LA DANTE IN CAMBRIDGE IS FINALIST FOR TWO SME AWARDS – CAMBRIDGE INDEPENDENT

The winners of the awards ‘BUSINESS CHAMELEON’ and ‘LOCKDOWN LEADER’ will be announced on the on the 17th February 2022 at the Imperial Museum Duxford

‘The 2022 has started with some excitement at La Dante in Cambridge, European Cultural Centre after two years of transformation online, retraining, building new platforms and having a completely new approach to give our students a thorough language learning experience online, in all similar to the face to face classes’ – Giulia Portuese, Director and Founder of La Dante in Cambridge, states. The Cultural Centre and Language school run by Giulia Portuese is celebrating two nomination for the Cambridge Independent SME Cambridgeshire Business Awards 2021: the ‘Business chameleon’ and the ‘Lockdown leader’ . These awards celebrate SME businesses punching above their weight during Covid19 in the past two years: in particular, they recognise how the business became resilient and thrived during tough economic times and how the team and leadership had a key role in the transformation.

We have met Dr Portuese at St. John’s Innovation Centre where the company is located.

 

Question 1 *

Tell us briefly about you and your business

La Dante in Cambridge is a European Cultural Centre promoting Italian, Spanish and English languages and cultures with a mix of online, face to face classes and enthusiastic native qualified teachers. Our Radio Dante’s original programmes help develop their listening and comprehension skills. We are also developing our Ryze App: a pocket learning app which has hours of listening, texts, exercises people can use in their own time and place. Learning languages is now affordable for all with just $2 for half an hour of teachers’ tuition. The App is packed with FREE content: it’s fun, interactive and flexible.

 

Question 2 *

Tell us briefly about the digital transformation within your business in the past 2 years which evidence your current business successes.

The digital transformation of La Dante brought some real results in the past 2 years : a) The director and founder Dr Giulia Portuese was given a knighthood from the Italian President Mattarella in Dec 2021 for the Order of the Stars of Italy, b) La Dante in Cambridge is a finalist for the SME Awards for the category of Business Chamelion Jan 22, c) The director was nominated finalist as a Lockdown Leader for the SME Awards in Jan 22 d) we are increasing our international influence beyond Europe and since the move to Online Learning, we are attracting students from beyond Europe, from Japan and Mexico. Our international reach allows students to learn languages in an affordable way and from remote places, thanks to a new Plateo Online learning platform which has a social media platform included. People learn and make friends.

Our Radio Dante podcasts increased their listeners by 69% over the past two years (Buzzsprout, Youtube, Spotify). The Ryze App language pocket app has had its first trial and we received a really good feedback from your sample group of students.

 

Question 3 *

How your business differentiates from your competitors and has the leading edge

La Dante has three recognitions as Examination Board: a PLIDA Examination Centre for Italian (the only one in the UK), DELE Examination Centre for Spanish and Trinity College London Centre for English (registration n. 68910). We are the only Examination Centre in the UK to provide exams for Italian citizenship, recognised by the Dante Alighieri Society. The only office, among 400 Dante offices in the world, who have a regular cultural podcast programme via Radiodante.org which has interviews, music, traditions, cinema and cuisine in Italian and Spanish. It’s run by volunteers, teachers and young graduates who wish to build up their experience in journalism. La Dante is also a European Training Centre with a consolidated European Internship programme running since 2010: we train young graduates on digital marketing, google ads, google analytics, website and SEO, skills that are essential in any business. We are also a Teacher Training Centre since 2010: we offer a programme of teacher training for obtaining CEDILS, DITALS as well as CLIL exams for European teachers. We are expanding the programme to Spanish and Italian teachers using CLIL techniques for teaching history, art, maths in English to children and teenagers.

 

Question 4 *

Demonstrate with examples that this successful business performance is sustainable long term

Since 2010 La Dante has developed its business in language learning through live classes where native trained teachers had a communication technique using physical textbooks and being in a physical school until March 2020. Once Covid arrived, the leader started a digital transformation programme thanks to the Digital Grants from the UK government, £10,000 was invested in creating a new Plateo Online platform where students, teachers, marketing staff could be under one roof, where students could watch videos, have a social profile and communicate. A retraining programme started 3 weeks prior to the UK government closing all schools in the Uk in March 2020: teachers had to relearn the way they taught using digital resources, producing different material, learning to use Zoom and breakout rooms in Zoom, learn a more dynamic way of teaching. The marketing team and interns had to be retrained in using the platform, promote the school in a thorough different way via Google Ads, google analytics and SEO. This ensured that the business can embrace the most advanced digital technology and thrive in the next 10 years. All team, after some difficulties, embraced all our implemented changes. I feel proud.

