Some of Rosie’s family has recently moved to Italy, so slowly but surely she is determined to pick up some of the language.
An avid learner who likes to try new things in her spare time, she took some Italian classes in Sorrento with her niece, Emma, while staying with the family in Sorrento.
We asked her a few questions to get an idea of how the classes work:
There were 5 people total in our class, me (age 70), two 18-year-olds, my 38-year-old niece, and a 24-year-old woman — the perfect class size. Everyone was on the same language level, so that eliminated any inhibitions.
The diversity of age was a great advantage, as the teenagers were often a bit shy to speak up, and the others more open to it. Overall, it was a great mix and we all got along very well.
The entire class was taught in Italian, which was great; however, it was no problem if you, as a student, wanted to question things in English.
The classes went from 9am to 12:40 each day, with a 20-minute break. The first session was based on grammar, and the second session was more focused on vocabulary.
The small class size allowed for all students to speak equally (with the teacher going around the class), so no one monopolised class time. At other times, we did activities in pairs/small groups. Each night there was a bit of homework, but nothing overbearing.
They did put together some nice optional excursions for us. Emma and I joined a trip to an ice cream parlour, which was a family run business. They were extremely competent, lively and engaging, and involved us all in a hands-on ice cream class, which included some great samples.
They also offered a pizza making class, as well as a trip to Vesuvius, neither of which we joined as we had done both in the past.
Well, I started knowing nothing, and I did improve a bit. What you learn completely depends on how much you put in yourself… the more you put into it, the more you will get out. It is a great way to start, and try to use some restaurant lingo out of the classroom.
It was extremely hot while we were there, so often I found it hard to stay focused and my mind wandered! Overall, I did improve, and would love to study more. It is an excellent beginning to get grounded, learn your bearings, and gain some more confidence.
Go along with it and try it… every beginner is in the same boat as you are. Do not be afraid to break out of your norm, or to be with others in a different age group; you will benefit from the experience.
Don’t be thrown off by the pictures online where everyone is 18, thin, and white — there is diversity in people and levels everywhere, and it is a great time!