Un cielo stellato (livello A2+)

20 Novembre 2020

Il blog
Ecco un’altra puntata del nostro blog. Questo può essere complementare alla vostra lezione di italiano (Italian class). Può aiutarvi a capire la cultura italiana (Italian culture) e la lingua italiana (Italian language).

Come inizia la nostra storia
Sono un’insegnante di italiano come seconda lingua e ho vissuto a Londra per decenni. Sono sposata con un uomo inglese e abbiamo due figli. Nel settembre 2020 abbiamo deciso di trasferirci nel mio paesino originario che si trova in Italia fra il Lago di Como e le Alpi.

Un’app stellare
A mio marito piace osservare il cielo e gli astri e ha un’app sul telefono che gli permette di individuare il nome di pianeti e costellazioni. Purtroppo, a Londra dove vivevamo, il cielo è sempre troppo illuminato e non è possibile vederli. La bellezza di vivere qui è che tutte le notti il cielo è coperto di stelle luminose.

La passeggiata notturna
Ieri sera dopo cena, ci siamo vestiti bene perché inizia a far freddo la sera e siamo usciti. Siamo andati a fare una passeggiata nel buio. La stradina che abbiamo preso era deserta, abbiamo camminato un po’ e poi ci siamo fermati a guardare le stelle.

“Solo Nell’oscurità puoi vedere le stelle”
Sembra che Martin Luther King Jr. abbia detto: “Solo nell’oscurità puoi vedere le stelle”. Si possono dare molte interpretazioni a questa frase. Per esemio: nell’oscurità, anche se questa ci spaventa, possiamo superare la paura, riplendere e scoprire la nostra forza. Oppure – e questa è la mia interpretazione preferita al momento – solo nella semplicità del buio, quando non siamo distratti da quello che ci circonda, scopriamo l’essenza delle cose.

Questo è un po’ anche il messaggio che sto ricevendo dal vivere in un piccolo paesino in lockdown. Guardiamo le stelle e godiamo di questi momenti semplici ma preziosi.

Our next blog will be announced on our Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/italianinlondon

If you like to subscribe to this newsletter, please insert your email address below:

La misteriosa cassetta di kiwi (livello A2)

Ecco un’altra puntata del nostro blog. Questo può essere complementare alla vostra lezione di italiano (Italian class). Può aiutarvi a capire la cultura italiana (Italian culture) e la lingua italiana (Italian language).

I kiwi misteriosi
Oggi sono scesa di sotto e fuori dalla porta ho trovato una cassetta di kiwi. Che sorpresa! Ma chi li avrà lasciati? Forse mio marito è andato al mercato? Forse è un regalo? Oppure, li ho comprati io e poi li ho dimenticati fuori? Sto perdendo la memoria? Continua a leggere per scoprire la risposta.

Il trasferimento
Sono italiana, ma vivo a Londra da decenni, sono sposata con un uomo inglese e abbiamo due figli. Recentemente ci siamo trasferiti in un piccolo paese dove vivono ancora i miei fratelli e dove anche noi abbiamo una casa.

A Londra non c’è più nessun membro della nostra famiglia, nè di quella inglese, nè di quella italiana. C’è un fratello di mio marito ma abita lontano. Quindi i nostri figli normalmente non vedono il resto della nostra famiglia, tranne quando siamo in vacanza in Italia.

Ora che ci siamo trasferiti, mio fratello, o come lo chiamiamo in casa, lo zio Enrico, ci fa spesso delle sorprese. Siamo fortunati, visto che quest’anno ha deciso di prendere un anno sabbatico. Mio fratello è single, così ogni settimana viene a pranzo da noi e poi gioca con i bambini. Ridiamo e raccontiamo vecchie storie della nostra famiglia. Usiamo il nostro lessico familiare*, un linguaggio nostro che solo una persona della famiglia può capire. Alle volte basta una smorfia o un movimento delle mani, per capire di cosa o chi si stia parlando.
Un giorno sono scesa di sotto e ho trovato una cassetta di kiwi. Ecco che lo zio dopo aver raccolto i kiwi dalle sue piante, li ha lasciati fuori dalla nostra porta di casa per farci una sorpresa.
Grazie zio Enrico!

