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Descriptions of Italian Workshops

To help you decide which class to take, check out Which class(es) should I take?

Find current & upcoming classes here.


Pronunciation & Intro to Italian, 6 weeks:

*Good for: Absolute beginners, especially those who have never taken any foreign language before; and those who would like some help with their pronunciation. This is a good class to take before Beginner's 1 if you'd like to get a sample of Italian first.

*Italian is a largely phonetic language but it has its difficulties. In this course, you'll learn new letters and combinations week by week so that by the end you'll be able to read (pronounce) a chunk of Italian text, even if you don't know what it means. You'll also learn about aspects of the Italian language so you know what you'll be facing when you take a more advanced course. These include things like nouns and adjectives, gender and singular vs. plural, and conjugation.

Essential Travel Italian, 6 weeks:

*Good for: People who are planning a trip to Italy and want to know phrases and words related to travel. This is suitable for absolute beginners as well as more advanced students. It can be a stand-alone course, or can come before a longer class (like Beginner's 1 or Divertente 1).

*We will cover the essentials you need to get by and enjoy your trip, focusing on a lot of repetition in class of essential phrases and conversing with each other. There won't be much reading, writing, or looking at the book, and there will just be some simple drills on spelling and numbers. This is a class where the focus is on speaking, and learning the phrases you need to get by.

We'll cover the essentials in: conversational basics, travel (planes, trains & automobiles), hotels & public transportation, eating & shopping, emergency situations, and a little business Italian. We'll also learn about the practical aspects of traveling in Italy.

Divertente 1 and 2, 10 or 12 weeks each:

*Good for: Divertente 1 is good for beginner's who want an alternative to the comprehensive beginner's class. Divertente 2 is for those who have taken Divertente 1 or who have a little beginning Italian under their belt.

*These are fun and friendly classes that emphasize conversation. Each week you'll have 12-15 vocabulary words/phrases to learn and exercises to do at home that use what you've learned. In class you'll speak with other students to improve your conversation skills.

Should you take this or a comprehensive beginner's class? It depends on what you prefer and what helps you learn. The comprehensive courses have more drills and explanation of grammar, and the Divertente classes have translation exercises and don't explicitly look at rules of grammar. "Divertente" means "funny" and these classes, though they do entail some homework, have lighter workloads.

Enhanced Beginner's 1, etc
These classes cover the basics, and use Chuck's binder and audio materials.

Comprehensive Beginner's 1 and 2, each 10 weeks:

*Good for: Comprehensive Beginner's 1 is for absolute beginners, and 2 comes after. (If you know a little Italian already and don't want to start at 1, talk to me and we'll figure out which class is right for you.) This is a good series of classes for people who are committed to learning the language and aren't afraid of a little work!

If you've never taken any foreign language before, I strongly recommend that you take the Pronunciation & Intro to the Italian Language class first!

*We'll work from a workbook and look at all the components of language: pronunciation, vocabulary, sentence construction, and grammar (parts of speech, pronouns, how to use adjectives, simple conjugation, etc.). Drills and extra handouts will reinforce what we learn. We'll take it slowly - two weeks to cover a chapter in the book - so that we have plenty of time for conversation practice in the lessons. You'll have homework and will be expected to memorize some vocabulary each week.

Comprehensive Intermediate 1, each 10 weeks:

*Good for: Students who have completed Beginner's 2 or have a more advanced understanding of the Italian language. (If you know some Italian already and don't know which class to take, talk to me and we'll figure out which class is right for you.) This is a good series of classes for people who are committed to learning the language and aren't afraid of a little work!

*We will continue the work of Comprehensive Beginner's 2 and continue on in the same workbook, building the foundation of the Italian language, learning more vocabulary, and getting more in-depth with grammar. The Beginner's courses take two weeks per chapter, but the Intermediate course will take one chapter per week, so while the pace and workload is a little more, you'll be more comfortable with Italian and will be able to handle more. You'll have homework and will be expected to memorize some vocabulary each week.

Verb Drills 1, 2, and 3, each 12 weeks:

*Good for: Verb Drills 1 is suitable for those who have taken at least a beginner's course in Italian and would like to become more comfortable with verbs. Verb Drills 2 and 3 come after. (If you already know some verb tenses and don't want to take the classes in order, talk to me and we'll figure out if 2 or 3 is appropriate for you. You must know certain tenses and verbs to get the most out of the class.)

These classes are what they sound like: drills. Except for memorization of verb infinitives, the rest of the time is devoted to practicing conjugation to improve fluency. By the end of the class you'll feel comfortable conjugating in the tenses we learned and your Italian overall will be more fluid.

*Verb Drills 1: In this class we'll spend the first 6 classes learning the infinitives of 150+ verbs and how to conjugate them in the simple present. In the remaining 6 classes we'll learn the future, the imperfect (past), and the progressive tenses. Regular and irregular verbs; -are, -ere, -ire.

*Verb Drills 2: In this class you'll learn how to conjugate the verbs learned in Verb Drills 1 in the imperative, passato prossimo (past), trapassato prossimo (another kind of past), present and past conditional, and you'll learn the passive.

*Verb Drills 3: This class will take your Italian to the next level! You'll learn in the present, past, imperfect, and pluperfect subjunctive and passato remoto. (I promise that the subjunctive isn't as scary as everyone says it is!) The final two weeks of this class are devoted to reviewing ALL the tenses we learned over the three classes.

Reading and Comprehension, 6, 10, or 12 weeks:

*Good for: Students at the advanced intermediate stage who want to improve skills in comprehension.

*Each week we'll read an article from a book in Italian and work on pronunciation and understanding. Because each class is stand-alone, this course can be taken by the individual class if your schedule doesn't allow you to do all 10 or 12 weeks.

Other possible courses...?

*If there's sufficient interest, we may have classes on Prepositions (this is for advanced intermediate-advanced students) or Guided Conversation. Please contact me if these interest you.

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
Interest in trip to Italy with Chuck Wagner? September 6, 2015 4:53 PM Erin
Italian classes - Fall 2015 November 17, 2015 10:40 AM Erin
Membership Cards January 30, 2014 3:32 PM Erin
Which class(es) should I take? January 24, 2014 1:21 AM Erin
Charleston Italian Language Meetup Social Events February 8, 2016 12:39 PM Erin
Descriptions of Italian Workshops September 6, 2015 4:09 PM Erin
About The Charleston Italian Language Meetup October 28, 2012 9:49 PM Erin

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