The Language Center - La Lingua La Vitain Todi, Umbria

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School of Italian Language and Culture
in Todi - Umbria - since 1988

The courses

The courses

Method

                                      What are the distinguishing features?

                        ·The Student comes first: – fully customized course program

                        ·In-depth Needs Analysis: -  based on the real-world needs of the student

                        ·Functional Syllabus: – negotiated and prioritized by the student

                        ·Communicative Methodology:– functions first / grammar when needed

                ·Authentic Course Material:– job/function related – not textbook based

                        ·Flexible Course Program – corresponding toNeeds Analysis

                        ·Five Standard Course Types:fromWeekend Intensive to Maximum Intensity

                        ·Total Course Coordination:  – by means of Coordination Reports

                        ·Trackable Progress Assessment:  – detailed course progressassessment

                        ·The Todi Universal Language Proficiency Assessment  (TULPA)–
                         Combined assessment ofknowledge and skills

                        ·Real-world Skills Rating Methodology:  – extensive, unobtrusive assessment

                        ·The Todi Language Test:One test for all levels, multi-purpose application

                        ·In-depth Analysis of Remaining Weaknesses (RWA):–on the last day of the course

                        ·Customized Further Study Program (FSP): – based on RWA

                        ·Detailed Final Course Report: –progress made – level achieved – Skills Ratings – TULPA – FSP

The Language Center "Full Immersion Courses" are based on a notional-functional approach (Wilkins, Council of Europe ) and apply the strategy of "principled eclecticism" (Council of Europe Language Projects – Modern Language Training Methods). The aim of the courses is to attain functional language competence based on a needs analysis before, at the beginning and during the courses.  The courses are NOT based on a conventional grammar or academic language syllabus.

The functional syllabus is fully customized to the real-world needs of the student, whereby the emphasis is "What does the student need to be able to do, and can he or she perform the required functions?"  Challenging functions such as making presentations, have a telephone conversation, discuss matters with clients, propose and sell company products, take notes, write reports, answer e-mails and everything else regarding the professional and social world of communicating in a foreign language.

Following Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory and the principle of the centrality of the student (Carl Rogers), our approach is highly personalized and innovative in that it is the student who assumes the central role of carrying out the course as the teacher becomes a facilitator who facilitates language acquisition.  In particular, our method aims to:

  • Identify what empowers the brain’s capacity to learn and what, on the contrary, inhibits it.  That is, learn to recognize the barriers and filters that block or slow down the learning process and instead discover and stimulate the student’s interactive capacity type (visual, auditory, kinaesthetic – VAKOG), thus enabling a more fluid and efficient learning process.

  • Transform the need to learn a language into a daily pleasure amidst the splendid backdrop of a relaxing nature.

  • Stimulate and improve the use of daily language and commonly-used expressions in order to further enhance the language base related to the student’s chosen field of interest.

Every course begins with an in-depth analysis of the student’s needs and personality which serves as the basis for a distinct and personalized functional evaluation.  During the first few hours, the teacher embarks on the process of singling out the goals the student wants to reach by the end of the course and those which he/she intends to reach once the course has concluded.

Determining the learning objectives has proven to be a necessary and beneficial tool, both for the student who takes the course on with more motivation and interest, and for the teacher who plans and personalizes the training program from the onset.

Students are required to perform the functions contained in the functional syllabus, (according to their Needs Analysis). Errors will be noted by the personal trainer, which will then be rectified by remedial language practice to improve the student’s communicative competence.  The amount and type of remedial work (e.g. grammar, vocabulary, phraseology, pronunciation) will depend on the level of the student at the beginning of the course and his or her ability to perform the functions required.  The lower the starting level, the more remedial work will be necessary.  At the elementary level it may not be possible to practice all functions as too much time may be needed for basic language work.  In such cases it will be necessary to attend a follow-up course at  La Lingua La Vita and to pursue a program of further self-study.

The TULPA is a combined assessment of knowledge and skills:

  • Knowledge

The Todi Language Test(provides an objective test score)
Once the student’s objectives have been identified, the student is evaluated with the help of this multi-level, multi-purpose test, specially designed by La Lingua La Vita.  The written test measures a combination of the student’s knowledge and ability and covers the following areas:

  • idiomatic expressions and phraseology

  • pronunciation

  • scope of vocabulary

  • grammar structures

  • Skills Ratings: These ratings cover:

Spoken Production

  • General communicative competence

  • Grammatical correctness

  • Pronunciation

  • Range of vocabulary

  • Range and appropriate use of idiom

Reading Comprehension

Listening Comprehension

Written Production

The skills ratings – recorded on a Skills Rating Sheet and included in the Final Course Report – represent on-going assessments by three native speakers over a period of up to 66 hours of exposure and are thus far more reliable than any one-off, snap-shot evaluation as practiced in all conventional language examinations.

The TULPA provides the possibility to measure accurately the progress made by students who attend successive courses.

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La Lingua La Vita | Via Mazzini, 18 | 06059 Todi (PG) Italy | VAT 02551710540