Nel nostro prossimo blog scriveremo un aggiornamento divertente sul fatto di non avere ancora il medico di famiglia. A venerdì!

*Lessico Familiare è un libro scritto da Natalia Ginsburg, lo consiglio agli studenti di lingua italiana, in quanto relativamente facile da leggere ma soprattutto molto bello.

Annunceremo il nostro prossimo blog sulla pagina Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/italianinlondon

If you like to subscribe to this newsletter, please insert your email address below:

La riscoperta di casa (livello A2/B1)

30 ottobre 2020

Ecco un’altra puntata del nostro blog. Questo può essere complementare alla vostra lezione di italiano (Italian class). Può aiutarvi a capire la cultura italiana (Italian culture) e la lingua italiana (Italian language).

Sono un’insegnante di italiano come seconda lingua e ho vissuto a Londra per decenni. Sono sposata con un uomo inglese e abbiamo due figli. Nel settembre 2020 abbiamo deciso di trasferirci nel mio paesino originario che si trova in Italia fra il Lago di Como e le Alpi.

Per più di vent’anni ho vissuto a Londra, ne sono stata attratta, l’ho desiderata, mi sono immersa con piacere nel suo ritmo frenetico. L’ho conosciuta pian piano, l’ho amata, l’ho criticata e infine è diventata casa. Non avevo nostalgia dell’Italia nè il desiderio di tornare, o forse sì.

Ora che sono tornata in Italia, anche qui mi sento a casa. Si tratta però di una senzazione strana fatta di familiarità ma anche di sorpresa e di scoperta. Mi sorprendo a guardare dalla finestra, vedo la montagna che sovrasta tutte le altre ed è come se la vedessi per la prima volta. Non ho mai notato i suoi colori che cambiano drammaticamente con il cambio di stagione. La trovo bellissima. La natura mi circonda, e ogni volta che la guardo la sento sussurrare. Le montagne in particolare mi parlano della sua maestà, del suo potere e della sua protezione.

Care montagne mi siete mancate!

Annunceremo il nostro prossimo blog sulla pagina Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/italianinlondon

If you like to subscribe to this newsletter, please insert your email address below:

Il nostro autunno in Italia (livello A2)

21 ottobre 2020

Ecco la seconda puntata del nostro blog. Questo può essere complementare alla vostra lezione di italiano (Italian class). Può aiutarvi a capire la cultura italiana (Italian culture) e la lingua italiana (Italian language).

La nostra avventura continua
Mio marito ed io abbiamo deciso di trasferirci in Italia da Londra con i nostri due figli. Ci siamo trasferiti a settembre 2020. Abbiamo preso questa decisione per far fare ai nostri figli un’esperienza di vita in un paese piccolo e a contatto con la natura.

Il nostro paesino è su un piccolo lago, collegato al lago di Como e circondato da montagne. Dalle nostre finestre vediamo ogni giorno i primi segni del cambiamento di stagione. I picchi delle montagne hanno iniziato a coprirsi di neve e dove erano verdi stanno cambiando colore.

Festività e occasioni autunnali
A Londra, la nostra famiglia ha sempre festeggiato Halloween. In Italia invece, specialmente dove viviamo, non è particolarmente popolare e quindi abbiamo deciso di far scoprire ai nostri figli altre tradizioni tipiche della nostra zona.

La prima tradizione è relativa alle castagne. La raccolta e la preparazione delle castagne è una tradizione di tutte le famiglie della zona. Anche noi abbiamo portato i bambini in montagna per raccogliere le castagne.

Abbiamo poi invitato i nostri più cari parenti e amici, arrostito le castagne sul fuoco e passato un pomeriggio con del buon vino e della buona compagnia.

Altre festività tipiche dell’autunno sono il festeggiamento di Ognissanti e della commemorazione dei morti. La commemorazione dei defunti è infatti una festività antichissima che precede il cristianesimo. Un dolce tipico italiano di queso periodo si chiama proprio ossa dei morti ed è un dolce delizioso che al nord ha un colore scuro ed è coperto di zucchero. Gnam gnam!