 

Question 5 *

We are also interested in hearing

  • how businesses have adapted and changed to meet the challenges and opportunities of Covid-19 for consideration of a special award. Please advise
  • how you have invested and developed new products, services, techniques, skills or processes to meet the changing demands that Covid-19 brought to your business and
  • how you are maintaining or increasing your operations in established and new markets as a result.

La Dante showed a quick period of adaptability and change to meet the challenges and opportunities of Covid-19: we transformed the way we taught languages, making it fun from face to face to online for all, teachers, students and staff. We helped students who couldn’t go straight onto digital for their age or because they didn’t have the IT skills to change so quickly by providing FREE IT training for Zoom Education and Google Classrooms.  This allowed all to be safe in view of increasing infections since 2020 onwards.

–           To respond to the Covid challenges, La Dante invested £10,000 in a NEW digital Plateo Online teaching platform, we retrained our marketing and teachers to use different techniques (Zoom was embedded, Google Classrooms, Blink Learning), lots of new technical skills and processes had to be learned over a year of intense training with external providers.  Ryze App was developed with the University of Norwich, Cambridge and Studious.org

–           We are maintaining the market share within established markets like Italy and Spain but equally attracting new business from Japan and Mexico. Online tuition is here to stay and develop to reach even more countries with digital marketing.

 

Question 6*

Tell us some stories on how the team responded, make it personal

Well, at the beginning the team was reluctant to big changes, especially teachers who had managed to build up their teaching material and relationship with the students with face to face lessons. Things had to change, not only in order to survive but to thrive. The leadership used by the director was to persuade them to embrace change and learn new skills for life, renewing skills through training and innovation without the risk of losing work. We trained teachers, students who were not IT savy and invested in new online platforms. By the end of the two years: we gained new students and maintained ours.

We definitely welcomed change. Some teachers and some of tbe marketing team thrived during this period of change. We also had some personal satisfaction:

We welcomed two babies to the world: our teacher Luisa gave birth to Zoe early in the Spring, and Tamara gave birth to Tommaso  in December, Lucia and Emilia are expecting their first child in the next few weeks. All this brought immense joy to the team and  this year definitely started with enthusiasm and energy that we all share at La Dante in Cambridge.

 

To contact us: ladanteincambridge@gmail.com

0044 7887 606227 whatsapp

Please let us know if you wish to talk to the Marketing Manager Gilda Notarbartolo or the director Dr Giulia Portuese

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-zY0EbJFcU&list=PLfSuGNtVNgzzbLzxWmKWlmH5HtFvnFvhE&index=30

 

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

 

 

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’ Syllabus.es 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 FEDELE.org 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

redazione@radiodante.org

or at spanish@ladante-in-cambridge.org

 

 

www.ladante-in-cambridge.org

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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.

 here.  

Spanish and UK Trade, an Unlikely Partnership?

By Reece Thomson

In an increasingly globalised world being bi lingual in business is more important than ever. Being able to communicate sincerely with clients can be the make or break for closing a deal. Spanish is the fourth most widely spoken language globally making it a valuable tool in any entrepreneur’s arsenal. Within the context of Britain and Spain the nations share approximately 15 billion a year in communal trade from cars to medicine to Spanish cleaning products. Here at La Dante we can help any aspiring business person tap into this market through our wide range of Spanish learning courses starting from basics to advanced to help give you the edge in interpersonal business relations.

Perhaps one of the biggest exports of Spain is the appeal of a retirement in the sun, with approximately 285,000  British expats living in Spain in 2018. The desire for one of these lovely holiday homes in Spain is the end goal for many British. The impact of this retirement dream ingrained in the British psyche cannot be understated with it being a prominent concept on British television with shows like “Living in the Sun” and “A New Life in the Sun”.

The sun, such a foreign concept in Britain and arguably the driving factor behind this cultural phenomenon.  The wider impact of this movement is hard to measure as these Brits buy property in often secluded old towns and can in some cases bring a breath of life into what would otherwise be a dying community.

However the biggest and most important component of these two nations trading is tourism, with Spain being the fan favourite holiday destination for Brits. Since the 1970’s as holidaying became accessible to the everyday man Spain has enticed Brits to visit. Again this is down to our good friend the Spanish sun who we mentioned earlier. This combined with the culture of Spain from her tapas to her flamboyant celebrations make it a staple in British holidaying and looks likely to remain so. 

 It used to be a one-sided exchange but in recent years more and more Spaniards are choosing to visit the Uk. However it is not always in the traditional vehicle of a week’s holiday, Spaniards come to Britain in many different forms such as workers, students and the tourist. Increasingly in British cities you find Spanish run businesses and blooming microcosms of Spanish sprinkled around communities. Increasingly more Spanish students who come to study in the UK choose to stay after their degree is over and these are the seeds which will grow to form a stronger bond between both Britain and Spain.

