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Letter from the director

I have been (sort of) teaching Italian since I was with my baby sitters, who were swiss-german, more than forty years ago. I have taught Italian in Italian schools, in Swiss schools, in American schools, as associate, full-timer, part-timer, free-lance, and since 1989, as director, at our school (it is my brother an me), Scuola Toscana. In almost 20 years we have worked with more than 5000 students, from the 5 continents and of all ages.

I taught my first class when I was 22, in 1982 - if I compare the teaching at that time and now, it is really different: the engagement of the instructor, and their will, is the same, but the techniques have evolved a lot and are much more sophisticated: in the eighties it was possible almost for everyone who was nice and a bit creative to be a teacher of Italian; nowadays, first of all you need a formal University-level education to get a solid background (in the language, yes, but also in psychology, communication, linguistics, semantics etc.) - and later you have to do a lot of hours of training, if possible in different environments, if possible in different countries be nice, dynamic and creative is only the starting point.

The most important - and the most beautiful thing you can see in a school like ours is that the students come for the language and stay for the friendship; they arrive in Florence, Italy, and then get to know people from allover the world, people of different language, profession, status, age, religion; they work together in the class, go together to the different activities, learn a lot from each other: they get to know the different cultures beyond the usual stereotypes, and even if they stay only for a couple of weeks, this experience can be really meaningful and enriching. I think the most important lesson we learn at our school is not in Italian, but in the cross-cultural experience.

Let's go to the Scuola Toscana!