Open House: Winter session of Italian Classes

 Discover Italy Without Leaving Boston? This Winter You Can!

Get a sense of what it will be like

taking classes at the Dante

by attending our winter trimester

Open House

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM

Students will be able to:

Speak with teachers and the PLIDA Language Coordinator

Learn about the communicative approach

– Test their Italian proficiency

– Sign up for the trimester “Winter 2015”

-Watch videos of our courses

In addition:

  • Between 6:00 PM and 6:30 PM there will be the Commencement for the Exam PLIDA A2 and B1.

New and current students welcomed!

Dante Alighieri Society of Massachusetts, Inc.

41 Hampshire Street, Cambridge, MA 021399

Tel.  617-301-8354


“Torneranno i Prati” World Premiere: A Movie for the Great War Centennial

The Educational Office of Italian Consulate in Boston in collaboration with Dante Alighieri Society of Mass., under patronage and support from Italy Premiership, are proud to present:
Tuesday, November 4 | Dante Alighieri Society | 41 Hampshire Street, Cambridge MA, a world premiere simultaneous screening of “Torneranno i prati” by acclaimed director Ermanno Olmi for the centennial of the 1st ‘Great War‘.
Prof. Spencer Di Scala, Historian, will introduce the movie.
WHEN: 4.30 PM – FREE admission.
All students are welcome to watch the movie and then continue the discussion in class. The film is in ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES.
Watch the set description here on this video: What is a trincea? How did soldiers use to live?
and these
-all movies are captioned in English-

Fall Session 2014

Ready for the fall? – SIGN UP HERE

The new season is upon us, and we’re ready for a new set of Italian classes for beginners, false beginners, intermediates, as well as review lessons Non-Plida and new syllabus of lessons for advanced students under the Plida Certification.

Our classes are always lively, fun and interactive, as you’ll see in the cooking presentation video below from our student Lucia. We don’t want to go so far to say “throw grammar from the train,” but we like to do hands on practice before starting on grammar – “prima la pratica e poi la grammatica.”

What did you do this summer? Did you go somewhere cool on vacation, or have a delicious barbeque? Tell us all about it in Italian on the first day of class!

Just waiting for the Spring session…

Ciao a tutti,

we are just preparing for the next session of exams in Italian for the Spring 2014. In the meanwhile, here finally some pictures from the Certification of Language’s Party held during our Open House in the last December.

These students have accomplished their proficiency certified in Italian, called PLIDA, (see the link to know better) in the session of exam 2013 and 2012.


Certification PLIDA November 2013

Lino Rullo, Cecilia Mattii and Maria Cristiano (with the student Judy Jarashow)

Lino Rullo, Cecilia Mattii (and the student Chris Mascara)

with the student Allyson Longley

with the student Danielle Fox


Benedetta Rossi and the final presentation in a beginner class

My name is Benedetta Rossi and I grew up in Bologna, a little city in the Northeast of Italy. I moved to Boston in 2009 to follow my husband, who is a researcher in immunology at MGH.
This is my third year at Dante Alighieri Society as a teacher, and I like this experience. I feel like at home.

I received degrees in classical studies in Bologna.
Also, I attended the “ Alma Mater Studiorum” of the University of Bologna with a focus in Italian, Latin and Greek grammar and literature.

In Italy, I started teaching at High School, Gymnasium and Lyceum, in 2002. I taught Italian, Latin and Greek grammar and literature. Also, I taught Philosophy and History. In Boston I am currently engaged as a Language Instructor at Dante Alighieri Society and, also, I am Teacher of Italian at Nempac Institute in the North End. I also taught at Cambridge Adult of Education, along in an elementary school and a community center in Boston.

In the 2013 I started doing the speaker at the radio show “News in slow Italian” ( along with actor and speaker Emanuele Capoano.This programme is directed to students desiring to improve comprehension of Italian through radio listening.

People say that I have an excellent ability to interact with colleagues and to act as a team player, developed during my experience as a school teacher, and an outstanding ability to interact with students, who regularly express appreciation for my patience and courtesy.

The Dante Alighieri Society is a great place to be and to learn and breathe the Italian language, culture and atmosphere. I love to teach here, love the PLIDA philosophy of teaching, and love love love to learn with my students. To learn a new language and culture is amazing!

In fact, here below I will attach a final presentation’s link of a student in the BEGINNER CLASS. I’m so proud of all of them.

Click here to see: Italiano 101 – Angela Livino.pptx

My e-mail address is:

Our teaching method is well explained here

In this post, since the last one, we are continuing to show you another teacher’s presentation at our school. Today, we’ll do in a short video (14 minutes) that is an example of a lesson in our Italian classes at Dante Alighieri Society of Massachusetts. Then, let Valeria leto have the floor with her teaching philosophy.