This integration shows that although in economic terms the UK and Spain have an important, strong bond it goes much beyond the money as the exchange of people through tourism or otherwise shows both nations have cultural ties which will only increase over time despite the sword of Brexit attempting to sever this long lasting unofficial union.

Italian Influence on Scottish Culture

By Reece Thomson

Scotland in recent years has developed an identity as one of the more open minded areas of the UK, with the country booming in tourism since the 2000’s this has had a knock on effect for a more cosmopolitan country to begin to develop. If we trace the country’s history, though, one of the earliest and most successful examples of integration was the mass arrival of Italians in the 1890’s primarily on the West Coast. 

When immigrants arrive in a country or city more often than not they will stick together and tend to settle in once place, this was not the case for these eager Italians. Despite several challenges including lack of education and differing faith from most of the locals  twenty years after their original arrival the Italian influence had exploded across the entire country. This was in large part to the initiative of Italian entrepreneurs who had great success in forging businesses such as cafe’s , sweet shops and as everyone knows their undoubted influence on fish and chips becoming a staple. As well as this Italians managed to learn english very quickly and the Scottish slang to go along with it showing their overall adaptability and confidence. This quick mastery of the native language was just as important as their proficiency in food as it allowed the Italians to deepen their connection to Scottish culture. 

Even to this day the Italian impact on Scottish identity is huge. For instance one of the most associated icons with modern day Scotland is the deep fried mars bar.  Unfortunately it is arguably the pinnacle of Scottish cuisine. Without Italian muscle behind expansion and mainstreaming of chip shops in their early days the path of the Scottish pallet may have taken a completely different direction. Some of Scotland’s most loved snacks such as haggis Supper, red pudding , deep fried pizza and as previously mentioned deep fried Mars bar can all be derived from the chip shop or as Scots call it the “chippy/ chipper”. I get the feeling though that if you asked the average Italian to try a deep fried Mars bar or made any attempt to link it to their cuisine you would be in their bad books.

Even out with food the Italian influence in Scotland has produced some of the wee countries finest artists. Paolo Nutini is a direct example: his parents own a chip shop on the west coast of Scotland which traces the Nutini family back to those successful pioneers who arrived in Scotland in the 1890’s,specifically his father’s side originated from Barga in Tuscany. Lewis Capaldi is one of the most current artists globally and is another product of the Scottish Italian Union. The superstars Italian flare can be traced to Picinisco. A distant cousin of Lewis is the actor Peter Capaldi, he shares a similar path to Paolo and his parents owned an ice cream establishment in Glasgow. Famous for his role as Doctor Who and starring in “The Thick of It” for which he won several awards. It seems to be no accident that some of Scotland’s most successful personalities have the secret ingredient of Italian flare in their recipe to success. 

It is hard to measure the full extent of what the people of Italy have contributed to Scotland however it is fair to say they have had a long lasting impact on the nation and have helped produce some of Scotland’s most iconic people and cultural talking points. The cultures share a “bloodiness” to them in which we will not shy away from defending our opinions and use every vocal cord we possess to achieve this. Some call it impulsiveness or lack of reflection but the Scots and Italians call it true passion.  These overlapping branches of Italy and Scotland  can be seen within our dedication  to football with both nations sharing a true vigor for the sport but perhaps not sharing the same skill level on the field. I will let you interpret who is better.

 All joking aside both nations have suffered throughout their history in perhaps different ways and circumstances. But what remains is two lands of people who always hold their head high , have an optimistic attitude to the world and their branding as a nation from history ,culture and food is instantly recognisable. 

 If you come from a family with Italian heritage and want to spark your Italian flare here at La Dante we offer online courses to teach you the language at several levels. On the flip side if the tale of Italian immigrant success in Scotland has inspired you to move to the Uk we also have courses in English to help you on the journey. 

 

LEARNING LANGUAGES ONLINE DURING LOCKDOWN

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Why study a new language now is a good idea

Cambridge Central Library

 

