30 June 2011

School is Out!

At least for the kids...

I have been teaching English as a Second Language since I returned to Italy last October. This is at a private language school in Potenza, about a 25 minute drive from our house. The owner of this British language school is Italian, I’m an American, there is another American teacher and a girl from Ireland. A British language school and I find it amusing that none of us are mother-tongue from Britain. I am not trained as teacher, my qualifications are my degree and madre-lingua.

As any expat in Italy doing this will confirm, teaching English will not make you wealthy; it barely pays to put food on the table. My position is part-time but helps to stretch our funds while we look for other opportunities. Fortunately living expenses here in Basilicata are low compared to other parts of Italy so we can stretch our euros even farther.

The majority of my students had been between the ages of 10 and 15 so their lessons corresponded with the school year. When their school was finished for the summer their lessons with me concluded. This included a final week of exams for our courses as well as several exams for different English certification programs.

It has been interesting to talk to these kids about their public school experiences. All of them have more than one language class during the week including Italian and English at the grade school level. Once in high school they usually add Latin and Greek and perhaps French. By the time they get to my class in the evening their brains have worked around two or three languages that day.

I will continue to have a few business people with one-on-one lessons through the summer, except for August when Italy shuts down for holiday. Our group classes for the school kids will gear-up again in the fall after they return to school.

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