How we teach
The lessons are held in an informal setting and are based on the communicative approach.
Your questions on grammar and Italian culture are always welcome.
Here you can see some real lesson plans so you can get an idea of what we do during our classes. The development of listening and speaking skills is one of our top priorities.
1. The following is a lesson plan for a lower intermediate class
- Listening to a dialogue about an unusual hotel in Matera, in the south of Italy. We listen to dialogues several times and try to speak in Italian about what we understood. Questions are always welcome.
- Acting out in pairs of the dialogue we listened to based on what we understood.
- Revision of a grammar element from the previous class (combined pronouns). We check homework and then we start verbal practice of combined pronouns with real life questions. Everyone is welcome to join in when they think they can answer a question.
- Revision of new and old vocabulary that came up during the class (the tutor keeps a record of most of the new words, when the class is online this happens on the shared chat box)
2. The following is a lesson plan for a group of 3 beginner students
- Revision of the last class’s content, then everyone can ask questions on the reading given as homework
- Grammar activity: we look for a specific grammar element (the articles “lo” and “gli”) in the text and compare results. Then all toghether we try to explain how these articles work.
- Practice of grammar in pairs (the tutor joins in so to get an even number) using a simple storytelling activity based on 10 words that need the articles we need to practise.
- Listening of a dialogue between two friends. One is visiting the other’s new house in the country. After several listenings we try to tell what is going on in Italian. This is a beginner course, so most people use short sentences. The tutor joins in to fill some gaps or to help with more difficult sentences. In this phase of the activity mistakes are normal and accepted (the students know this and try to speak regardless of grammar accuracy, just as it would happen in real life)
- Revision of the vocabulary jotted down by the tutor and the students during the class.
3. The following is a lesson plan for a total beginner course
- We start the class by listening to a conversation between two people meeting for the first time on a train. As usual we listen several times to the conversation and speak about it in English between listenings. The tutor replies to some questions regarding vocabulary. The new words we encounter are written on the whiteboard or on the chat box in Zoom classes.
- Everyone is given a list of sentences taken from the dialogue we listened to. These sentences are not in the right order and we need to find the right sequence. Then we listen to the dialogue again to double check everyone is on the same page.
- We then use these sentences (now in the right order) to recreate a very similar conversation. The activity is first carried out altogether, than in pairs.
- The following activity is a matching activity when everyone needs to match answers and questions. These are questions that use question words such as “why”, “where”, “when” etc. After that we try and use these sentences in a real conversation between two people meeting for the first time.
- Lastly, a grammar activity to analyse the verbs “to be” and “to have” found in the dialogue and in in the questions of the previous activities. The tutor gives everyone an exercise to practise at home.
4. The following is a lesson plan for Monday’s conversation class (4 upper intermediate students)
- As usual we spend a lot of time speaking about our week. Things we have done, films we have watched etc The students know each other well, so the conversation usually draws everyone in. This part takes up to an hour.
- Revision of a grammar rule that came up during the last class. We try an exercise all together so we can practise.
- Listening to a recording of an old man speaking about school and daily life in Italy in 1930. We listen several times and discuss the dialogue in Italian.
- Then everyone shares their memories of their primary school days.