Happy Easter!! Buona Pasqua!!
Today for your reading pleasure, I have an interview with Daniela from Lucca Italian School.
If you have not been to LIS (Lucca Italian School) you better get yourself there.
I have had the pleasure of attending and I truly recommend you attending!!
I learnt so much whilst I was there, even though I buggered off early to go see Siena (shame on me) !!
Lovely Friendly teachers, very patient !
I was very nervous and my Italian went out the window so to speak…
But it was all good:)
So you email them now!!
What a way to celebrate Easter!
I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed asking the questions:)
My comments are in green …
Many thanks to Daniela:)
Have you always taught English/languages?
After my degree, I spent almost 2 years in England, working as a secretary in an English- Italian company and trying to improve my English .
I got also a Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language.
After that, I came back to Italy and began to work in an Italian State School as a teacher of English to Italians.
In the meantime, I took another course, this time in teaching Italian to Foreigners, and some months later I began teaching Italian to adults.
At first it was meant to be only a temporary job, because I thought I wanted to be a teacher for Italian pupils, but soon I realized I preferred working with adults, so I decided to leave my other job.
Since then, I have been doing this job.
When was LIS opened?
LIS opened in April 2010.
How does LIS differ from Koine in its teaching methods?
Well, I could say that the greatest difference is in the approach to the students, and in the idea that there is no “Universal Truth” in the field of teaching/learning a second language.
We are strongly convinced, also because of our past experience, that students are different, their learning style is different, and the best way to let them learn a language is finding the fittest solution for every one.
This is not easy to do in a group, but in a small group (our maximum number is 8 persons, but in general they are 4 to 6) and with an experienced and sensitive teacher, it is a goal which can be achieved.
For this reason, there are no “taboo” activities or exercises in our lessons, and, at the same time, no techniques are considered excellent in themselves, just because someone says they are.
Each teaching method has its own good and bad points, and the ability lies in combining the good points and in choosing the right strategy for the students in the class.
The LIS has a very good reputation amongst its past/present students, what do you think contributes to the schools success?
The high quality of teaching, the professionalism of all the staff and the familiar atmosphere of the school are, in my opinion, the most important factors which contribute to our success, together with our flexibility.
We always do our best to meet the students needs, whatever they are, and to make the students feel they are not only our clients but persons we like to take care of in the period they stay at our school.
Can you see LIS teaching other languages in the future?
Actually this is an issue we’ve been thinking about, but there are many schools of English in town – so that is not in our future plans for the moment.
(I have a CELTA certificate and my English is great!!- I have a postgraduate science degree, maybe I could teach scientific English if you did!!
Is your family Lucchese?
My father’s family is, my mother comes from Veneto, in the northern Italy.
If yes, how long has your family been in the Lucca area?
Since ever, I think…:)
Do you find being a local, that the area within the walls is more expensive than outside the walls?
(Lucca is also relatively inexpensive compared to other places in Italy.)
Renting or buying a house is more expensive within the Walls – as to the other items, prices are more or less the same.
Of course, inside the Walls you can find the most expensive/elegant shops as to clothes, shoes,…but that happens in any historical centre.
Why do you think that Lucca does not attract the crowds like Firenze or Venezia, which have similar population levels?
Firenze and Venezia are much bigger cities, most well – known in the world for centuries, and tourists who come from far countries and maybe take just one trip to Italy in their lives, do choose to visit them because of their reputation, art and history.
They can be considered symbols of Italy all around the world.
Other smaller towns, like Pisa or Siena, are visited because they have monuments (like the Leaning Tower) which attract lots of tourists.
As to Lucca: it is a relatively new town for tourism.
I remember, 20 years ago the town was very different from now
No b&bs, no bar or restaurant tables in the streets, no groups of tourists around the town, only some visitors who were looking for a “different” Tuscan town.
In the last two decades, things have much changed – this is obviously good for Lucca, and now tourism is one of the most important resources for our town, but we must be careful and keep the spirit of the town, its authenticity.
Imo, Lucca should not become too touristic, like some other Italian towns are, because people who choose Lucca are still looking for something special and different, for an Italian/Tuscan atmosphere and a town without too many tourist crowds.
Do you think that increasing tourist numbers would change the face of Lucca?
(For me, and I think for many, Lucca attracts because she is quite aloof, Lucca is not set up as a tourist mecca, like Firenze.
My feeling was, you either like Lucca as she is or you don’t…If not bad luck. You can walk around and not feel like a walking wallet.
Where as in the more touristy cities and even some of the very popular small villages in Tuscany, you get the feeling that most things are geared up to accommodate the tourists and what they would like. )
I agree completely with you.
Can you see Lucca changing to cater more to the tourist than the local?
(I hope not) – so do I!!!
I think I’ve already answered this question more or less.
What is your favourite place in Lucca/surrounding areas?
In Lucca: it’s easy, the Walls – but also the Botanical Garden. Outside: the Parco Fluviale and the Parole d’Oro trail, in the southern hills, close to Guamo – where the ancient Acqueduct lies.
Your favourite local food/dish?
Tordelli lucchesi, torta di verdura.
I could eat both of them every day.
What do you think about the new ‘tourist’ tax that will be implemented in April 2013?
This is common in many European towns, of course I would be happier if it didn’t exist but, considering the economical issue in this period, I don’t think it will have serious consequences on tourism in Lucca.
LIS LUCCA ITALIAN SCHOOL
Address Via S.Anna 14, I-55100 LUCCA – Italia
Phone +390583311051 – Fax +3905831642009
Many Thanks to Daniela and LIS!!