At the Italian School of St Albans we try our best to make lessons entertaining and engaging. We appreciate when someone wants to learn our language and we want them to enjoy the lesson and (why not) make new friends. We're also happy to organize dinners and meetups every now and then, in order to make the group more connected.
As much as we can make lessons interesting and as much as we try to avoid the classic approach (only textbooks, fill the gaps, matchings) the cooperation of the student is still extremely important. An old Chinese proverb says :"The teacher opens the door, but the students must go in". Here are some tips to make the most of your experience:
1- STAY MOTIVATED : Learning a language, specially in a group, can be fun. At the same time, however, often this is not enough in the long term and speaking a new language requires a grade of intellectual activity. Only the motivation allows you to carry on as through it you'll create the habit. Anytime you want to quit, think what made you start and don't ruin what you did previously. Here's a link to find more advice: http://www.wikihow.com/Stay-Motivated
2- DON'T GIVE UP WHEN YOU STRUGGLE : Every language has easy points and difficult points. Don't just give up if you feel you're not doing great. Everyone is on the same boat and we are always ready to help. It's not necessary to be perfect, our classes have a relaxing atmosphere and it's essential to try to speak and make mistakes!
3- IT'S NORMAL TO MISS SOME CLASSES : In a block of 10 classes, 80% of students miss 2 classes. It's completely normal and we don't discriminate who can't make it. We'll send notes by email for you to read when you can't attend. It's important to look at the notes in order to catch up and keep the confidence. PS: Your mind might suggest you "You didn't attend last week, don't go today neither. Stay at home!". Well, in this case you're losing motivation and habit. Fight back!
4- DON'T LOSE CONFIDENCE : Confidence will allow you to speak, express yourself, overcome shyness. The more you speak, the more mistakes you make, the quicker you'll improve. After we give you the rules, we invite you to have conversations. Good results will come with time.
5- IT'S OK TO DROP OUT. IT'S NOT OK TO DISAPPEAR : Everyone has a life, sometimes a very busy life. We're completely understanding and, even if normally people carry on and complete the course, there's always someone who can't make it for various reasons. As we consider our students our main resource, we actually care about you. For this reason for us it's a big shame when people can't carry on, but it's fine.... as long as you say "thanks and bye bye".