Intensive Italian language programs in Sicily, Italy
Italian Language courses taught at Babilonia – Center for Italian Language and Culture are full immersion classes. Language classes are conducted in the Italian language exclusively to accelerate learning. Since Babilonia students are from around the world and all students do not speak English, the “lingua franca” (common language for communication among students) is Italian. Rather than follow a specific textbook, faculty draw materials from a variety of authentic reading, video and audio sources as well as a variety of Italian language textbooks. The focus is to introduce students to current language usage. The didactic methodology follows the curriculum set by the Common Framework of European Languages.
Each 3 credit language course requires a minimum of 45 contact hours of immersion language study and a minimum of 5 hours of cultural lectures. Italian Language 101 requires 60 contact hours with a minimum of 5 hours of cultural lectures. A written and oral placement test is administered to each student prior to placement in an appropriate level language class. Class size varies, but the average number of students in each class is 5 to 7 students. Advanced classes generally range from 3 to 5 students. The maximum limit is 12 which is only rarely scheduled during the peak summer months. Each week faculty assess the progress of each student and students’ levels are adjusted to advance students who have mastered their current level (students living with host families often advance) or place students in a level to promote further language development.
All of the Babilonia teachers are native speakers with a minimum of a Master’s degree and each is trained in Teaching Italian as a Foreign Language. Faculty teaching assignments are rotated each week exposing language students to a variety of voices (pace, tone, volume, vocabulary, personal interests, personal background).
ITA 101 Elementary Italian courses begin on specific Mondays; all other course levels are offered year round and begin on any Monday.