher from Naples: Life in lockdown is challenging, and people can get bored easily. Learning a new language in this difficult period means spending the huge free time to gain new skills and feel more productive. Students can easily join online classes from home and socialise with their classmates.

Tamara Benassi, Italian teacher from Bologna: Learning a language is ALWAYS a great way to keep your mind active, and add new skills while having some fun!

2) If someone finds that online is not ‘a real context’ to learn languages, what is your advice for these people?

Luisa – Italian teacher at La Dante in Cambridge

Ludovica: The context is virtual and not real, it’s true. But what makes it real is the relationship that is created with the other participants in the class. We can’t touch each other, but there is interaction. So if you feel like you are attending a non-real lesson, I would recommend focusing on what really happens during the lesson and not on the fact that you are online. There is no robot or pre-recorded video on the other side. The smiles, expressions, and voices…are real!    Luisa: For students, online lessons can be much closer to the ‘real context’ than it seems. Teachers work hard to make this happen. They use the same materials that they would use in a face-to-face class (i.e. books and exercises) and adapt them to the online class. Moreover, the advantage to learn a language online is the massive use of digital tools and sharing materials in real-time. Some interactive tools make the online lesson more usable and much closer to the real one. I strongly believe that people should not be so worried about the ‘context’ but should take into account this opportunity as a good chance to discover a new way to learn a language and make friends.

Daniel Miguel Pastor, Spanish teacher from Burgos: Thanks to new technologies and the work that teachers do to adapt, we make the experience of learning online very enriching. Online classes are a great and effective way to learn.     Emilia: ‘The online’ is itself a new language. Remote interaction is undoubtedly different from that in presence, but it is not a matter of comparing the two experiences in terms of more or less. The online is a big change compared to traditional teaching and offers many opportunities. As always, when the news knocks on the door, we are called to make a test, in order to understand the advantages of a new situation, and, why not, be pleasantly surprised by the opportunities it opens.          Silvia: With new digital tools, online teaching is very close to face-to-face teaching. Obviously, the mode of use changes but group interaction remains. Sharing multimedia contents can also be stimulating for the student accustomed to the ‘classic’ lesson since it represents a novelty.

3) Do you think there is an age in which people can learn a language?

Daniel Miguel – Spanish teacher at La Dante in Cambridge

Daniel: Of course not, any age is good to learn a new language. Many times some of us have that bad feeling for not having done something long ago, for lack of courage or for doubts. Likely, many people when they get older decide to sort it out and satisfy that urge. So, they successfully start a language course. Languages can be learned at any age, we just have to be motivated and eager, the teachers will also help us with that.

Luisa: I would like to use a quotation: ‘there is no age limit for learning until your passion towards curiosity ends’. I think you can learn a language at any age. Obviously, the learning mode changes from age to age.

Ludovica:  Everyone can learn a new language, but everyone has his own time. The important thing is not to be discouraged.

Tamara – Italian teacher at La Dante in Cambridge

Silvia: I think people can learn a language at any age. Taking a language course is not only learning an idiom but also discovering a world different from one’s own, a different culture. It is also a great occasion to meet new people.

Emilia: I believe that learning a new language is always within everyone’s reach.

4)   Tell me 5 things that make learning online fun with you: 

Ludovica: 1. Not only theory but also practice and discovery of Italian culture. 2. There is the interaction between classmates and between student and teacher 3. We watch videos and listen to music. 4. The teacher does not speak continuously, but also and above, all the students speak 5. In each lesson there is a new challenge: I don’t like boredom!

Emilia: 1. Extra material available every week on google classroom: interviews, newspaper articles, surveys; 2. Use of audio-visual resources; 3. Games and exercises in pairs thanks to the support of Zoom’s breakout rooms; 4. Immediacy in finding visual material shared with students through the use of Zoom chat or Skype; 5. Dynamic conversation.

Emilia – Italian teacher at La Dante in Cambridge

Luisa: 1. Many interactive games; 2. Sharing authentic material in real-time;  3. offering engaging interactive content; 4. Using songs and videos;  5. More structured lessons and more conversation.

Silvia: 1)  videos or songs during the class 2, sharing material in real-time 3, offering captivating interactive contents 4, lessons built with targeted exercises created ad hoc 5 very stimulating group exercises (for example talk shows on a topic)

Daniel: 1. I am a happy person who approaches the class in an entertaining way, always smiling (no one gets bored during my classes!) 2. I adapt each class to the students’ level and objectives. 3 I don’t always use the same methodology. 4. I like that students are entertained in class and learn as much as possible so that they always want to know more. 5. The way I work gives rise to many curiosities and aspects not only related to the language, but also to the culture of the Spanish-speaking countries

5) Would you recommend online learning at La Dante? if so, why?

Ludovica:  Yes, all teachers are prepared, reliable, patient, and positive. The classes are small, so you can’t feel neglected by the teacher. There isn’t only theory and you are totally immersed in the Italian or Spanish language.

Luisa: I would recommend online learning at la Dante because our teachers invest part of their time in online education training, and also because our team is constantly looking for new teaching content and new online tools.

Tamara: Yes, because it gives you the chance to learn a language and culture in a small group class with a native Italian speaker.

Emilia: The online tuition by La Dante guarantees the quality of the teaching of the frontal lesson, while integrating the most recent resources available on the internet, in terms of both platforms used (Zoom, Blinklearning, Google Classroom) and content available for the teaching of the Italian language L2.

Silvia – Italian teacher at La Dante in Cambridge

Silvia: Definitely, because our team is constantly looking for original content and new ways of doing the teaching, with particular attention to making the students feel at ease during the lessons, always using new ways to satisfy them.

Daniel: I recommend learning with La Dante because it is a very friendly and familiar school that knows how to treat its students and that not only offers languages but also brings different cultures to everyone in an interesting and entertaining way. In addition, online classes are well organized and it is always about improving and incorporating new technologies and improvements that facilitate learning for students.

Let us know what you think of these interviews and if there is anything you would like us to do differently within the virtual classrooms or by offering new opportunities online, click here to get in touch 

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash