Italian language course for beginners held in John’s

By Clodomiro Cafolla, Postgraduate International Tutor

From left to right, course participants: Kate, Didi, Xin, Miro, Angelina, Guan and Amber

Italian is a beautiful language, the language of the cradle of the Western civilisation and the most romantic of all the roman languages. It is a definite ‘must learn’ if you are passionate about delicious food, history of art, music or even business. Did you know that “Made in Italy” is the third most recognised brand in the world after Coca Cola and Visa? Not surprisingly, it is the forth most studied language in the world!

The course immediately received great interest

Since January 2019, the academic and cultural life of the College has been enriched with an Italian language course for beginners. The course immediately received great interest both from John’s students and from members of the wider University, with more than 50 requests to join the classes. 20 people were enrolled on a first come, first serve basis.  The class was made of John’s undergraduates and postgraduates, professors and admin staff of the University, fostering the relationships between the different Rooms of our College, as well as between the College and the University.

Over the last three terms, participants of the Italian course have met up every week for a two hour-long class. Starting from the very basic expressions, ciao e Buongiorno, we moved on to learn how to interact with local people in everyday situations, such as ordering in a restaurant (who doesn’t love true Italian food?), or asking for directions – what do you do when you run of battery and cannot use your mobile? Role playing based activities and songs enlightened the sessions and allowed participants to master grammar and verbs. At the end of the course, participants were able to talk to each other in Italian.

don’t you dare put pineapple on a real pizza!

The course also included watching Italian movies over drinks and nibbles. Students appreciated, in particular, the academy award winner La vita é bella. Alongside music and movies, every class included aspects of the Italian culture, learning for example the famous Italian gestures and illegal pizza combinations – don’t you dare put pineapple on a real pizza!

As a final note, all the course fees contributed to the fundraising for our very own Learning Resource Center!

The course was a great opportunity to show what we are really good at in John’s: creating an inclusive environment to enthusiastically learn and flourish as independent thinkers in a wide variety of different subjects.

Roisin Smith said “I really enjoyed the Italian course in St Johns College. It was a really great atmosphere and a wonderful opportunity to learn a new language. Miro is an excellent teacher, incredibly dedicated and always has a smile.”

Amelia Law added “It was great to learn in a small group, rather than the large University lectures I am used to: we were indeed given 1-on-1 attention! It was also very helpful to receive recordings of the classes and work to look at in between classes. I enjoyed the fact that there was a mix of people from college and the wider university – many of whom I would not have met had it not been for the course!”

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