Saturday, January 17, 2009

Resolution: Study Italian, secondo tempo

Buongiorno cari amici!

Yesterday I suggested one way to improve your Italian language skills, possibly as part of New Year's resolutions, and today I'm here with a second option.

The New Paltz Language Immersion Institute.

The university offers two possibilities: you can go to the New Paltz campus (north of New York City) for a weekend or more for an intense, target-language only course.

Or you can go to New York City for the weekend, and take a three-day course at a hotel in Midtown.

I took the hotel course, but since I'm a bit furba (o tirchia, vedi un po' te), I stayed with friends and family in the evening to save myself the cost of a hotel room. (The university holds the program at a hotel to make the multiple-day course convenient for people from outside New York).

And no, I actually did not take Italian. Ho studiato lo spagnolo! But as a result, I can wholly recommend the program.

I was in a group of six students, including an American filmmaker who had spent a lot of time working in Buenos Aires, and a woman who had received her Ph.D in Spanish years ago but wanted to brush up before a trip to Spain.

These people were serious! And so was I.

I hate foreign language courses that are not intense, particularly ones claiming to be 'full immersion,' and I don't want to be bothered with anyone who has not come to speak the target language. English? No thanks. I can speak that any time of the day or night!

Our teacher was a Bolivian man di una certa età who had a mischievous sparkle in his eye. We studied Spanish Friday evening, all day Saturday (including a jaunt to a local Mexican restaurant for lunch) and most of Sunday.

Arriving Friday night, I found a pleasant buzz of organized chaos and industriousness, as dozens of students converged to spend a weekend cloistered in the hotel and immersed in the study of Italian, Spanish, German, French and other languages.

For more information, go here:
http://www.newpaltz.edu/lii/

E buon studio!

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