All these years we have been wondering why the number of students at our school, year after year, remained constant or, even, increased… of course, we try to do our best, and of course, our teachers are incredible, and, naturally, our activities are marvellous but you and me know very well that in times of international crisis also the quality succumbs to the reality of the market.
You know, there is not so much interest in the international press about the language courses abroad, it does not seem such a sexy or glamorous topic. And the rarefied specialised press is not so interesting to me. But, a couple of days ago a very nice brochure about the 20 years of the Language Fair in Berlin arrived at the school, and leafing through the pages I saw this statistics.
It was an “Eureka” moment, I never realised that the global market for study abroad in these years was grown so much. If you enlarge the infographic, you see that the number of language students abroad went from the 1.7 millions of 1995 to the 4.5 millions of 2011. Which explains better than anything how and why our (small) school and other (small) schools who are doing the same work can be still alive and kicking. It’s a good idea to be safely nestled in a growing market, after all.
We at Scuola Toscana have a new partner – after the courses of Japanese language, and Chinese language, we offer now at our school also courses in classical Latin and Greek.
Scuola Toscana teamed up with Giampiero at Centro di Studi Classici GrecoLatino Vivo, and three classes have already started, with young and less young students.
The idea of GrecoLatino Vivo (living Greek and Latin) is to approach these two “dead” languages as “living” languages, therefore speaking in Latin or Greek from the first class, and learning not just the theory, but learning to speak.
Like in the old times, the students of these courses can communicate in Latin also with students from other countries, using it as a lingua franca again … it could be a smart idea also for our foreign students, who after the Italian lessons could join the courses in Latin or Greek too !
“Misericordia di Firenze” The Venerable Confraternity of Mercy of Florence, is one of the most enduring civic institutions, being born during the 1200s.
Since its inception the Confraternity has provided to transport the sick in hospitals and to organise funeral services; moreover, among the tasks of the Misericordia there was the donation of dowry to the poor girls, the release of the prisoners from the prisons for debt, the provision of subsidies to indigent patients and for the burial of the poor.
Today, the Association is called to face new emergencies, offering a wide range of services: patients transportation, health care, social residences for the elderly, family counseling, specialist clinics, civil defence, free rental of medical equipment, food aid.
In february the refurbished Museo della Misericordia will reopen to the public, and of course we have already planned an activity to visit the museum. Our teacher Caterina has already had a preview (behind these doors) in order to prepare the visit of our students…
As for now, you can enjoy a virtual tour here
Some students are so kind with us that give goodbye presents when they leave. Usually chocolates, sweets, books, souvenirs… but also small artistic works, like these drawing of the german student Gerhard.
I appreciate this kind of present because – I like to draw sketches too, and I know it is sometimes difficult to separate from its own work, however small, and to offer it as a present really means something … very personal. Moreover, here you have two very special corners of Florence, in all its beauty … Happy to share it with you !
Today we had the Aperitivo at Scuola Toscana, something to eat, something to drink, just to chat and have fun together … even if in January the school is at its “lowest”, we do have a good mix of ages, nationalities, and languages ! This year we want to offer aperitivo more often, at least once in a month, and not only in the low season …
Today we have received from Accademia Italiana di Lingua (AIL) the results and the diplomas of the last exams of some of our students – all of them succesful.
AIL is a non profit organization which – since 1982 – organizes exams of Italian as second language, at all the levels of the ELP (from A1 to C2, plus two commercial italian exams), in various countries.
As Scuola Toscana is member of this organisation, the students at Scuola Toscana can prepare and sit for these exam. It is a great idea to complete a cycle of studies, because with this AIL official diploma one can really prove where is arrived with her/his studies.
Moreover, it is interesting and motivating to do a preparation course together with some friends and then feel the thrill to participate in the exam… find more information also here !