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!”

Just an occasion to learn ancient Italian music

We would like to introduce some upcoming Italian things to do. What better occasion to learn some ancient words and to discuss their evolution in modern Italian in class?

WHEN: 07/29/2012

WHERE: http://www.nps.gov/long/planyourvisit/event-details.htm?eventID=389205-232573

Location: Longfellow House – Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site Time: 4:00 PM Fee Information: Free and open to the public. Contact Name: Longfellow House – Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site Contact Phone Number:(617) 876-4491

As a tribute to Dante Alighieri, Newpoli performs music from Italy.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow greatly admired the poetry of Dante and translated Dante’s masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, published in 1867.  Newpoli is a group of musicians specializing in southern Italian folk music from the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century