Fluency/Conversation classes

Italian Fluency/Conversation classes (Upper Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced-Fluent) will run throughout the year here at ItalianCork.

We will work on different topics (in Italian, of course!) for each different level, but all the courses are based on the same educational approach.

Most importantly we take care of our setting. Research* shows that we learn more when we’re happy and relaxed. For this reason we work in pairs and small groups (classes are limited to a maximum of 10 students) not only to ensure that everyone will actively take part in the class but also to minimize ‘performance anxiety’.

Secondly, we work on a great variety of conversational tasked games, we watch and discuss videos, we listen to songs and audio to implement and learn new Italian vocab, grammar and idioms at different levels depending on the level of the class, but we always have fun and learn a great deal. In fact, we frequently implement our receptive skills, such as listening and reading and our productive skills such as speaking (of course!) and writing (especially from beginner to intermediate level), so all 4 skills are covered. Moreover, as we use props and realia (objects from real life) most of the time in our role playing, students are bound to learn in the kineasthetic and visual ways which are the most effective.

Italian grammar is included, but from a practical point of view. Punctual feedback is given at the right time, without interrupting students. This feedback includes grammar references, so that everyone can have a quick refresh, and check on it more deeply at home (if they want).

It takes a good deal of time to prepare each of these lessons, but it is incredibly rewarding seeing students improving so fast and almost effortlessly while having fun.

To inquire about these classes or for more info you can email carolina@italiancork.com

*Cognition and emotion affect each other in the oldest part of our brain (Amygdala). This part of our brain reacts to fear and happiness and this reaction strongly affects our ability to learn and memorize. On top of that, we shouldn’t forget that being in a good mood helps the production of serotonin which plays an important role in learning and memorization among other important fields such as social abilities (‘Learning how to learn’ Dr. Barbara Oakley, University of California, San Diego).

 

Why Fluency Classes matter?

What is the best way to consolidate a newly learned language? What is the best way to become fluent and enjoy this language? 

To speak it, trust me!

But how can we speak the language if we don’t know where to start? 

Fluency classes’ purpose is to provide my students with a structured ‘language gym’ with language aids (vocabularies and sentence structures), my assistance and a relaxed environment to practise. These kinds of classes are always small sized to minimise ‘performance anxiety’ and maximise individual attention. As we learn a lot from our mistakes, they are welcome as great resources from which everyone can benefit. After each lesson students can go over the notes and all the resources we used. In fact, I will email everything after the lesson, including some voluntary homework. 

Students can do some voluntary homework to revise the lesson and they can email it on to me. I will check it and email them back with corrections. In this way we won’t use our precious Fluency class time to check it, and those who decide to do it will benefit from their individual feedback. 

Fluency classes are different levels, so that all students can find their ‘language gym’ to practise depending on their own level and needs. 

The idea behind Fluency classes comes from my personal experience, not only as a teacher, but especially as a language learner. Italian is my native language, but I learned French and English as an adult and I have been learning Gaeilge for a while… 

My language learning experiences have led me to develop these fluency classes to fill the gap between learning the individual elements of a language, and being able to use it fluently while enjoying the great experience of speaking it!

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