A quick chat with Giulia Baronti, who attended the DITALS II Training Course at Happy Languages in October 2016 and did the exam in February 2017.
We asked her some questions to understand more about why she chose the DITALS preparation course and how it went. Enjoy!
Tell us about your education and previous work experience.
I gained a Bachelor’s Degree in Classical Studies at the University of Florence and then a Masters Degree in Philology, Literature and Ancient History. During the summer I planned and delivered an Italian course for foreigner children on the Tuscany hills in collaboration with a local B&B. Just after my Masters I moved to London, where I started working as an Italian teacher and as an intern in the Educational Department of the Sir John Soane’s Museum. Few months later I got the CLTA (Certificate in Language Teaching to Adults) released by the International House in London. Since then, I specialized in teaching Italian as a foreign language to adolescents, adults and elders, working as a freelance and collaborating with some language schools in London.
Why did you choose to do the DITALS preparation course?
Because I think that being a good teacher – and, in general, a good professional – means improving yourself continuously and studying aspects of your field you are not very confident with. Thanks to the CLTA course I got practical knowledge about how to manage a class, but I still missed a good theoretical preparation. That is why I decided to compensate with the DITALS II Certification.
What expectations did you have before the start of the course?
I expected to approach the most important aspects of the Italian teaching and methodology.
How was the course organised?
During the 5 weeks course we learnt the exam structure in detail, we studied the CEFR indicators and how to analyse and product teaching materials.
In your opinion, which part of the exam is more complex?
In my opinion is Part C.
What did you focus on during the exam preparation?
On the theoretical contents, especially sociolinguistics and acquisition linguistics.
Which advice would you give to someone who is about to start this professional path?
To take it seriously. You can’t just improvise because you are a native speaker and you have a more or less deep knowledge of your language. Teaching is a job that requires a mental dedication, which means huge challenges and efforts, but it can be incredibly rewarding.