Italians learning Italian

At Scuola Toscana it happens also this, that students come from Italy to study Italian. Last week we hosted a group from Bildungszentrum Frankenberg – Fachschule für Hauswirtschaft in Alto Adige, Italy, young students of german mother tongue who need to perfect their Italian language to live and work in a bilingual part of Italy.

Every day we organised a special activity for them, we went to Siena…

and one of the highlight was the visit to Westin Excelsior Hotel…

Another good occasion was the 150th celebration of Italian unity, with events allover the centre of Florence the whole night !


Thanks to the accompanying professor Morandini for the pictures, he is also a semi-professional photographer !

エノテカでイタリア語を習得

イタリアで長期留学を希望される場合、インターンシップをイタリアで行ってみるのも、有意義なイタリア語習得方法の一つです。

スクオーラトスカーナのインターンシッププログラムでは、午前中、イタリア語レッスンを受講していただき、午後、カフェ、レストラン、商店などで、イタリア語と仕事のスキルの実践を行っていただけます。
職場の上司や同僚、特にお客様との会話を通して、教科書にはない身近で実際使用されているイタリア語を勉強していただけます。

インターンシップは面白く、満足感を得られることも多いですが、毎日、朝から夜までイタリア語にどっぷり浸かっていただく生活になります。午前中は、語学学校のレッスン、そして宿題、午後は、インターンシップ先で研修です。研修先では、まさにイタリア語のみとなります。研修先では、楽しい時もあれば、そうでない時もあるかもしれません。でも、チャレンジ精神を常に抱いていれば、必ず乗り越えられるでしょう。

当校の生徒Izumiさんは、現在、インターンシップをチャレンジされています。午前中は、4時間の語学コースに通学され、午後は、フィレンツェ市内ポルタ・プラート地区にあるエノテカEnotriaでインターンシップをされています。Enotriaは、1989年、ワインバーとしてオープンし、現在は、ワインレストランとして、お昼は、オフィスワーカーへのケータリングを、夜は、ワイン愛好家達に向けてのディナーを提供しています。
スクオーラトスカーナでは、長年、このエノテカとパートナーシップを持っておりIzumiさんは、ここでインターンシップをする、当校で3人目の生徒さんです。Enotriaでは、Izumiさんは、イタリア人のお客様にイタリアワインやその品質を説明しながら、ご自身のイタリア語スキルを上達されています。

Learning Italian at the Enoteca


For students who stay in Italy for a long time, Internship programme is surely one of the best ways to learn Italian.

With the Internship Programme at Scuola Toscana, the students attend Italian classes in the morning and spend the evenings as trainees in cafes, restaurants, shops, to practice the language and to learn the special lexicon needed at work. To talk with Italian bosses, colleagues, and especially with Italian customers is a great way to improve the knowledge of the real language – really “learning by doing”. No simulations, no roleplaying, this is the real thing.
It is interesting and satisfying, but it requires a good amount of commitment : you go to the school in the morning, have your homework to do, and in the evening you go to work, to learn other skills, always immerse in no-stop Italian. As with all the works, some days can be harder than other days…rewarding but challenging. Our student Izumi seems to be equal to the challenge: she is a very proficient student, comes to her classes every morning for the regular four hours a day course, and in the evening … goes on learning Italian, but at a different place, Enotria, an enoteca in the Porta a Prato area of Florence;

Enotria is a family business, founded 1989 as a wine bar and now a wine restaurant, which caters to office people at lunch and to wine amateurs at dinner. Scuola Toscana has a long-standing partnership with Enotria and Izumi is the third student of Scuola Toscana doing a stage there.

At Enotria Izumi perfects her skills as a wine expert, explaining Italian wines and their qualities to (enthralled) Italian customers.

イタリア語検定試験

東北関東大震災から10日が経ちました。
犠牲になられた方のご冥福をお祈りするとともに、被災者の方へのお見舞いを申し上げます。
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スクオーラトスカーナでは、イタリア語検定試験の受験をお勧めしております。それまで勉強したイタリア語や身につけたイタリア文化の知識を、検定を受検することで示すことができるからです。
また、ディプロマを取得し、履歴書にそれを追記することで、就職活動にも役立つことでしょう。

イタリア語検定試験は、様々な学校や機関、大学主催のものが存在していますが、イタリア政府または教育省が認定した公的な試験は存在しません。

当校からは、AIL (Accademia Italiana di Lingua)検定試験を推奨しております。その理由として、
・ AIL (Accademia Italiana di Lingua) は、1982年より国際的に知られている検定試験です。
・ 幅広いレベルと専門分野の試験が提供されています。
・ 学術的で公平な基準で評価されます。
・ 常に、世界中の教師・教授・学生の厳しい評価と評論のもとで運営され、学術委員会やヨーロッパの専門家たちにより年ごとに時代に即した改定がなされています。

AILは、初級・中級・上級で、計6レベルの試験が設定されており、中級、上級レベルには、ビジネスイタリア語を目的とした試験も設定されています。

試験は、年4回行われます。(通常、3月、6月、9月、12月)

スクオーラトスカーナは、AIL試験センターですので、直接当校で受験していただけます。また、受験希望者の方に向けた試験対策コースも設けております。

次回より、少しずつ、試験の内容についてご案内いたします。

DALI Italian language exam evaluation – part three.

Another, more “synthetical”, proposal: to stick to some items of the ELP, the notorious “European Language Portfolio”

Under the entry “speaking” (which could match the oral part of our DALI exam), what ELP says is that a C1 level means a speaker who
“can express her/himself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social and professional purposes. Can formulate ideas and opinions with precision and relate her/his contribution skillfully to those of other speakers.Can present clear, detailed descriptions of complex subjects integrating sub-themes, developing particular points and rounding off with an appropriate conclusion”

According to that description, we could add (or substitute ?) in the evaluation scorecard for the examiners a series of questions like:

“Is the candidate able to express her/himself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions “?
“Is the candidate able to use the language flexibly and effectively, for social and professional purposes ?”
“Is the candidate able to formulate ideas and opinions with precision and relate her/his contribution skillfully to those of other speakers ?”
“Is the candidate able to present clear, detailed descriptions of complex subjects integrating sub-themes, developing particular points and rounding off with an appropriate conclusion ?”

With grades simply corresponding to

yes always
mostly
sometimes
no

Obviously, some exam parts shoudl be modified according to the need of testing the use of language in social or professional situations, etc., for example with appropriate role-playings, simulations, discussions etc.

I can imagine the main objection at the Workshop: yes, but in this way you are not (only) testing the language abilities of the candidate, but her/his social abilities, cultural knowledges, rethorical capacities… at the end of the day, it is not an exam about language, but about intelligence…
Yes.
The problem is, is it possible to design a language exam which can evaluate only the language – without being influenced by the intelligence of the candidate ?
Can language use be separate by the intelligence of the speaker ?

(third in a series – previous article here)

フィレンツェ職人工房

スクオーラトスカーナの課外活動として、先月はヴェッキオ宮殿見学をご紹介しましたが、今回は、フィレンツェの職人工房見学をご紹介します。

フィレンツェ市内を流れるアルノ川対岸地区を”Oltrarno”(オルトラルノ)と呼ばれていますが、そのオルトラルノ地区の中のサン・フレディアーノ地区には、職人工房が多く存在しています。何世代も継がれたフィレンツェ職人の技を目にすることができます。
先週、当校の友人でもあるCecchi氏の工房を訪問させていただき、生徒達にお仕事を紹介していただきました。

イタリア職人の技を直接、目の前で見ていただくことで、イタリア語の勉強はもちろん、イタリア文化に触れていただける絶好の機会となっております。

Visit to an artigiano fiorentino

One of the most original activities at Scuola Toscana,
is the visit to a Florentine artisan, who has his workshop in San Frediano.


San Frediano, in Oltrarno, the “other” side of the river, is home to many workshops, where you can still see expert craftsmen working with their hand to create the traditional florentine craft. These
workshops have handed down their “know-how” from generation to generation and by so doing have played an invaluable part in conserving a legacy of ready invention and ingenuity that more than merits attention.

Thursday we went to Mr Cecchi’s workshop – he is a friend of Scuola Toscana, always more than happy to explain his work to the students.


An unvaluable occasion for the students at Scuola Toscana, another special way to learn italian in Florence

DALI Italian language exam evaluation, part two

We all agree that it is difficult to define the knowledge of a foreign language, very difficult to evaluate the oral knowledge of a speaker, and almost outrageous to claim to give a score for that.
The fact is, that there is a difference among someone who is barely able to present himself, someone who can have an everyday conversation in a restaurant and someone who can deliver a speech to an university audience.
And if you want to offer exams, you must have a transparent way to say it, to measure it, and given that the measurers are human beings, the way has to be the most independent and less biased possible.
The actual system of scoring in the DALI examination is already a good basis (see previous post), one way to make it better is to increase the grades of evaluation; where you have now four levels, can split them to arrive at six, like this:

OLD
statement formally correct or with some small grammatical mistakes (2 points)
statement mainly correct, with grammar mistakes which do not compromise the understanding (1.5 points)
statement mainly incorrect, and partially not understandable (1 point)
statement not understandable, or no statement. (0 point)

NEW
statement formally correct (2.5 points)
statement with some small grammatical mistakes (2 points)
statement mainly correct, with grammar mistakes which do not compromise the understanding (1.5 points)
statement mainly incorrect but generally understandable (1 point)
statement partially not understandable (0.5points)
statement not understandable, or no statement. (0 point)

This way, even if the experts continue to disagree as before, the wider score should “buffer” the differences and the final evaluation should result more homogeneous.
(end of part two of three)