LA DANTE IN CAMBRIDGE IS THE ONLINE & IN-PERSON LANGUAGE SKILLS SPECIALIST OF THE YEAR

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Online Italian Cultural Centre

As reported on the IE 100 Magazine, La Dante in Cambridge, European Cultural Centre, has won the 2023 International Elite 100 Global Award and has been recognised as the Online & In-Person Language Skills Specialists of The Year.

Giulia Portuese

Giulia Portuese Founder and Director

This prestigious award comes right after the recent prize as “Best Online & In-Person Language Educator 2023 – Cambridgeshire” awarded by the SME Business Elite Awardees for 2023, the previous two nominations in 2022 for the “Business Chameleon” and “Lockdown Leader”, and that Director of the cultural institute, Dr. Giulia Portuese, was bestowed the Honour of Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy in 2021 for her 25 years of commitment in the Uk. For over 15 years, La Dante in Cambridge, European Cultural Centre has been offering courses in Italian, Spanish, and English language and culture which, having originally taken place in the famous university city, are now also held online and available to students around the globe. What sets them apart is their ever-growing team ranging from the Italian, Spanish, and English native teachers, all the way to the Marketing and Administration unit, coordinated by Marketing Manager Gilda Notarbartolo, all of whom show the utmost dedication to their work.

Gilda Notarbartolo, Marketing Manager on Radio Dante

Gilda Notarbartolo, Marketing Manager on Radio Dante

 

“What distinguishes us at La Dante in Cambridge – explains Giulia Portuese – is the genuine passion for the dissemination of languages and culture. This definitely allows us to offer the best possible educational path to students of all ages and nationalities.  Over the years, we have developed a very good method and system that make our students able to reach easily their learning goals, and so our multicultural family grow. It is very rewarding for each member of our team to see that efforts pay off. I am very grateful for this. Besides, in today’s global economy, businesses are increasingly operating in multicultural environments with counterparts from different countries and cultures. In such a context, language barriers significantly impact every business’s life. Of course, this makes our school’s services crucial for the success of every company.”

CAN YOU AFFORD TO BE MONOLINGUAL IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY?

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meeting business language

In today’s global economy, businesses are increasingly operating in multicultural environments, with companies conducting business with counterparts from different countries and cultures. In such a context, effective communication is crucial, and language barriers can significantly impact a business’s success or failure. While it may be tempting to rely on English as a common language, can you afford not to speak the language of the country you work with? This is a question that companies operating in Italy and Spain should seriously consider.

In Italy, English is not widely spoken, with only 21% of the population speaking English fluently, according to a 2019 Eurobarometer survey. Furthermore, a study by the European Commission revealed that Italian companies that conduct international business and speak the language of the country they are working with achieve better results than those that do not. For example, companies that do not speak the local language have a 25% lower chance of exporting their products or services.

Similarly, in Spain, only 22% of the population speaks English fluently. Still, it is a country that heavily relies on international trade, and being able to communicate effectively with foreign partners is critical. Research by the Spanish Confederation of Employers and Industries (CEOE) suggests that Spanish companies that do not speak the language of the country they are working with experience a 30% drop in exports, while those that invest in language training for their employees can increase their export sales by 45%.

language for business la danteThe importance of language proficiency in business cannot be overstated. Speaking the local language allows for smoother communication and builds trust between parties. It also helps to understand the culture and customs of the country, which can be critical in building successful relationships. By speaking the local language, businesses can gain a competitive advantage over those that do not.

Moreover, language proficiency can also improve employee morale and job satisfaction. Employees who can speak the local language are more likely to feel integrated into the local community and can develop closer relationships with colleagues and clients.

In recent years, Italy and Spain have recognized the importance of English for business and have taken steps to promote language learning. In Italy, the government has launched initiatives to improve English language proficiency, and English has been made a compulsory subject in schools. In Spain, the government has launched the “Plan for the Promotion of Language Learning,” which aims to increase language proficiency levels, particularly in English.

