How can I continue to improve my Italian once I’ve returned home?
You’ll make a lot of progress in the time that you spend studying Italian at our language school in Bologna. But how can you make sure that everything you’ve learnt won’t just slip away once you return home to your usual routine?
Well, firstly you should think of your study vacation as not just an opportunity to improve your knowledge of Italian grammar and vocabulary, and to practise using the language, but also as a chance to boost the “foreign-language-learning” part of your brain. In short, you’ll not just be learning Italian, but learning HOW to learn a foreign language, and that knowledge is something that you can exploit once you have returned home.
For example, you’ll certainly find following a self-study course easier after an Italian study vacation than it was before. More of the activities involved will be familiar to you: you’ll better understand their purpose, be more aware of which ones work best for you, and so able to organise your learning better.
It’s also likely that you will be more confident when listening to and reading Italian, which will mean that you can continue to improve your knowledge of the language by doing things which might have seemed intimidating before, such as reading simplified books in Italian, visiting Italian websites, watching movies in the original language, or listening to Italian music.
An obvious idea might be to sign up for Italian evening classes, which may seem much more relevant to you when you have actually visited Italy and used the language.
Or you could take some one-to-one Italian lessons with a Madrelingua teacher via Skype. They’re more affordable than you might think, and you can even choose which of your favorite teachers you will study with!
Lastly, don’t forget that you’ll be wanting to keep in touch with the friends you made during your time in Italy, and as you will always have communicated with them in Italian (we hope), it will seem natural to continue to do so when you chat on Facebook or exchange e-mails.
And who knows? Perhaps you’ll want to return for another Italian study vacation next year? Many of our students come back year after year!