Our Approach

Our language-teaching philosophy can be summed up in one simple phrase: Don't translate, imitate.

Grammar will teach you to listen. Listening will teach you to speak.

You speak by imitating what you hear. But you can't imitate what you hear unless you understand it. And you can't understand it without some grammar and vocab.

But all the grammar in the world won't get you to speak if you don't listen first (think high school French).

Imagine trying to compose a symphony by only learning music theory without ever having heard a piece of music. That's what you're doing when you try to speak from grammar rules without listening to the language long and plenty first.

That's because when we have a conversation with someone, we aren't mechanically putting sentences together by following grammar rules (the IKEA method). Conversations happen too fast and the more we think about what we're going to say, the more we get tongue-tied - think of job interviews or first dates. Plus a lot of what we say in English makes no sense literally translated into other laguages using grammar rules. English is very idiomatic.

Although you may like to think of yourself as a unique, original individual, a lot of what you say every day is an unconscious copy of what you've heard other people say in similar situations thousands of times since you were a baby. That's how we speak. We hear something a hundred times, then we say it ourselves.

So our aim is to teach you enough grammar and vocab basics to get you vaguely understanding what you read and hear. Then, over time, with a bit of encouragement from us, you'll evenutally start unconsciously imitating increasingly bigger bits and pieces of what you read and listen to. The key is reading and listening to as much Italian as possible. The greatest weight loss guru in the world can't help you shed pounds if you don't hit the gym!