However, companies cannot rely solely on government initiatives to bridge the language gap. It is the responsibility of companies to invest in language training for their employees. This investment can include language courses, hiring bilingual employees, or using language learning software.

In conclusion, can you afford not to speak the language of the country you work with? For companies operating in Italy and Spain, the answer is no. In today’s global economy, language proficiency is essential for business success. Speaking the local language can improve communication, build trust, and increase sales. Companies must invest in language training for their employees to remain competitive in the international market.

 

 

Dott.ssa Giulia Portuese, BA, OSI
Director and founder, La Dante in Cambridge, European Cultural Centre

www.ladante-in-cambridge.org

www.radiodante.org

 

LA DANTE IN CAMBRIDGE AWARDED BEST LANGUAGE EDUCATOR 2023

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La Dajnte in Cambridge Award

La Dante in Cambridge, European Cultural Centre, has been recognised as “Best Online & In-Person Language Educator 2023 . Cambridgeshire”.”Each year we look to celebrate those enterprises who consistently provide the best services and products for their clients, allowing them to stand out within their representative fields. – the Award organisers comment – The SME Business Elite Awardees for 2023 have been handpicked by SME News Magazine based purely on comprehensive research and analysis conducted by the wider group. This proven approach ensures that we award on merit, not popularity and recognise the very best in business. We award those SME’s that are succeeding in their endeavours, innovating, growing, and improving”.

The prize, to be awarded at the annual SME Business Elite Awards for 2023, represents the third acknowledgement after their two nominations in 2022 for the “Business Chameleon” and “Lockdown Leader”. In fact, it is with great pride that the cultural institute directed by Dr. Giulia Portuese, bestowed the Honour of Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy in 2021 by President Mattarella, celebrates this news which once again confirms the high quality of service offered every day by the dedicated and qualified teams at La Dante. For over 15 years, Cambridge’s European Centre has been offering courses in Italian, Spanish, and English language and culture which, having originally taken place in the famous university city, are now also held online and available to students around the globe. What sets them apart is their ever-growing team ranging from the Italian, Spanish, and English native teachers, all the way to the Marketing and Administration unit, coordinated by Marketing Manager Gilda Notarbartolo, all of whom show the utmost dedication to their work.

Giulia Portuese

Giulia Portuese, Director La Dante in Cambridge

Gilda Notarbartolo, Marketing Manager La Dante in Cambridge

Dott.ssa Gilda Notarbartolo, Marketing Manager La Dante in Cambridge

“At La Dante in Cambridge, what distinguishes us is undoubtedly the strong passion we have for the dissemination of languages and culture, our work, and the respect that each member of La Dante reserves for those who share this interest by joining our family. This allows us to offer the best possible educational path to students of all ages and nationalities` – explains Giulia Portuese – Once again, I can say that efforts pay off and our multicultural family continues to grow more and more every day in the best way.”

Info: www.ladante-in-cambridge.org – info@ladante-in-cambridge.org – +447822010718

WHY ARE THERE SO MANY ITALIANS IN ARGENTINA?

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italian argentina

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to visit Buenos Aires, you might have wondered at times why it felt
as though you were stepping through the streets of Milan or Genoa. Many people comment on the
seeming lack of diversity throughout the nation, and once you notice it, it’s hard to ignore just how
much the demographic differs from the other Latin American countries. To understand the reasons for
this phenomenon, we have to go back a few centuries, specifically to start of the 16th century when
the colonisation of Latin America was in full force.

italian argentina

In 1502, about 10 years after the discovery of the
Americas, the Spanish set their sights on Argentina, but it wasn’t until 1516 that the mass migration to the region began. All over the continent thus far, there had been a significant prevalence of Spanish settlers, with Argentina being no exception.

