Studying Italian Language at SRISA
SRISA requires that students who come to Florence for semester programs take Italian at some level. Even a minimal amount of language will open a door to Italian thought and culture in a very direct way and make the whole Italian experience richer and more fulfilling. Learning Italian brings students closer to the culture and the city where they are living. Those students who choose the Italian language as their primary educational goal have the opportunity to enroll in the Intensive Italian Language Program. The SRISA courses offer a full-immersion language program where class lessons are taught in Italian from the first day. This method exposes students immediately to the language and develops listening and speaking skills. All instructors are native Italian speakers who also speak fluent English and thus, when necessary, are able to give explanations in English.
Students will have the opportunity to participate in arranged language exchanges (scambi) with Italian students who are studying English. These exchanges will take place outside of class time and are coordinated by the Italian instructors. Intensive Italian students will be required to participate in these language exchanges.
Instruction & Class Structure:
The small class sizes (max 12 students) at Santa Reparata give students ample opportunity to receive one-on-one attention from instructors. Classes are organized around grammar, vocabulary and conversation topics. Readings and discussions focus on the introduction of Italian culture, including politics, history, art, traditions, social customs, literature, cinema and daily life. Many conversation topics are taken from local newspapers, television and Italian magazines. Students also attend a Conversation Lab, which is structured around guided conversations led by the instructor on a variety of topics designed to introduce new vocabulary, practice grammar learned in class and develop listening, comprehension and speaking skills.
Conversation topics will initially focus on daily situations and travel in Italy. This includes such topics as how to ask for information or directions, use transportation, order food or book hotels. Knowledge of vocabulary for these practical topics will give students the tools to interact immediately in their new environment. As students develop their language skills, new and more complex topics of conversation are introduced along with more advanced grammar and vocabulary. The Writing and Literature Courses at SRISA are designed to help students improve their writing skills while further exploring ideas and materials assigned in the lecture courses. The curriculum is built around style and structure in communication.
Many language resources are available for use in the library, including cassettes, DVDs (in original Italian language that can be watched on campus or on personal laptops), texts at varying levels of difficulty to help students practice their reading skills, flashcards, games and many grammar books.