Orbetello, surrounded by its lagoon, was an important Etruscan port and the home of trade between ancient civilizations. Its historical, urban and natural features provide the ideal conditions for meeting local people, as well as guaranteeing quality of life, making it just the place for a language school. The old town center, was originally organized to provide a functional setting for everyday life of the townsfolk. The same places where people used to meet within the Etruscan walls, are still in use today. The little piazzas and quiet lanes with their bars and restaurant tables, come to life in the evenings, with street theatre s and concerts that are open to everyone. The warm Mediterranean air provides encourages one to stop and mingle with others. This is the rich setting in which you'll find the Terramare school.
Recognized by the University of Siena, it is run by a cooperative of teachers. It was founded in 1986. Orbetello, surrounded by its lagoon, was an important Etruscan port and the home of trade between ancient civilizations. Its historical, urban and natural features provide the ideal conditions for meeting local people, as well as guaranteeing quality of life, making it just the place for a language school. The close contact with the everyday life of the town gives our students many opportunities to hear and use everyday Italian, and creates a close interaction between the language learnt in school, and practice in the local community. Ours is, in fact, a responsive school capable of transforming local cultural events, plays and shows into enjoyable learning situations for further language study and social activities.
Enrolling for a course at the Terramare school means numerous opportunities to combine language learning with language practice. Classes are always small with a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 6 students, divided into 6 levels (as described in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). In the morning (9.00 am to 1.00pm Monday to Friday) there are general language lessons with activities to encourage the practical application of the language and the analysis of form and structure with the aim of fully involving each student in their own linguistic and cultural development. The school organizes cultural activities which take place three times a week: Two afternoons a week we organize cultural meetings on a variety of subjects (Italian songs, cinema, theatre, history, art and literature etc.).
Three times a week included in the General Language and Culture Course there are trips to the local nature reserves and parks, to the islands off the Tuscan coast, archaeological sites and old town centers. Our method of teaching is centered around the individual student. Our communicative approach is based on interactive activities in the classroom and group activities outside, with many cultural trips to a variety of local places of archaeological, artistic and historical interest. We therefore offer a unique opportunity for those who want to learn a language and also want practice by using it in active everyday situations. Exposure to every day real Italian also helps students to develop a natural ear for the language in a variety of authentic communicative situations.
The student's immersion in everyday Italian life, therefore transforms their language learning experience into a real cultural experience, and enhances their language learning with communicative competence. Authentic learning materials have long demonstrated their effectiveness in helping the student to develop basic linguistic competence as well as at more advanced levels. Lessons consider at aspects of the Italian way of life and culture, and activities are chosen according to the students' level. The specific interests of the group are tailored to the individual student's needs in one to one classes.
Intensive Italian group course
2 week standard group course: 20 hours/week + 3 cultural activities and excursions per week
Combined Italian course
Italian standard group course: 20 hours/week in the mornings + 3 cultural activities and escursions per week +10 hours/week individual lessons
Individual lessons and CILS exam preparation course
For students who are interested in particular aspects of the Italian language (economics, law, science, historical-artistic, etc.) or who want to prepare for the CILS exam.
From 2 to 6 hours a day.
The special courses consist of the standard group course (20 hours/week) + 3 cultural activities and excursions + 20 hours of special activities on 3 afternoons per week.
1 - Language, Art & Archeology: visits to artistic sites and monuments, historical centers, and archaeological sites, practical pottery workshop
2 - Language, Nature & Sports: for those who want to combine studying the Italian language with enjoying their favorite sports activities like canoeing, rowing, sailing, surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, sea watching, horseback riding, trekking and cycling.
3 - Language, cuisine and the wine trail: preparation of traditional dishes, visits of biological farms, wine and food tasting.
Extraordinary practical language courses - Group courses or individual lessons
1 - The language of travelling: educational journey through four Italian regions (Tuscany, Sardinia, Umbria and Lazio); linguistical, historical and anthropological workshop.
2 - From creating to speaking: art and archeology in museums and archeological sites, visits of historical towns as well as of sites of modern art; language and art workshop to experience various artistical techniques.
3 - Christmas in Italian: language course with various cultural activities (visits to medieval town with their cribs, biological farms, dinners in typical restaurants, cultural events, art workshops, etc.) during Christmas time.