I truly believe that teaching is not about knowing a subject, instead it is more about transmitting the passion you have about a topic, giving the students the tools to achieve their goal easily and in a relaxed environment. My main goal is not to catch my students unprepared, instead it is to make them learn as much as they can. In order to do so, I assign homework daily and insist that it be handed in on time, but on the other side I praise the students when they write a good composition, or participate in class, and try hard to improve. I also believe that it is extremely important, especially for language acquisition, that the learning be based on a communicative approach. This means that, instead of learning the grammatical rules in a book, it is fundamental to reproduce real life situations in which the grammar comes out of activities such as role-plays, games, songs, movies, working in pairs and all those activities that improve the four abilities (speaking, reading, listening and writing) required for a good mastery of a language. In order to achieve this aim, I base my lessons on an innovative method of didactics known as VAKT. According to the theorists supporting this method, this learning style uses the four main sensory receivers: Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic and Tactile to determine the dominant learning style. It is based on modalities—channels by which human expression can take place- and it is composed of a combination of perception and memory. Learners use all four modalities to receive and learn new information and experiences. This dominant style defines the best way for a person to learn new information by filtering what it is to be learned, and this may not always be the same for any task. The learner may prefer one style of learning for one task, and a combination of others for a different task. This allows all learners the opportunity to become involved, no matter what their preferred style may be.
I also believe that it is important that each student feels a part of the class and contributes to the whole group. For this reason I periodically assign to each student a task he/she will have to develop on his/her own and then present to the class. In this way each student perceives that he/she is contributing to the others. To further improve the interaction between every member of the class I use e-learning platforms that are built around that specific class needs, taking advantage of what I learnt during my Master’s degree in Technologies and Didactics of Languages. (Valeria Leto)

Language Coordinator’s Bio

It’s time to talk about our teachers. Today, we start with our Language Coordinator.

Maria Cristiano – Formazione Ditals – Università di Siena – Italy

Before coming to the United States, Maria worked seven years at General Norwegian Consulate in Milan, Italy.  After that, Maria has been teaching Italian in several schools in the Boston area including Nempac in the North End, Berlitz in Boston and the Dante Alighieri Society in Cambridge, along with the British School.  At the Dante Alighieri Society, she has thought both kindergarten level as well as beginner to advanced adult level classes. Teaching Italian has been a wonderful fulfilling experience for Maria.

She teaches with a smile and she wants her students to have fun and enjoy their classes. She strongly believes that the learning process is facilitated and fostered by it.  Enjoyment promotes increased participation and faster learning results.  Moreover, creating a friendship within the class is essential to succeed.  She believes that the purpose of a language is to communicate with and enjoy other people and this is exactly what she tries to build in her classes.

She is extremely motivated, dedicated and enthusiastic Italian educator with extensive experience who wants all her students, from children to adults, to be successful learners. She has flexible aptitude to teaching techniques to ensure that every student’s learning style and abilities are accounted for. The goal as educator is to inspire students to reach their highest potentials and learning efficiency.

Maria uses a communicative approach allowing students to extrapolate the grammar through the learning process.  She helps her students to feel comfortable in speaking Italian and to have fun while doing so.  She uses a wide variety of current and tangible material like films, songs and articles from newspapers and magazines.  Maria likes reading, baking and spending time with her children.  She used to volunteering at Children’s Hospital in Boston and she is planning on doing so again soon.

Come and enjoy the class: “Insieme galopperemo verso orizzonti linguistici inimmaginabili!”

The PLIDA Exams: Our students’ Certification Ceremony

Left, Prof.Maria Cristiano - Language Coordinator; in the middle Prof.Cecilia Mattii - Education Committee; on the right Prof. Carmen Merolla Language Examinator and Former Plida Language Coord.; behind, Laura Clerici


Here are the pictures of the PLIDA certification ceremony for the students that passed the May 2012 session.

M.Cristiano and Rose M.Adamo who passed the Level A1 Plida

M.Cristiano and Peter Czarnecki who passed the Levels A1 in November 2011 and Level A2 in May 2012

M.Cristiano and Caterina Rao who passed the Level A2

Prof. Spencer DiScala, President, and Megan Cuocco Hempstead who passed the level A1

M.Cristiano and Henry DeBenedetto who passed the Level A1

M.Cristiano and John Cannon who passed the Level A1

President Prof. DiScala, M.Cristiano and Thomas Barbar who passed the Level A1

Congratulations also to Brigitte Anelli who wasn’t present at the party, but she passed the Level A1 in May 2012, too. Last but not least, we don’t forget the “brava” Allison Longley who passed the level A2 and now she won a scholarship to study in Italy.

Thank you also to Comm. Lino Rullo, President of Education Committee for his efforts.

President Prof. DiScala, Prof. Maria Cristiano and Prof. Carmen Merolla

Thank you also to our President Comm. Spencer Di Scala, PhD, and Prof. Cecilia Mattii for going ahead with PLIDA certification project

In addition, we asked our students why you should learn Italian. We chose the following response as the best one. It is explains why studying Italian can make all the difference.

I grew up listening to the sounds of the Italian language spoken by my grandparents and my mother, but I never learned to speak Italian.  As teenagers, all four of my grandparents emigrated from Sicily to Boston.  As first generation Americans, my parents were determined to raise me as an “American”.   Assimilation, not multiculturalism, was the driving force of the day.  Therefore, although the Italian ladies of the neighborhood would visit and speak Italian with my mother, only English was spoken to me.  It is my dream to learn Italian, perhaps live for a period of time In Italy, and finally understand those beautiful sounds from my childhood.  (R.M.Adamo)

50 songs learning Italian

How can you learn a language with music? The new communicative method is an even better way to remember words, lexicon, and accents.

Click here for 50 songs to listen (with lyrics) to hear some tunes for Italian language learners of many different levels.

Today, we chose this favorite by Paolo Conte (click to see his bio).

Did you like it? We already talked about tarantella (because our teachers in NonPlida classes are also musician, did you know?) and other old Italian folk music. But Conte, a famous blues singer, wrote other well known songs for Adriano Celentano. One became a famous anthem for sports games: AZZURRO, like the color of national team soccer.

Music had an important role in social changes during the last 50 years, didn’t?