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 that a completely new life in a completely different country from mine has entailed, now, I can say that these have been years of great enrichment. The first huge frustration I felt as soon as I was in Great Britain was of course the new language. For a sociable Neapolitan “communicator” and journalist who loves the Italian language like me, I can assure you that not being able to express myself with the surrounding world was a terrible feeling. The language we use completely permeates our life, our interactions, as well as our way of seeing things and our freedom. Without this fundamental tool you feel lost. Now, after many courses, some exams, a Master’s degree at the Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, and some work experiences in the UK, I can say that I am totally grateful for the path I have taken which forced me to master my second language. The motivation to learn is important of course. I admit that given my very low level of love for the new language at the time, it came to my rescue the fact that, to some extent, I find myself forced to learn and practice English by the kind of life I had chosen: a new working and personal life in England. After all, I had always wanted to be able to use the most widespread language in the world, the ‘wildcard’ language, as I have always defined it. I thought about it strongly when during a trip to Norway, entering a little shop in Bergen, I missed a pair of earrings that I wanted to buy, but which, due to my clumsiness and shyness, was secured by another English tourist, or when I found myself for work in New York (wonderful city I fell in love with) and I could not exchange more than a couple of sentences with some nice patrons in a pub. The same happened when a group of American tourists tried to interact with me in Italy, on the island of Procida where I was during my summer holidays. What a frustration it was. Of course, knowing English makes you feel like a citizen of the world, confident that you can communicate with anyone. The potential of a language that is so useful and influential even in the professional field, can seriously make you feel capable of crossing doors almost anywhere. English is the most widely spoken language in the world, used by more than a quarter of the world population. 

And therefore, I went from being too insecure even to order a coffee in any London bar, to working in a language school, as well as a European cultural center. At La Dante in Cambridge, where I have been working for a few years, I have certainly perfected my haltingly English, through phone calls, emails, marketing campaigns, presentations, social and cultural events and even radio broadcasts (the bilingual broadcasts of Radio Dante).

Cambridge, Uk

La Dante in Cambridge, which is one of the foreign branches of the Dante Alighieri Society, the Italian cultural institution that aims to protect and spread the Italian language and culture in the world, has allowed me to continue to have the fundamental bond with my country and its culture I needed,  and at the same time to come into contact with cultures different from mine in an environment made up of people who love languages. ‘A different language is a different vision of life’, said the Italian film director Federico Fellini. It is definitely true. Language learning, in addition to the pleasure and opportunities it provides, is also known to be linked to a better mental health: it prevents cognitive decline by reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s or dementia, for example. This is because people who speak at least two languages ​​develop their temporal lobes, which allow for the formation of new memories. This increases the number of neurons that make up our brain. In addition, people who speak more than one language become better at ‘problem solving’, at better analyzing their environment and at carrying out more activities simultaneously (multitasking). These are undoubtedly some of the benefits that bilingual or multilingual people can enjoy. Neuroplasticity, that is the ability of the nervous system to modify itself to form nerve connections, is greater in children, but the brains of adults can also be shaped and improved. So it’s really never too late to challenge yourself and have a super brain! You think that most of the students of Italian at La Dante in Cambridge are really ‘very adults’, mostly retirees or academic professors. They are passionate, good at always making new progress, and are more than awake and active.

BBC, Cambridge, Uk

 I personally got a taste for it too and, since this new era of smart working and lockdown began, I took advantage and started studying Spanish with online courses, always with mother tongue teachers from La Dante in Cambridge. Nothing more pleasant. Even after a busy day of work, nothing is more comfortable than staying in the warmth of your own home, without having to travel in the cold or for a long ride by car, etc. I take a seat in my living room for a couple of hours with classmates of all nationalities (in my class at the moment there are two Turks, one Russian and one English for example) and my very nice Spanish teacher. Leisure, together with the feeling of using your time productively in something that contributes to your personal and cultural growth, do the rest. Obviously I am looking forward to going to Spain to communicate with the locals in the local language, but for now, safe from viruses, I have been preparing myself for that moment.

 I conclude with a quote from Francois Vaucluse who said: ‘Forgive them who speak only one language: they do not know what they do’. My wish for this new year to you is therefore to commit yourselves to learning a new language or to practice and deepen a second or third language that you already know or that you had started learning at school.

 

INFORMATION ON ONLINE COURSES

E-learning is as much, if not more effective than in-person lessons. The language courses of La Dante in Cambridge take place on Zoom with the help of Google Classroom and the use of the new online school platform, PLATEO, where all students can easily interact with each other and with teachers. Furthermore, with this new platform, all users, in addition to teachers, can easily share documents, videos, language tests and many other files to improve the learning experience and push all skills to the best.

 Since La Dante is a European Cultural Center, together with language courses, it also offers all its students many cultural events and extra activities, completely free to offer an experience as immersive as possible (conversation classes, cooking classes, aperitifs online, film club). The teachers, of English, Spanish or Italian, are all qualified native speakers who use an effective communication approach that encourages the students to speak in the language of study as much as possible.

Courses can be individual or group. The collective classes are formed by a few people in order to guarantee a higher level of individual attention to each student.

 

For more information or to register for English courses, english@ladante-in-cambridge.org, WhatsApp +44 7887 606227

For Spanish courses spanish@ladante-in-cambridge.org – – WhatsApp +44 7887 606227

For Italian courses for foreigners info@ladante-in-cambridge.org – WhatsApp +44 7887 606227

www.ladante-in-cambridge.org Radio Dante www.radiodante.org

 

Discover Radio Dante!

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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

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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!