23 June 2006

Off to language school

Tomorrow we will pick up a car in Roma and drive to the Adriatic side of Italy to Ascoli Piceno, which is in the Marche region, for 2 weeks of intensive language classes. Most people seem to go to Firenze, Siena or Roma where there are many language schools, but we chose the Academia Italia in Ascoli Piceno as this is an area with fewer foreign tourists and thus we will be in a town where we will have to speak Italian to communicate, thus reinforcing our learning.

I found this school on the internet and, other than a few brief phone calls, most of our correspondence has been via email. When this process first began it all went smoothly, but as we had delays with our visa and, as we get closer to actually being at the school, we have been a little concerned with the slow response to communication we have had with the school. We have confirmed that they know we will be there Saturday and we will be there for 2 weeks, so here’s hoping all goes as planned.

Valerie and I will be in different classes; I will be in the beginner’s class and she will be in an intermediate class. Since I have made the arrangements for this school and my communication has been entirely in English the school believes I have little to no Italian language skills. This may be true - I certainly feel that way most of the time, and I have problems remembering a word I looked up 10 minutes ago. Valerie on the other hand, despite her denials, can at least convey her wants and desires in Italian to many native speakers. Frequently the scene is that she strikes up a conversation with a shop owner and I standby smiling and shaking my head in agreement, then once we leave the shop she explains to me what the conversation was about. This gives new meaning to being dependant on your wife.

I do want to be able to at least have basic communication with Italian friends and shop keepers and to have a basic understanding of what is going on around me here in Italy, in conversations, on the bus and headlines in the news. Hopefully these 2 weeks will give me a kick start down that path.

1 comment:

Brendan said...

Rent films that you have seen in English and that you are familiar with but watch them dubbed into Italian. I learned this way.