Who knew that there’s a right way and a wrong way to take an Italian course?
With the wrong approach, your Italian won’t improve as much as it could do.
But get it right, and the time and money you invest will have a greater impact.
Meaning you’ll leave Bologna speaking and understanding Italian better!
5 ways to get more from your Italian course
- Speak Italian, right from the start: if you’re a beginner, that might mean saying little or nothing at first, but hey, monks manage it, and so could you! Understand that once you create a mental habit of using Italian (or English) with a new classmate or a staffer of the school, that becomes the norm for your communications. If you use English at first, it’ll be hard later to switch to using Italian. Use Italian from Day 1 though, and it’ll gradually get easier and more natural.
- Socialise: coffee breaks, social events like visits to museums or restaurants, and so on are part of the learning experience (IF you follow tip 1 and get the habit of only communicating in Italian). Don’t miss out on them. Va bene, you may not want to see some dusty museum, you may even have done the trip before, but the value to you is in the interactions with the teacher/guide and with your classmates. Friends you make in this way will be the people with whom you’ll continue to communicate (in Italian), maybe via e-mail or on social networks, long after your course is finished.
- Study: after all, it IS a language course, right? Once your class is done in the morning, you don’t have to go back and hang about in your room for the rest of the day. Why not stay at the school and put in some extra hours? The library is open for you to “camp” in. Get comfortable, spread out your books, and really get to grip with those Italian verbs! There’s usually a tutor to help you if you need it. And don’t forget to chat to the other students, in Italian, naturally.
- Stay longer: a week is a start, but two is better. And hey, if you’re having a good time and learning a lot, why not stay on? The longer your course, they less you pay per week, and long courses really do have a huge impact on your language skills. In a month you could improve a whole level. In six, you could go from zero to advanced!
- Stay calm: learning a language is not just an intellectual task, but a challenging psychological one. You can expect there sometimes to be ups and downs. Perhaps you’ll occasionally feel left behind, or that you’re incapable of learning. You might miss your family and friends, or find Italy a difficult place to get used to (can’t imagine why). There’ll be challenges, for sure, so be prepared to ride them out. You’ll get there in the end, and boy is it worth it!