Tag: languages

Talking Italian: ‘Rich and intensive’ language courses at City

By Lucie Langevin

Language classes “rich & intense” like the taste of Italian coffee

Learning a new language opens up a whole new world to you, and this is precisely what I love! I will keep learning until I am fluent. I want to achieve a level where it feels natural to speak Italian.

My name is Lucie Langevin and I am a Marketing Executive with an award-winning Italian villa rental company, based in London.

Lucie Langevin

At City I took an Italian Lower Intermediate short evening course.

I’m passionate about languages and have always loved Italian culture: the country, the history, the art, the cinema, the food… To me, learning Italian is about understanding this culture better and gaining insight into what makes the country and its inhabitants tick.

When choosing a class, what matters most to me is what I personally get out of the course and my own learning curve. I care about my knowledge of Italian being recognised as an extra skill that I have gained from a reputable provider. Therefore, when choosing the Italian course, I looked into classes available in my area, read reviews and compared options. City did not disappoint and the course went beyond my expectations.

What I enjoyed most about the course was getting a true feel of Italian culture. Every Thursday I looked forward to my two hours of Italian and always left the class feeling motivated and enlightened.

Veronica de Felice is a great tutor: an authentic Italian with a wonderful sense of humour, always in a good mood and keen on pushing us to learn more and get the best from her teaching.

She regularly went beyond the basics and varied the content of the lessons so that each class would be rich and intense. She always included a bit of everything: culture, grammar, speaking, writing, interactive exercises, homework to practise and prepare for the class… a great balance of activities and a very encouraging attitude towards us, her students.

We were very lucky to be in a small group, which is the best environment to learn a language. This meant we got to know each other very well. The interactive style of our exercises encouraged this even further. All the other students were also very motivated, which created the perfect atmosphere for learning, sharing experiences and interacting together in Italian.

I also enjoyed that we weren’t just taking a theoretical class: we were conversing and exchanging a lot, about life, interests, jobs and got along so well together as a group with the tutor and the other students. I looked forward to my class every week!

I always try to practise what I have learnt in my daily life. At work I feel better integrated and my Italian colleagues love it that I take an interest in their language and culture. I speak Italian with them, can understand them speaking on the phone and don’t need a translator to read emails written in Italian. I also try to pick up new vocabulary by listening to Italian radio and reading the news online.

Learning a new language opens up a whole new world to you, and this is precisely what I love! I will keep learning until I am fluent. I want to achieve a level where it feels natural to speak Italian. I want to travel even more to experience the culture and speak the language in ‘real life situations’. And I want to be able to read books and watch movies in Italian… I’m excited!

Lucie studied City’s short evening course in Lower Intermediate Italian.

For more about our short language courses, visit our web page.

Benefits of learning a language  

For many of us, learning a second language is nothing new. Some may have distant memories from school mustering up your first words in French including ‘Oui’ and ‘Comment tu t’appelles’. Others continued their journey, studying languages throughout middle and upper school and even into college or university. However, not everyone had this opportunity, the interest or the motivation to learn a language at that time in their life. 

Choosing to study as an adult feels more rewarding in many ways, primarily because you have a choice and can pick what interests you. There is a much wider variety of languages at your fingertips from Japanese to Portuguese, Arabic to Italian. Learning is more accessible, with content online 24/7 via apps, platforms such as YouTube, or taught as live short courses by professional native speakers at reputable institutions like City, University of London.  

If you are considering trying your hand at a second language, you will find many benefits that could make significant changes and improvements to your life, and not just professionally.  

Improving your memory 

Who would have thought that learning a language can help to improve your short-term and long-term memory? It is well known that we can build muscle memory through crosswords and puzzles, but research has also found that learning a language can help, as it promotes brain growth. It can help to recall words and places, which can benefit your work and everyday life. 

 Building new relationships 

It might be that you are considering picking up a specific language because you have met a partner who speaks in this tongue and you want to be able to communicate better to improve your relationship and connect with their family and friends. Alternatively, having friends or colleagues who speak another language could spur your interest to learn, surprising them with your new skills while feeling a sense of achievement. Plus, you will feel more involved in conversations where English is not spoken, and if your name is mentioned you might finally understand what is being said. 