Throughout the 1500s many conquistadors came and went, and Argentina was on the road to become as culturally and economically rich as its Latin neighbours; but without cohesion amongregions and a lack of support from Spain, this progress was short-lived. Fast- forward to the early
1800s; amid the Peninsular War when King Ferdinand VII was overthrown, this triggered a resistance not only in Europe, but also in the colonies around Latin America. Now without a King, the people living in the Spanish colonies decided it was best they ruled themselves, a desire that brought on the May revolution of 1810 or rather, the Argentine war of Independence. And in 1825, after years of military action and campaigns, (and help from the Chilean army) Argentina was made independent.
With their newfound independence came the opportunity for social and economic growth, and between the end of the 19th century and the start of the 20th, Argentina was experiencing just that, thus generating a strong demand for immigrants. The Argentine population at the time was only 1.1 million and, with the addition of newly acquired land from the war, there was a lot of space to be filled. Because of this, in the 1870s and 80s, the government decided to offer free and subsidised land to families as an incentive to bring over new citizens. Simultaneously, in Italy, with push factors such as overpopulation, poverty, political instability, and very limited economic opportunities (particularly in the southern regions) many Italians were driven to seek a better life abroad. This was the perfect exchange for both parties, and Italian immigrants arrived in large numbers seeking new opportunities
on Argentine soil. Argentina was one of the main destinations for Italian immigrants at that time – in fact it is estimated that between 1857 and 1940, more than 6 million Italians reached Argentina. They settled mostly in urban areas as well as establishing themselves in the farmlands, where they made significant contributions to the development of the countries, now renowned, agricultural sector. Upon their arrival, Italian immigrants naturally faced many challenges, starting with language barriers, they also had difficulties adapting culturally and experienced much discrimination as a result. Despite these initial hardships, they managed to establish a sense of community; they founded Italian newspapers, language schools and cultural organisations that helped preserve
their culture and facilitated the integration of Italians into Argentine society.

 

Argentine Republic, from Flags of All Nations, Series 1 (N9) for Allen & Ginter Cigarettes Brands
More:
View public domain image source hereOver time, Italian immigrants and their d

Over time, Italian immigrants and theirescen ddants blended into society, while maintaining strong ties with their geographical and cultural origins. Many Italians became entrepreneurs, artisans, and professionals, all of whom contributed to the growth of the urban middle class, legitimising their place in society. And of course, they brought their culinary traditions, art, music and even elements of the language to Argentina. Today, the Italian influence in Argentina persists; we see it in in the popularity of Italian cuisine, the architecture, the prevalence of Italian surnames and a widespread of the Mediterranean customs and values embedded in Argentine culture. Argentina is now the country with the largest Italian presence, after Italy of course, and Italian culture is so deeply rooted that it has become a huge part of Argentine Identity. The population of Italo-Argentines, according to various studies, 25 million people and it is the first ethnic group in a South American country that makes up more than 50% of the population.
It’s fair to say that Italian immigration has shaped the demographic composition, economy, and cultural identity in Argentina; Italian influence is perhaps the most prevalent within the cultural melting pot that is Argentina and has most certainly left a deep and lasting impact on the country.

 

Christina Usuanlele

4 LUGARES COTIDIANOS PARA PRACTICAR ESPAÑOL

Spanish Online Courses

¿Conoces este ejercicio para practicar tu español en lugares cotidianos? En este artículo, te contamos cómo mejorarlo en 4 sitios del día a día.


Las
academias de idiomas son lugares indispensables a los que acudir para adquirir un vocabulario rico y entender la cultura de la lengua extranjera que estés aprendiendo, entre otras cosas. Sin embargo, a veces puede resultar difícil encontrar ejercicios diferentes que complementen los de tu profesor para huir de la monotonía y seguir mejorando tu español.

A la hora de hablar en español ya sea en clase o en un país extranjero, lo que más cuesta es dejar de pensar en nuestra lengua materna. Así pues, para hacer que tu aprendizaje sea más estimulante, te sugerimos que pruebes la Práctica Espontánea. Se trata de un ejercicio dinámico en el que tienes que traducir, en este caso en español, los objetos que observes a tu alrededor. Esto te permitirá desarrollar tu rapidez mental en situaciones del día a día y que tu cerebro se adapte a entornos bilingües con más facilidad.

