Cultura Italiana Arezzo
All about us

the school

Cultura Italiana Arezzo is a school and center of activity promoting Italian language and culture. The school organizes Italian language courses into one, two, three, four, or more weeks — as many as you wish. Classes begin each week, on Monday morning. Based on your knowledge of the language, you are assigned to a group of your level, or a new group is created to accommodate your needs. All the teachers are experienced graduates qualified to teach Italian as a foreign language.
The school offers several extracurricular activities each week (about 10 hours’ worth). These include tours of Arezzo and other nearby towns including Cortona, Castiglion Fiorentino, Anghiari, San Sepolcro, Poppi, Lucignano and other charming places. There are also visits to local craftsmen, cooking classes, wine-tasting sessions and many more. No matter where you are from and what your age is, you won’t feel alone. The average number of students is 65% European, 16% American, 14% Asian, and 5% from all over the world including Canada and Australia. Classes usually include a range of ages from 20 through 70.

Most students take intensive courses in groups of five to ten, sometimes less. The teachers also offer private lessons. It is great fun to work with a teacher one-on-one. Many students choose to pursue their learning at home and enrol in Italian lessons on Skype; the school offers past students special prices for remote lessons.

The school has a special room for students, with free Wi-Fi access, an Internet station, reference material and some space to work in small groups.

Cultura Italiana Arezzo is located in the heart of the city, the centro, in a pedestrian area full of shops, cafés and restaurants. The size of the town is ideal for studying and exploring the culture. Arezzo is one of the most beautiful towns of Tuscany, along with Siena, Florence, and Cortona, but never feels crowded — and is about half the price. You will meet genuine people who will be delighted to speak Italian with you.

Do you need a place to stay? The school will find an apartment for you, place you with a family to increase your opportunities for intensive learning, or recommend one of the local B&Bs or hotels with it is associated.



DIDACTIC METHOD
Cultura Italiana Arezzo is a school where teaching and training go hand in hand. The training activity includes research and updates and it materializes in two fundamental moments: the preparation of trainees for the prestigious DITALS certification (didactics of Italian as a foreign language) and the continuous meetings and debates of the internal teachers over the most recent teaching approaches, methods and techniques. All this makes teaching free from traditional rigid conventions and schemes and more functional to communication.

GLOBAL APPROACH
Communication is interpreted in all its linguistic, textual, lexical, conversational, pragmatic and sociocultural complexity. The morphosyntactic aspect still plays an important role but “ grammar rules” are no longer presented and imposed by the teacher who, on the contrary, encourages students to continuously reflect on the language and discover its structural regularities and irregularities. Students are invited to work on different kinds of texts such as stories, interviews, blogs, comics, TV and radio programmes in order to come into contact, even from inside a class, with the “linguistic” world awaiting them outside and also to facilitate different learning styles. Therefore, the teacher becomes the facilitator of this process and his/her most ambitious objective is to make students become independent learners.
This didactic method, which we like to call “global”, has led our teachers to rely on textbook such as NUOVO ESPRESSO (Alma Edizioni) . That textbook helps students immerse themselves in an active and vital dimension full of engaging input, challenging tasks, authentic situations, plausible and not pretentious contexts which can be easily found outside the School
reality.

ITALIAN LANGUAGE TEST AND ORIENTATION INTERVIEW
In order to fit students’ needs and put them in the study group most appropriate to their level of language proficiency, an Italian language test has been developed in compliance with the levels described in the Common European Framework for languages whose philosophy is that language learning cannot be fractionated but rather considered in its continuum. This means that from a language level (A1-Breakthrough, A2- Survival, B1- Threshold, B2- Vantage, C1- Advanced, C2- Proficiency) other sublevels can form depending on the context (large class, small group, individual lesson), students’ prior knowledge and especially their needs and objectives. The orientation interview before the beginning of the lessons is necessary to make decisions about the course contents according to one’s motivation and needs.

Monitoring

The school monitors the progression of students and analyzes the learning processes at a weekly teachers’ meeting. Teaching strategies are evaluated and discussed based on the classroom experience and the various groups present.

*Detailed description of the six CEFR levels:

A1 (Breakthrough)
Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

A2 (Waystage)
Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment).
Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.

B1 (Threshold)
Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

B2 (Vantage)
Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

C1 (Effective Operational Proficiency)
Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.

C2 (Mastery)
Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations.

RECOGNITIONS AND PARTNERSHIPS
The school is a member of Eduitalia, an association of schools and universities that offer courses to foreign students and whose mission is to promote the Italian culture, under the patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy.

It is also a member of ASILS, an Association of Schools of Italian as a Second Language designed to guarantee the quality of instruction and professional level of services offered to students.

The school is now recognized by the following Länder of the Federal Republic of Germany for the BILDUNGSURLAUB:

- Berlin
- Brandenburg
- Hamburg
- Hessen
- Mecklenburg Vorpommern
- Niedersachsen
- Saarland
- Schleswig - Holstein

It has also been recognized by CSN (Swedish National Board of Student Aid), a national organization supporting adult education.

Finally, the school is recognized and supported by the City of Arezzo and the Province of Arezzo.


• WE COLLABORATE WITH THE FOLLOWING FOREIGN INSTITUTIONS:
- Cclitravel
- Dolce Stil Novo
- Italia.no
- Studytravel.nl
- A domani
- Centar za afirmaciju i razvoj

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L'organizzazione della lezione, l'atmosfera a scuola, il programma extracurriculare, il corso di cucina con Lalla, il servizio di segreteria sono ottimo! Paola è sempre pronta per aiutare in ogni caso.
Per me la scuola era perfetta! Piccola e simpatica!
La prima settimana era Paola la nostra insegnante, le altre due Monica.
Le due sono ottimi insegnanti, ho imparato molto e le lezione non era mai noiosa! Complimenti! Vi auguro molto piacere per il futuro e molto successo!!!!

Susi Merz - 61 anni    (  Switzerland)