If you are going to learn another language, then it should be in the country of origin. I have wanted to learn Italian for a long time, ever since my first trip to Rome in 2001. I fell in love with the country, people, food, wine, culture and the Italian way of life.
So, this year I finally enrolled in two weeks of Italian classes at Scuola Tricolore In Genova. I chose this school because of their great reputation and positive reviews of past students.
I arrived in Genova at the beginning of the week ready to start my Italian learning journey.
Upon arrival, I was. given a grammar test to ascertain my level of Italian. I have to admit that my exposure to the Italian language was limited to a few words and phrases I had picked up through my travels. Although it had been enough to get me through my initial travels, now I wanted to learn more.
Once I completed the test, the school allocated me to a class based on my test points. I was not surprised to be put into the beginners class as this is whaI had originally enrolled for.
The first day felt overwhelming as the lessons are conducted in Italian, yes, even the beginners class. But there was no need to panic as the teacher provided translation for the exercise instructions.
I found the Italian instruction to be of benefit as it shifted my mindset into Italian straight away. I have tried to study foreign languages in Australia, but as they are conducted in English I have always found it hard to retain the vocabulary.
When a class is conducted in its native tongue, I found that I actually picked up more than I thought I would.
My first day was no doubt challenging, not only with hearing the words but to try and get my head around masculine, feminine, singular and plural words. At the end of the day I felt like my head would explode!
However, I persisted and after my first week, I felt I was in a better position to understand how Italian worked. There is no simple formula to remembering everything. It really is a case of practice, practice and practice again.
What makes it easier is that I am living and studying in Genova right now. I have the perfect opportunity to put into practice what I have learned each day.
When I walk through the historic centre near my apartment, I can interact with the local shop vendors much better. It really is surprising to realise how much I really have learned.
I truly believe that if you want to learn a language you must do it in that country. Not only do you learn more, but it makes for a real and authentic experience.