Riusciremo a risolvere il nostro problema?
Vi ricordate, uno dei nostri problemi è stato non avere il medico di famiglia. Seguite il blog per sapere se questa storia ha un lieto fine 😉.

Annunceremo il nostro prossimo blog sulla pagina Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/italianinlondon

If you like to subscribe to this newsletter, please insert your email address below:

La nostra nuova vita in Italia (livello A2)

Ottobre 2020

Sono italiana, ma vivo a Londra da decenni, sono sposata con un uomo inglese e abbiamo due figli. Abbiamo una casa in Italia e tutte le estati passiamo lì le vacanze. La nostra casa si trova in Lombardia nel nord d’Italia fra il Lago di Como e le montagne. Mio marito si è innamorato della campagna e della montagna italiane e così abbiamo deciso di passare un po’ di tempo in Italia e a settembre 2020 ci siamo trasferiti con i nostri due figli nel paesino dove sono nata che si chiama Novate Mezzola.

I nostri bambini hanno iniziato ad andare a scuola e a conoscere nuovi amici. Parlano già l’italiano ma non molto bene e fortunatamente si stanno ambientando felicemente.

Io e mio marito prima di trasferirci abbiamo pensato ai vari problemi che avrebbero potuto sorgere, ma specialmente io, non ho voluto considerarli troppo per evitare di crearmi paure e di cambiare idea sul trasferimento. Così ho deciso di affrontare i problemi nel momento in cui sorgono. Questo approccio in un certo senso positivo, non è sempre consigliabile in quanto una volta arrivati abbiamo dovuto fare i conti con la burocrazia italiana e internazionale. Per esempio non abbiamo ancora il medico di famiglia!! Comunque, considero questi ostacoli parte della nostra avventura.

Nel trattempo, l’autunno è arrivato portandosi una luce diversa, i suoi bellissimi colori e i suoi frutti dolci e ricchi. Nel prossimo blog, parlerò proprio di questo e di come stiamo assaporando le tradizioni tipiche della nostra zona sostituendo agli amati Halloween e alle celebrazione del 5 novembre, la festa delle castagne e le celebrazioni di Ognissanti e dei Morti.

Il segreto sta nell’essere felici ovunque siamo, capendo e abbracciando quello che di meglio ci offre la cultura locale.

Alla prossima!

Learning Italian during the pandemic

The last few months have been a difficult period due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been a sad time for some and a difficult time for most due to the lockdown restrictions. Although we cannot deny the negative effects of the pandemic, many people seem to have discovered new ways of working, learning and generally leading their lives. For example, working from home has proved to be easier than people thought, many have discovered that it is not necessary to shop every day, and also that learning from home using a computer is easy and convenient.

People have started to take a great variety of classes online. Learning a language online with a dedicated teacher is easy, accessible and convenient. Even people who loved attending a regular class have discovered the convenience of distance learning, which saves time usually spent going to and from the class.

Parla Italiano has also been impacted by Coronavirus; after we had to close our face-to-face classes, we decided to specialise in online classes and recruit teachers who are very good at teaching using Zoom. Our teachers are not only great online but are experienced with teaching Italian as a second language and are of course mother tongue.

All our courses are small, a maximum of ten students. Our courses are structured by level and the syllabus is carefully designed to suit the needs of the students. All material presented during the lesson is made available before and after class. We use a variety of tools to make the class truly engaging. There is plenty of speaking practice during class as students are split into smaller groups and enabled to interact with each other, making the most of the time available.

Our new classes are starting soon, we have a variety of levels and we offer a free assessment and guidance to choose the correct course for you.

I personally like to get to know our students before they join so that I can advise the best course for them. I like to discuss with my students their learning history and what they wish to achieve. Please get in touch by phone (UK number +44 7941092593) or by email laura@parlaitaliano.co.uk. I look forward to speaking with you!