Window to other cultures 

Taking a short course in a language means that you won’t just be learning new words and numbers, you will also gain an insight into the culture. You can discover popular traditions, celebrated holidays, what the locals eat and do for fun. We are lucky to live in a world full of diversity, and even if it might not be possible to get to the other side of the globe at this moment in time, you will get a glimpse of various cultures through native speakers who teach language short courses. 

 Creating exciting opportunities  

As well as benefitting both your health and relationships, this skill can open the doors to new opportunities. Depending on where you are in life you might want to study in a foreign land, purchase a retirement property near the beach or progress in work and land a promotion overseas – there’s really no downside to where it can take you. The world is your oyster! 

Keeping the brain in shape  

Numerous studies have shown that learning a language can help stimulate the brain and in turn aid the brain’s growth and development. It can also improve your concentration as supported by a study led by Dr Thomas Bak. Similarly, Swedish scientists performed scans to monitor the brain proving that learning foreign lingo can in fact increase the size of our brains. Evidence suggests that it may even lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. 

So, what’s stopping you? Join a short course by either starting at the very beginning with a language that interests you or build on your existing skills with an advanced level course. Find yours today at www.cityshortcourses.com.  

Getting to know you: Our winter short courses open evening

City, University of London were proud to host our winter Open Evening on Tuesday 10th December 2019.

Our Open Evenings are a great opportunity to visit our campus and meet out tutors – and this December we had a great turnout of guests, looking to find out more about all the evening and weekend courses that we offer at City. We offer light refreshments and some free gifts to take away with you.

City Short Courses also offers a range of taster sessions – 40-minute classes to give you a flavour of what it is like to study at City. We are hosting our next Languages Taster Event on Wednesday 15th January 2020. We will be running taster sessions in seven languages – Arabic, Chinese Mandarin, French, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish. Find out more and book your place on the webpage.

We have over 120 courses across subject areas – business, computing, creative industries, languages, law and writing. Next term starts Monday 20th January 2020, enrol online!

A taste of learning with City

City, University of London proudly hosted our first ever open evening and taster sessions event on Thursday 11th July 2019. Thank you to everyone who made the evening such a success and to all of our attendees – we hope that you found it interesting.

Throughout the evening we offered a series of 30-minute taster sessions in a select number of our short course programmes to give students a feel for what it is like to study a short course with us.

We started the evening on a high with a taster session in one of our most popular courses, Introduction to Programming with Python. Lead by programming expert, Philip De Grouchy, this session was packed out with young professionals looking to try their hand at coding.

Our digital guru, Elliott King, ran a parallel session in Strategic Digital Marketing, combining theoretical knowledge with step-by-step guidance on delivering online marketing campaigns.

Katy Darby lead an interactive session in Short Story Writing, for those looking to nurture their creative flare while Marian Wancio delivered a more practical course in Project Management.

Ping Chai, leading a Chinese Mandarin taster session

We also ran sessions in Immigration Law, Adobe InDesign, JavaScript Programming, Writing for Business, Writing for the Web, Curating & Exhibition Management, Japanese; and Chinese Mandarin.

Feedback from our attendees was overwhelming positive, with the vast majority stating that their questions were answered adequately by our staff. Our taster classes were also well received, rating the quality of the sessions highly.

However, there is always room for learning and improvements! As a result of our feedback, we intend to replace the current format with two separate events. In December 2019, we will be hosting a ‘meet our tutors’ open evening, an excellent opportunity to speak to our experts one-to-one about the wide variety of courses we offer at City. In the summer of 2020, we will be continue to run a full evening of taster sessions, offering a glimpse of what is it like to learn at City.

We will also be extending out taster sessions from 30 to 45 minutes to allow more time for learning. See the Visit Us section of our blog to find out more about our visitor events or book your place on our December open evening.

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