Puedes hacer este ejercicio en cualquier lado y sacar tu vocabulario a pasear. No obstante, te proponemos 4 lugares cotidianos y distintos juegos para que pongas tu nivel de español a prueba y mejores a pasos agigantados:

  1.     SUPERMERCADO: Hacer la compra será más divertido si repites los productos con los que te vas encontrando en cada sección; si lees las etiquetas de los artículos y traduces sus ingredientes; o si lees los carteles de cada pasillo.

Además, si vas acompañado, puedes crear diálogos con la otra persona precedidos de preguntas como «¿Me pasas (un producto)?».

  1.   TRANSPORTE PÚBLICO: Puedes aprovechar el tiempo durante los trayectos en bus o metro y repasar todo el vocabulario que veas. Pueden ser tanto las piezas que forman parte del medio transporte en el que te desplazas, como lo que llevan puesto los demás pasajeros. 
  2.     RESTAURANTE: Para amenizar la espera de la comida, traduce los platos de la carta o piensa en cómo pedirías en español. Imagen
  3.     TIENDA DE ROPA: Si vas a comprar con tu madre, hermano o amiga y no quieres dar más vueltas, aprovecha ese pequeño rato para acordarte de cómo es el vocabulario relacionado con la tienda. Además de la ropa, puedes practicar los accesorios, los colores o incluso los números. Imagen

Hacer este ejercicio no solo te ayudará a repasar vocabulario básico en español, sino que también te permitirá ganar más confianza en ti mismo y perder el miedo a hablar en español. ¡Por no hablar de que estarás un poco más preparado para tu próxima escapada a España o Latinoamérica! Dicen que “la práctica hace al maestro” y sin duda alguna cuanto más practiques tu español, antes lo dominarás y mayor nivel conseguirás.

 

Alba Fouz

 

LA DANTE EN CAMBRIDGE GRACIAS A SU TRANSFORMACIÓN DIGITAL ES FINALISTA DE DOS PREMIOS CAMBRIDGE INDEPENDIENTES

Los ganadores de los premios Business Chameleon y Lockdown Leader se anunciarán el 17th de febrero de 2022 en Imperial Museum Duxford

 

“El 2022 ha traído consigo sorpresas para el centro cultural europeo La Dante (en Cambridge) tras dos años de transformación hacia un modelo de empresa online en el que hemos tenido que aprender de nuevo, construir nuevas plataformas y ofrecer un enfoque completamente distinto. Todo ello para dar a nuestros estudiantes una experiencia completa de aprendizaje de idiomas online, nada alejada de lo que son las clases presenciales”, señala Giulia Portuese, directora y fundadora de La Dante. Este centro cultural y a la vez escuela de idiomas, dirigida por Giulia Portuese, celebra dos nominaciones al Cambridge Independent SME Cambridgeshire Business Awards 2021: el ‘Business chameleon’ y el ‘Lockdown leader’. Estos premios reconocen a las PYME que hayan resistido ante las adversidades de la pandemia por el Covid19 y prosperado durante los tiempos económicos difíciles, además de valorar cómo el equipo y el liderazgo tuvieron un papel clave en la transformación de las empresas.

Háblanos un poco sobre ti y tu negocio

La Dante en Cambridge es un centro cultural europeo que promueve las lenguas y las culturas italiana, española e inglesa a través de una mezcla de clases online y presenciales con un equipo de profesores nativos cualificados y entusiastas. Además, contamos con unos programas originales en la Radio Dante que ayudan a mejorar las habilidades de escucha y comprensión de nuestros estudiantes. También estamos desarrollando nuestra Ryze App: una aplicación de aprendizaje de bolsillo que pone a disposición de los aprendices horas de escucha, textos y ejercicios que pueden utilizar cuándo y dónde deseen. Gracias a esta aplicación, el aprendizaje de idiomas ahora es más accesible para todos, pues por solo 2 dólares puedes asistir a media hora de clases con un profesor. Además, está repleta de contenido gratuito: es divertida, interactiva y flexible.

Cuéntanos un poco sobre la transformación digital que habéis llevado a cabo en el negocio estos dos últimos años y que evidencia el éxito del modelo actual de tu negocio.