Learning Italian: It only takes a 1000 words

The other day, I came across this bit of information which I thought was really interested: it only takes a 1000 high frequency words to understand most of what is said ordinarily in a foreign language, in fact between 80% and 95% of what is saidConsidered from a complete beginners’ point of view, it makes learning a language less daunting and very achievable. This information was in fact part of a British Council campaign a few years ago. 

However, we know that a language is made up of a vast amount of lexis; it is estimated that the Italian language has around 470,000 words and if you think that this is a great deal, consider that the English language is estimated to include around 1 million! So why is it possible to get by in a language with only a 1000 words?  

Our everyday language is actually quite simple and incredibly predictable. Therefore, we can predict the language used in a wide range of basic situations by the context and therefore, a few key words can reveal the meaning of full sentences. That is why the more confident a student is and the more s/he will try to understand also by predicting the meaning. 

If however, even acquiring a 1000 words feels daunting and you feel like you are forgetting the new words as fast as you are learning them, let me give you a few tips on how to learn them more effectively. First of all, language has meaning in context. This means that it is more effective to learn new words presented in a dialogue or text or by recording them in families rather than randomlyAlso, reading lists over and over is not an effective way of remembering theseWords needs to be anchored within your existing knowledge. This is easier that it sounds and it can be fun. For example let’s take the word cucchiaio, which means spoon, the first part of the word is pronounced as in ‘cook’ so here we would suggest to think of a cook with a spoon in his hands. 

In our classes we teach these techniques and more. Our new online classes starts soon, please see our courses on this site. For more information or for a free assessment, please email: laura@parlaitaliano.co.uk, phone me on 07941 092593 or visit www.parlaitaliano.co.uk 

What to expect from your Italian class

So, what can you expect from our Parla Italiano classes, what can you expect to learn after a term, and what kind of teachers and methods are used in our classes? Here is the answer:

Parla Italiano, led by myself, has been providing Italian classes since 2006. The success of our school is due to our professional approach. First of all, our native teachers must have a qualification for teaching Italian and experience. Just being a mother tongue is not enough to be able to analyse language, prepare lessons plans with specific aims and deliver it successfully.

Second of all, at Parla Italiano we believe that learning a language is all about motivation and fun. So the environment created in class is stress-free and non-critical, even if the lesson includes correction stages. The role of our teachers is to guide and make it possible for students to learn. Our teachers are able to make the learning process simple, effective and fun by using a variety of activities and material, including games, role plays and so on.

Last but not least, we give students the opportunity to speak. Our classes are small, so students can expect interaction and speaking from lesson one. We don’t expect our students to have previous knowledge, however they will acquire enough of it each lesson to be able to use it straight away. Students are never put on the spot and are given help at each stage.

After a term of classes, students should be able to talk about themselves, ask basic questions, order at the bar and at the restaurant, express preferences and so on. You would have learnt some basic grammar such as the present tense, articles, and so on. And most importantly, have gained some confidence.

The atmosphere in class is positive and encouraging. Mistakes are considered part of the journey. Each person will develop their language skills at their pace and although we give all the tools and advice to work on outside of the class, this is by choice, you don’t have to do it. We understand that the Italian class means different things to different students and we respect that. Please get in touch if you wish to know more!

For our full list of classes please visit our website: www.parlaitaliano.co.uk and click on Group Italian Classes. If you wish to speak with us, please write to: laura@parlaitaliano.co.uk or phone: 07941 092593

Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

We respect you, our customer, and understand that you are concerned about privacy. We would like to share with you what kind of information we collect and how it is handled.

 

Updated: 8 May 2018

 

  1. What this Privacy Policy covers

 

This is the Privacy Policy for Parla Italiano.

 

We are committed to being transparent on how we collect, use and protect your personal information. The data controller is Parla Italiano (referred to in this policy as “we”, “us” or “our”). We want you to be confident that the personal information you give us is safe and secure with us, and understand how we use it to offer you a better and more personalised experience on our Site.

