August 2013 issue

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Italian + culture

Cradle of the renaissance, origin of opera and home to a world-renowned cuisine, Italy is an obvious destination for language plus culture programmes. Matthew Knott samples la dolce vita.

In our school, we have always been aware of how language and culture are strictly connected,” says Alberto Canella at International House Milan. “The reasons for studying Italian are now more varied, but culture is still one of the most important.” It is fitting, therefore, that Italian language schools offer a range of plus programmes to help international students explore a rich cultural heritage.

Studio Italia, Rome, offers courses including opera, wine and architecture. Detailing the Italian through Rome and its Cinema course as an example, Fabio Boccio says, “Participants will visit the most relevant places shown in the clips presented.” He adds, “What is more, each film is illustrated in relation to its aesthetic relevance and to the historical context in which it takes place.” Boccio adds the school is equipped with audiovisual equipment and a video library.

At Sant’Anna Institute-Sorrento Lingue, Olga Stinga says the location of Sorrento is a key element of: singing courses teaching a range of techniques and performance through opera and traditional Neapolitan music; ceramics classes where students learn about processing, decoration and clay-baking techniques of traditional craftsmen; and cookery courses presenting old-fashioned dishes typical of the Campania region, “an area where the gastronomic tradition is impressive and well-known all over the world”.

Cooking is also a plus course at Linguaviva in Florence, says Giorgia Biccelli, “suitable for participants who wish to combine Italian language lessons and culinary arts and to enjoy the opportunity of discovering the secrets of Italian cuisine”. An Italian plus Arts course, meanwhile, offers art, design or photography in the city that was the cradle of Renaissance art. Milan-based sister school Linguadue capitalises on its location with a fashion/design course. “The aim is to catch a glimpse of the creative process in the fashion world in a city which is the worldwide acclaimed capital of fashion.” All three cultural elements take place at renowned professional partner schools, adds Biccelli.

“The beauty of the scenery of Calabria and especially Tropea is the perfect subject for oil and aquarelle paintings,” enthuses Simone Rainer at Piccola Università Italiana about the backdrop for Italian plus Painting. The school’s popular Cooking Mediterranean Style course introduces typical Calabrian specialities. “With this Italian plus course, students delve into the Italian way of life and Calabrian culture outside of the classroom too,” says Rainer. Piccola Università opened a new school in Trieste earlier this year, and is planning painting, pottery and music courses there from 2014.

Cooking and wine is on offer at Omnilingua www.omnilingua.net in the seaside resort of Sanremo. “The course involves the preparation of particular Italian dishes especially from the Liguria region,” says Danie Pietzner, giving examples of pesto, Ligurian vegetable pie (torte verdure) and Ligurian rabbit stew among others. “This is accompanied by an introduction to and tastings of the wonderful wines of the region, a veritable paradise for wine and good food lovers,” Pietzner enthuses.

Cuisine and wine are also in the portfolio at L’Italiano Porticando, along with cinema, music, literature, art history and architecture. “Turin has a lot to offer those who love Italian culture,” says Rosario Constanzo, noting it was the birthplace of Italian cinema and haute couture, and home to famous novelists and writers. Dilit - International House, similarly has a broad range including style, architecture, photography, theatre, song and film-making, says Paolo Lazzaro.

“The IH Milan course is aimed at meeting the desires of those students who love the Italian language because of the culture that it represents,” says Canella about the school’s general culture course, covering “a rich programme of activities to enjoy and discover areas of Milan...such as The Last Supper, La Scala Theatre, Pinacoteca di Brera, but also coffee in the historical coffee houses of the city, cooking lessons, buying food in the local market and much more”. Similarly, Istituto Venezia has a general culture course covering the history of the much-painted city, its art and environment, says Matteo Savini.

The global appeal of Italian culture is reflected in the wide-ranging clientele for these courses, with Latin America, North America, the UK, Germany, Russia and Japan widely cited by contributors as key markets. “During the last 40 years, over 1,700 students annually of every age and country have attended our Italian and culture courses,” says Lazzaro.

A selection of Italian plus culture courses

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Generation Estates  

CAPS-I (The Canadian Association of Public Schools – International)  
Quality English  

CERAN Lingua International  

FAAP - Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado  
IH Sao Paulo  

Abbotsford School District Business Company  
Algoma University  
Avon Maitland District School Board  
Bow Valley College   
Calgary Board of Education  
Camosun College  
CAPS-I (The Canadian Association of Public Schools – International)  
Centennial College of Appplied Arts and Technology  
College of New Caledonia  
COMOX valley - School District 71  
Eastern Townships School Board  
Edmonton Public Schools  
English Montreal School Board  
Georgian College  
Grande Prairie Public School District  
Greater Victoria School District #61  
Halton Catholic District School Board  
ILSC - International Language Schools of Canada  
Langley School District #35  
Louis Riel School Division  
Niagara Academy of Sports  
Nova Scotia International Student Program  
Peace Wapiti School Division  
Pembina Trails School Division  
Pickering College  
Qualicum School District #69  
St James - Assiniboia School Division  
Study Manitoba School Divisions  
Surrey School District  
Waterloo Catholic District SB  
West Vancouver School District #45  

Churchill House/English Home Tuition Scheme  
GSM (Greenwich School of Management)  
Kaplan International Colleges  
London School of Business & Finance  
Quality English  
Queen's College  
St Giles International  
University Campus Suffolk  

Alphe Conferences  
SR Events  

Cambridge Esol  

English For Asia  

ISI Dublin  

Comitato Linguistico  
IH Palermo  
Italian in Tuscany  

Akamonkai Japanese Language School  

International House Sevilla CLIC  

EF International Language Centers  

Malta Tourism Authority  

Besant Hill School  
ELS Language Centers  
Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart  
Fork Union Military Academy  
Glenholme School  
IH Pacific (Vancouver, Whistler, San Diego)  
Meritas LLC  
Montverde Academy  
Rutgers Preparatory School  
Zoni Language Centers  

Boa Lingua  
ESL Ecole Suisse de Langues  
Idealist Education Consultancy  
Insight Lingua  
World Study Head Office  

English Australia  

ILSC - International Language Schools of Canada  
Sol Schools International  

British Study Centres  
Cambridge Education Group  
Churchill House/English Home Tuition Scheme  
International House World Organisation  
InTuition Languages  
St Giles International  
Twin Group  
University Campus Suffolk  

Accent Francais  
France Langue  
French in Normandy  

BWS Germanlingua  
F+U Academy of Languages  
GLS Sprachenzentrum  

ISI Dublin  

Dr. Walter GmbH  
Guard. Me  
International Student Insurance.com  

Accademia Italiana  
Scuola Leonardo Da Vinci  

Genki Japanese and Culture School  
Kai Japanese Language School  

Academic Colleges Group  
Languages International  
New Zealand Language Centres - Auckland  

CIAL - Centro de Linguas  

Cape Studies  

International House Sevilla CLIC  
Escuela de Idiomas Nerja  
Malaca Instituto - Club Hispanico SL  

Rennert International  
TLA The Language Academy  

Tellus Group  

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