In our Italian classes no matter what the student age is, we never just sit on a chair but we offer a variety of activities so that our students can move. We believe that learning takes place when we feel free and relaxed. This is why movement is important in our classes.
Even in our adult classes we carefully select games to consolidate vocabulary and structures learnt. Adults move in class during the games, during ‘mingling’ activities, and they are sometimes invited to the board to take ownership of a particular activity.
Movement is even more important in our children classes. Children unlike adults have a short attention span, albeit which grows with age.
We account for this in all of our classes. For example our 3-5 classes are taught mainly on the carpet. However, children are invited to stand during singing time, they can move around during our role plays (picture 1.) and during games. Because the class is varied and time standing/moving/on the carpet is alternated, when it is time to listen to a story in Italian or to work on activities that require attention, children are able to sit, listen and concentrate (pictures 2. and 3.). Storytelling is a very important element in our classes. Our storytelling time is always interactive, so children are asked questions – always in Italian – and they are invited to participate actively in it. All our classes at all levels and for all ages are taught exclusively in Italian and students are interacting with our teachers in Italian.
Class 3-5 years old, 1. Role play 2. Story told in pictures, 3. Puppet show
As the children grow their attention span grows and they are more able to sit still for longer periods. Students in our Italian 7-9 class, have a chair with a table as they are asked to write in some of the activities. Activities however, are varied and students are expected to move during some of the activities. For example we offer time to work in pairs or in small groups on the floor (picture below) as well as standing time; for example time on the board during a game, a mime activity and so on.
Class 7-9 years old, group work