La transformación digital de nuestro centro ha materializado sus esfuerzos en resultados reales en los últimos dos años, como por ejemplo en que La Dante es finalista de los SME Awards para la categoría de Business Chamelion en enero de 2022. Asimismo, un resultado palpable también sería que estamos aumentando nuestra influencia internacional más allá de Europa y, desde que empezamos el cambio a la enseñanza online, estamos atrayendo estudiantes de más allá de Europa, de Japón y México. Nuestro alcance internacional permite a los estudiantes aprender idiomas de forma asequible y desde lugares remotos a través de la nueva plataforma de aprendizaje Plateo Online, que cuenta con una plataforma de redes sociales que permite a la gente aprender a la vez que hacer amigos. En tercer lugar, destacaría también que fui (la Dra. Giulia Portuese, la directora y fundadora) nominada finalista como Líder del Cierre para los SME Awards en enero de 2022 y además el presidente italiano Mattarella me entregó un título de caballero para la Orden de las Estrellas de Italia en diciembre de 2021.

Además, nuestros podcasts de Radio Dante también han aumentado sus oyentes en un 69% en los últimos dos años (Buzzsprout, Youtube, Spotify). La aplicación de bolsillo de idiomas Ryze App ha tenido su primera prueba y hemos recibido una respuesta realmente buena de su grupo de muestra de estudiantes.

¿Cómo consigues diferenciarte de la competencia y posicionarte por delante del resto?

La Dante cuenta con tres reconocimientos como centro examinador: un centro examinador PLIDA para el italiano (el único en Reino Unido), un centro examinador DELE para el español y un centro Trinity College London para el inglés (registro nº 68910). Somos el único Centro de Exámenes en el Reino Unido que ofrece exámenes para la ciudadanía italiana, reconocidos por la Sociedad Dante Alighieri. Además, nuestro centro también es la única oficina, entre las 400 oficinas de Dante en el mundo, que tiene un programa regular de podcast cultural a través de Radiodante.org, con entrevistas, música, tradiciones, cine y cocina en italiano y español. Está dirigido por voluntarios, profesores y estudiantes recién graduados que desean acumular experiencia en el periodismo. La Dante es también un Centro de Formación Europeo con un programa de prácticas europeo consolidado que funciona desde 2010: formamos a jóvenes graduados en marketing digital, Google Ads, Google Analytics, página web y SEO, habilidades que son esenciales en cualquier negocio. También somos un Centro de Formación de Profesores desde 2010: ofrecemos un programa de formación de profesores para la obtención de los exámenes CEDILS y DITALS, así como el CLIL para profesores europeos. Estamos ampliando el programa a profesores españoles e italianos, que utilizan técnicas AICLE para enseñar historia, arte o matemáticas en inglés a niños y adolescentes.

¿Crees que este exitoso rendimiento empresarial es sostenible a largo plazo?

Desde 2010, La Dante llevó a cabo un modelo de negocio en el aprendizaje de idiomas a través de clases presenciales en las que los profesores nativos utilizaban libros de texto físicos. Cuando llegó Covid, se inició un programa de transformación digital gracias a las Becas Digitales del gobierno del Reino Unido y se invirtieron 10.000 libras esterlinas en la creación de una nueva plataforma: Plateo Online. En ella, los estudiantes, los profesores y el personal de marketing podían estar bajo un mismo techo. Además, los estudiantes podían ver vídeos, tener un perfil social y comunicarse. Se inició un programa de reciclaje de 3 semanas antes de que el gobierno británico cerrara todas las escuelas de Reino Unido en marzo de 2020. Los profesores tuvieron que volver a aprender a enseñar utilizando recursos digitales, produciendo material diferente o dominando las nuevas tecnologías como Zoom. En resumidas cuentas, tuvieron que aprender una forma más dinámica de enseñar. El equipo de marketing y los becarios tuvieron que volver a formarse en el uso de la plataforma y promocionar la escuela de una manera completamente diferente a través de Google Ads, Google Analytics y SEO. Esto garantizó que la empresa pudiera adoptar la tecnología digital más avanzada y prosperar en los próximos 10 años. Todo el equipo, después de algunas dificultades, aceptó todos los cambios implementados. Me siento orgullosa.