 

Our Privacy Policy explains:

  • the personal information we collect;
  • how and why we collect and use your personal information;
  • why we process your personal information;
  • when and why we will disclose your personal information to other organisations;
  • the rights and choices you have when it comes to your personal information;
  • the steps we take to ensure your information is kept secure and confidential;
  • how long we will hold your information for; and
  • how to contact us.

 

Our Site might contain links to third-party websites that are not subject to this Privacy Policy such as Social Media sites and others.

Please make sure you read a third party’s terms and conditions and privacy policy carefully before providing any personal information on a third-party website, as we cannot accept any responsibility or liability for those third-party websites.

 

  1. Personal information we collect

 

When you register your interest in our courses or to become a client either by email or on parlaitaliano.co.uk, you may provide us with: Your personal details, including without limitation your and your company’s name, your title and your job title, your and your company’s postal and billing addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, your level of Italian. If you require a class for your child we will collect their age as to offer a class for the correct age group for them.

 

  1. How we collect and use your personal information

 

We collect your email address, your first name, last name, and your current level of Italian. We use this to send you information on forthcoming courses that you have expressed an interest in.

 

You should not provide us with another person’s personal information. If you do so you should first ask them to read this Privacy Policy. By giving us personal information about another person you are confirming that they have given you consent to provide the personal information to us and that they understand how their details will be used.

We will periodically review your personal information to ensure that we do not keep it for longer than is permitted by law (see section 9 below).

 

  1. Why do we process your personal information?

 

We will only collect and use your personal information (as described in sections 2 and 3) in accordance with data protection laws. Our grounds for processing your personal information are that you have asked us to provide our products and services for you, such as our courses or a subscription to our newsletter/blog.

 

Furthermore, we may use and process some of your personal information where we have sensible and legitimate business grounds for doing so. Under European privacy laws there is a concept of “legitimate interests” as a justification for processing your personal information.

Our legitimate interests for processing your personal information are:

 

4.1 to enable you to access and use our services;

4.2 to communicate with you about your use of our services. For example, sending you a confirmation email, or updates on new courses available.

4.3 to send you information on new products and services available from us.

 

  1. Disclosure of your personal information to other organisations

The personal information that we collect when you use our services is confidential. We may disclose your personal information to a third party in the following circumstances:

5.1. Our service providers

These include:

5.1.1. Organisations who host our Sites, provide templates for our Site pages, as well as apps we use on our Site (which are designed internally by their own teams, or externally by other providers).

5.1.2. Mailchimp, our email provider and newsletter distributor.

 

5.2. If required or permitted to do so by law

5.3. If required to do so by any court, the Financial Conduct Authority or any other applicable regulatory, compliance, governmental or law enforcement agency

5.4. If necessary in connection with legal proceedings or potential legal proceedings;

5.5. If ownership of all or part of our Site is transferred, in which case any purchaser would only be entitled to use that information in a way consistent with this Privacy Policy.

 

  1. How you can change permissions

All emails or other forms of communication directly from us to you will include clear instructions on how to unsubscribe. Plus, if you don’t want to be contacted by us anymore you can email laura@parlaitaliano.co.uk

 

Section 7 below also sets out your other information rights.

 

  1. Your information rights and responsibilities

 

7.1. You already have certain rights under existing data protection legislation, including a right to request a copy of the personal information we hold on you, if you request it in writing. From 25 May 2018 you will have the following rights:

 

7.1.1. Right to correct: the right to have your personal information rectified if it is inaccurate or incomplete;

7.1.2. Right to erase: the right to request that we delete or remove your personal information from our systems;

7.1.3. Right to restrict our use of your information: the right to ‘block’ us from using your personal information or limit the way in which we can use it;

7.1.4. Right to data portability: the right to request that we move, copy or transfer your personal information;

7.1.5. Right to object: the right to object to our use of your personal information including where we use it for our legitimate interests, or where we use your personal information to carry out profiling to inform our market research and user demographics. If you raise an objection we will stop processing your personal information unless very exceptional circumstances apply, in which case we will let you know why we’re continuing to process your personal information.

We will use reasonable efforts consistent with our legal duty to provide you with your rights in accordance with data protection legislation.

