Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Learning Italian Through Cinema

Founded in 1984, Italiaidea is a school dedicated to teaching the language of Italy within the borders of Italy. Appropriately enough, it is located in the heart of Rome's bustling center near the Spanish Steps and the Fountain of Trevi. 

What makes this school unique and of interest to me is their collaboration with the film industry and the professors' interest in using cinema as a tool to teach language. While in Rome recently, I stopped by the school and talked with two of the directors, Caroline Ciampaglia and Chiara Crippa. I was impressed by their enthusiasm for Italian cinema and their involvement in bringing some of the biggest names in the business into their classrooms to teach students about Italian cinema and culture. 

Another impressive quality about this language school is its accessibility to those who just want to study Italian without earning a degree. The school collaborates with major universities like Cornell, De Paul and the University of Chicago. However, if you are like me and just want to improve your Italian, you can take a quick course for as little as 125 euro a week, and they will even help you find accommodations while you're in Rome. 

There are several courses to choose from in group settings or as individual lessons. There is even a course called "Walking Italian" where students who want to visit the sights of Rome are accompanied by a teacher trained in art history. The walks around Rome are custom designed to meet the interests of the students. 

Other courses in Italian culture include lessons in Italian cinema, music, art and history. When you arrive to register, you will take a placement test to ensure that you are enrolled at the appropriate level to meet your language needs. 

You can even go to their website at to test your Italian language skills via questions that will take you through some of the most iconic Italian films of all time. Test your Italian at the movies..

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