Every single DITALS attendee is a totally different world. We had a chat with Maria Chiara Avenia to know more about her and the course she attended in June 2017.
Let’s see what motivated her to start this journey!
Tell us about your education and previous work experience.
I got a Diploma at the Classical High School “Cneo Nevio” in Santa Maria Capua Vetere, then a Bachelor’s Degree in Modern Literature and a Masters in Modern Philology at the University “Federico II” in Naples. Besides I attended a course in Cinematographic Critics at the Cinema Academy “Pigrecoemme” in Naples. I worked for the newspaper “Gazzetta di Caserta” for six months and I held private tuitions during my studies.
Why did you choose the DITALS preparation course?
Because I needed some guidelines to prepare the exam: language teaching basis and a knowledge of the exam’s structure.
What expectations did you have before the start of the course?
I expected a theoretical course but actually it was very practical. We worked during the lessons and at home, both individually and in groups and every activity was very useful to get ready for the exam that I will take in November. I didn’t know I would be observed and evaluated for the whole period, but that really motivated me to do my best during the course, which was short but very intense.
How was the course organised?
The course took one day a week (Saturday) for four weeks. We talked about general linguistics, teaching approaches and methods and we simulated all the sections of the exam. Each lesson we carried out a specific task, individually and in groups, depending on the lesson’s topic.
In your opinion, which part of the exam is more complex?
For me Section B is quite complex but I think it is just a matter of practice.
What do you need to focus on during the exam preparation?
I have to focus on Part B, so on the creation of a learning unit, but I can’t underestimate Section C as well.
What did the traineeship consist of and what was more useful for your training?
The traineeship is focused on the observation of Italian classes and on the report which has to be written after them. In addition to that, there are some works to do at home. I found the observations very useful as I could see how a language is taught. I paid attention to the teacher’s talk, to the time and space management and to the teaching materials used.
Which advice would you give to someone who is about to start this professional path?
My advice is to start this path only if very motivated. The preparation course was really good for my educational development, I learnt many things and I am confident I will pass the exam after such a thorough preparation. My advice is also to study before, during and after the course and, once taken the DITALS I, to move towards the DITALS II certification.