También nos interesa saber

– cómo se han adaptado y cambiado las empresas para hacer frente a los retos y oportunidades de Covid-19 para que se considere un premio especial.

– cómo habéis invertido y desarrollado nuevos productos, servicios, técnicas, habilidades o procesos para satisfacer las demandas cambiantes que Covid-19 trajo a su negocio y

– cómo estáis manteniendo o aumentando vuestras operaciones en los mercados establecidos y nuevos como resultado.

La Dante demostró un rápido periodo de adaptabilidad y cambio para hacer frente a los retos y oportunidades de Covid-19. Transformamos la forma de enseñar idiomas, haciéndola pasar de presencial a online para todos: profesores, alumnos y personal. Además, ayudamos a los alumnos que no podían pasar directamente a lo digital por su edad o porque no tenían los conocimientos informáticos necesarios para cambiar tan rápidamente, ofreciéndoles formación informática GRATUITA para Zoom Education y Google Classrooms.  Esto permitió que todos estuvieran seguros ante el aumento de los casos a partir de 2020.

– Para responder a los retos de Covid, La Dante invirtió 10.000 libras esterlinas en una nueva plataforma de enseñanza digital: Plateo Online. También volvimos a formar a nuestro personal de marketing y a los profesores en el uso de diferentes técnicas (se incorporó Zoom, Google Classrooms, Blink Learning), hubo que aprender muchas habilidades y procesos técnicos nuevos durante un año de intensa formación con proveedores externos.  Ryze App se desarrolló con la Universidad de Norwich, Cambridge y Studious.org

– Estamos manteniendo la cuota de mercado dentro de mercados establecidos como Italia y España, pero también estamos atrayendo nuevos negocios de Japón y México. La enseñanza online está aquí para quedarse y desarrollarse para llegar a más países con el marketing digital.

Cuéntanos alguna anécdota sobre cómo respondió el equipo, hazlo personal

Bueno, al principio el equipo era reacio a los grandes cambios, sobre todo los profesores que habían conseguido construir su material didáctico y su relación con los alumnos con las clases presenciales. Las cosas tenían que cambiar, no solo para sobrevivir, sino para prosperar. Teníamos que aceptar el cambio y aprender nuevas habilidades para la vida, renovando las competencias mediante la formación y la innovación sin el riesgo de perder el trabajo. Formamos a los profesores, a los alumnos que no tenían conocimientos de informática e invertimos en nuevas plataformas online. Al final de los dos años, ganamos nuevos alumnos y mantuvimos los nuestros.

Sin duda, el cambio fue bienvenido. Algunos profesores y parte del equipo de marketing prosperaron durante este periodo de cambio. También tuvimos algunas satisfacciones personales:

Dimos la bienvenida al mundo a dos bebés: Luisa dio a luz a Zoe a principios de la primavera, Tamara dio a luz a Massimo en diciembre y Lucía y Emilia esperan su primer hijo para enero de 2022. Todo esto trajo una inmensa alegría al equipo y en general es un año que comenzó con entusiasmo y energía que todos compartimos en La Dante de Cambridge.

 

 

Bienestar y Español

Building up bridges in Spain and South America

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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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¡ YA FORMAMOS PARTE DE FEDELE !

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 Italy I moved to the Uk in 2013. After the first year in London, I found new opportunities in Cambridge. Despite the difficulties that a completely new life in a different country from your own has entailed, now, I can tell that the latest have been years of great enrichment. One of the biggest frustrations on arriving in Britain, of course, involved the 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. Given my 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 English,  the most widespread language in the world, the ‘wildcard’ language, as I have always defined it. It happened 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 insecurity in the language, was secured by another tourist, or when I found myself for work in New York, and I could not exchanged more than a couple of sentences with some people 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. It was embarrassing. Of course, knowing English makes you feel like a citizen of the world, a confident human being able cto ommunicate 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