 

7.2. To make enquiries, exercise any of your rights set out in this Privacy Policy and/or make a complaint please email laura@parlaitaliano.co.uk or write to the Data Protection Officer at Parla Italiano, 35 Riverway, London N13 5JY, England, UK.

 

7.3. If you’re not satisfied with the way any complaint you make in relation to your personal information is handled by us then you may be able to refer your complaint to the relevant data protection regulator. In the UK, this is the Information Commissioner’s Office.

 

 

  1. Keeping your personal information secure

 

8.1. The vast majority of the personal information we hold about you is stored in the Cloud by our various service providers such as Microsoft, Google, TsoHost and MailChimp. As such, the personal information we collect from you may be transferred to and stored in countries outside of the European Economic Area (“EEA”). Different countries have different data protection and security laws and some of these do not offer the same level of protection as the UK.

8.2. We do our best to keep the information you disclose to us secure. However, we can’t guarantee its security. By using our Site you accept the inherent risks of providing information online and will not hold us responsible for any breach of security.

 

  1. How long do we keep your personal information?

Unless a longer retention period is required or permitted by law, we will only hold your personal information on our systems for the period necessary to fulfil the purposes outlined in this Privacy Policy or until you request it is deleted. If, having registered for any of our services, you do not use them for a reasonable time (which may vary depending on the service(s) you’ve registered for) we may contact you to ensure you’re still happy to receive communications from us. Even if we delete your personal information it may persist on back-up or archival media for legal, tax or regulatory purposes.

 

  1. How to contact us

Our Data Protection Officer is Parla Italiano’s head: Laura Scaramella.

If you have any queries relating to our use of your personal information or any other related data protection questions, please email laura@parlaitaliano.co.uk or write to the Data Protection Officer at Parla Italiano, 35 Riverway, London N13 5JY, England, UK.

 

  1. Changes

This policy is effective from 8 May. We may, from time to time, make changes to this Privacy Policy to reflect any changes to our privacy practices in accordance with changes to legislation, best practice or Site enhancements. We will let you know what these changes are by posting them to this page. Where the changes are significant, we may also choose to email you with the new details and get your consent to make these changes where required by law. It is your responsibility as a user to make sure that you are aware of changes posted on this page, by checking for any changes on a regular basis. Changes posted on this page will become effective as soon as they are posted.

 

Effective as of 8 May 2018

Successful language learning: learning from the children

The fundamental elements of learning a language are only a few: being exposed to it by hearing lots of it and putting it into practise by speaking at any opportunity are two of them. But the most important is a fearless and trusting mind.

When I was at school, I studied German for years, however, the only phrase I can say is ‘und so weiter’, which means etcetera. But why after so many years can I only say such a useless phrase? This is because it is the only phrase that my teacher used to say in German when teaching us. We never got to hear much German nor did we speak it in class.
These are clearly great disadvantages when learning a language as hearing it continuously in context underpins learning. Speaking it is another pillar of a successful methodology. Our adults and children classes are taught in the target language and are given plenty of opportunities for speaking.
Children, unlike adults, are less preoccupied with understanding every single word, so long as they can follow the general meaning, they will be interested. Their attitude generates a virtuous circle, the more they hear then the more they understand. This is the natural way of learning our mother tongue. Context is most important, for example, if the child doesn’t know what the word ‘apple’ means, if the parent holds an apple in their hand as they talk, the child will learn the word.
Adult learners have the same ability but most tend to question and focus on what they don’t understand. They demand to understand every single word and feel lost when they don’t. In the previous example, they hear a sort of ‘bla, bla, bla, mela’ and rather than focus on the meaning of ‘mela=apple’ which is clear from the context, they focus on the ‘bla, bla, bla’. This becomes exhausting and ineffective.
Successful adult learners trust themselves and have a mental openness similar to that of children. They are fearless and let the language soaks into their mind, capturing the essentials and more. If you are interested in learning a language, let the children teach you to be fearless.

Our new Italian classes for children and adults start soon. For more info please visit: www.parlaitaliano.co.uk, email laura@parlaitaliano.co.uk or phone 07941092593