2018: our booklets have taken on color! And of course we could not forget our city, and its monuments. Santa Croce, Battistero, Palazzo Vecchio – and coming soon: San Giovanni cathedral. Four booklets, six levels, from A1 through C2, the whole Italian language grammar explained.
The basic content did not change, but it is always updated, thanks to the work of our teachers and the feedback from the students: to secure a continuous improvement. Included in the price of the course, naturally.
Hola soy Irene tengo 18 años , soy un estudiante y trabajo en la Scuola Toscana . Os quiero enseñar algunos consejos y trucos para aprender una lengua extranjera , la mejor manera de aprender otro idioma es viajar a una escuela cualificada en el extranjero . Nuestra escuela ofrece un montón de oportunidades y mezcla enseñar una lengua con un elemento fundamental , el divertimento ! Aprender un idioma es complicado pero con algunos trucos puede ser muy fácil :
1. Ve películas , es una actividad divertida y te permite mejorar tu nivel de idioma . Si mira la películas con subtítulos en español puedes tomar notas para aprender mejor las palabras . Te recomiendo de ver películas que ya hayas visto alguna vez , ya que de esta forma no tendrás que centrarte tanto .
2. Lee en español , puede mejorar tu nivel de italiano leyendo libros en el idioma original . Ademas de aprender frases que puedes usar en tu vida cotidiana !
3. Escucha tu canciones favoritas , puedes encontrarlas en Internet o en la radio . Cuando no entiendes las “letra” toma un papel y busca el significado . Conocer las “letra” de las canciones es divertido y aprenderás el idioma que tú quieres .
4. Habla y no tenga miedo de cometer algunos errores , cuando hablas un idioma que no conoces es esencial hacer algunos errores . Prueba y practica el idioma con todos !
5. Hace un curso de idioma , aprende un idioma con un curso mejorará tu nivel , practicar una lengua con otras personas es fundamental para mejorar la conversación , la gramática y la pronuncia . El éxito depende de cuanto esfuerzo pongas en aprender !
Buena suerte con tu viajes para aprender la lengua !
Irene Freducci Continue reading
We are not high-tech fanatics at Scuola Toscana, we are really convinced that the human being is at the centre of the teaching/learning experience and you do not need much more, therefore we invest a lot in teachers, in their improvement and in their well-being – not so much in technical items.
Anyway, whiteboards are basic tools of the trade for a school of Italian, while you can deliver a good lesson even without any support, just with your voice and your teaching skills, a piece of something where you can write down some words helps a lot. And the mood of the teachers (and of the students as well) improves a lot when they can write on a new, smooth, ample surface, like this.
A checkered surface, where you can even study chess problems…
Thi is the second board we replace this year, and the biggest, (2mt x 1mt). This one comes from an Italian firm, Ligra, and the specs say : “magnetic matt white enamel / enamel steel whiteboard processed at 800 ° ideal for the screening, it can also be used for writing with felt pens , erasable with umid cloth” – which -if true – would be a fantastic gift for your director, as these boards become very hard to be cleaned over time… let’see !
I once read an interview with a famous spy who told how the spy life is not very adventurous and often consists of boring hours of waiting, of poring on papers, of filling reports …
I often think about this interview when I realize that my interlocutor is thinking about my job of “School Director” as that of an intellectual, thinking all day about new teaching techniques, linguistics, tests and exams … as a matter of fact, since the school is made by a messy bunch of gloriously real people, I spend most of my time attending the following activities: replacing the toilet paper, emptying the bins (forgotten by the cleaning personnel), separating the waste that someone has mistakenly mixed (fishing the plastic cups from the paper box), emergency-mopping the floor where someone has spilled coffee, unclogging the toilet, carrying piles of books from floor to floor, unlocking the wifi, calling the elevator service (while trying to free the student imprisoned in the elevator) … yes, it’s a dirty work, but someone has to do it…
The thing is, if you really care about the place you work in, if you really care about your customers, you do not want – not even for a minute – to have a dirty floor, a wifi out of order, a clogged toilet. Therefore, the director mantra becomes Leporello’s line “son prontissimo a servir “.
Whiteboards have a life cycle, too. As you can see here, over time small scratches accumulate in the most used areas, with the result that the writing becomes difficult to remove, and the ink of the markers accumulates: the board becomes almost impossible to clean.
Therefore the board must be regularly changed – with the best that the market offers. Nowadays it looks like the best is the CeramicSteel surface board, very advanced technologically, scratch-resistant, environmentally safe and ecologically sensible.
As they say, CeramicSteel is an innovation that essentially melds the sleek beauty of porcelain and locks it in steel. This process guarantees a beautiful and reliable uniformity across all contours, including edges. PolyVision CeramicSteel technology is complex and exacting. Here is a quick snapshot of the process:
- Heated at a range of 1292° – 1652° F (700° – 900° C), powdered glass melts, flows and hardens
- The resulting powder is then fired and fused onto the metal sheet/coil
- Finally, a smooth, durable, abrasion-resistant surface is made.
PolyVision e3 CeramicSteel is 99.9% recyclable and the only globally Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM surface of its kind. It is safe and clean, and emits no harmful chemicals into the environment.
Quite impressive, isnt’it? Tomorrow, the road test. We’ll keep you updated !
All these years we have been wondering why the number of students at our school, year after year, remained constant or, even, increased… of course, we try to do our best, and of course, our teachers are incredible, and, naturally, our activities are marvellous but you and me know very well that in times of international crisis also the quality succumbs to the reality of the market.
You know, there is not so much interest in the international press about the language courses abroad, it does not seem such a sexy or glamorous topic. And the rarefied specialised press is not so interesting to me. But, a couple of days ago a very nice brochure about the 20 years of the Language Fair in Berlin arrived at the school, and leafing through the pages I saw this statistics.
It was an “Eureka” moment, I never realised that the global market for study abroad in these years was grown so much. If you enlarge the infographic, you see that the number of language students abroad went from the 1.7 millions of 1995 to the 4.5 millions of 2011. Which explains better than anything how and why our (small) school and other (small) schools who are doing the same work can be still alive and kicking. It’s a good idea to be safely nestled in a growing market, after all.
In the 90s this was one of our most succesful course – Italian language for tourism. We had classes with 10/12 students from Austria, Switzerland and Germany; the young Austrian students usually were working in the family hotels, the Swiss came from Hoteliere Schools and the German students mostly from 4 or 5 stars chain-hotels.
Now there is a (small) comeback, and after years without any student interested in learning Italian for tourism purposes, now we have classes with 3 or 4 students.
At Scuola Toscana we offer three levels(we also have three corresponding booklets), from beginners (reception, reservation, cancellation, etc.) to intermediate (problem solving, business mail, etc.) to advanced (marketing, art of hospitality etc.) – gastronomy is also part of the programs.
We work with teachers specialised in the field, and the roleplaying is the basis of the work in class.
We do also the preparation for the DILC exam of Accademia Italiana di Lingua, an exam in Italian for Commerce which has to do also with the Tourism sector.
With the tourism business thriving in most of the world, will Scuola Toscana be able to get bigger classes of Italian for Tourism again ? Hope so !