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Make the most of your holiday: Learn a language

IH Milano
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IH Milano

The UK is notoriously bad at learning foreign languages. We expect everyone to be able to speak our language and if they don’t then we resort to just speaking slower and louder.

We basically sound like really, really bad impressionists.

There’s numerous reports detailing how children in the UK are the ‘worst in Europe’ when it comes to learning foreign languages. In Luxembourg, for example, pupils learn two to three foreign languages from a very early age. In the UK, the majority of pupils just learn their own language.

Languages are hard to learn. I’ve been there. I battled my way through French GCSE, A-Level and a degree in the subject I always performed worst at at school.

Throughout my journey in learning French, the times when I saw the biggest leaps in my learning was when I spent time immersed in the French language. At the end of my first year we were encouraged to go abroad and spend some time speaking French. Knowing that my third year would be spent in France, I opted to travel solo and go to a language school in Montréal, Canada. In the three weeks I spent there I feel as if I learnt more than I did in a whole three years of trying to learn a language in England.

The language school was the most fun learning a language I think I’ve ever had. Something that IH Milano, right in the middle of Italian’s style capital, Milan, knows all about.

IH Milano

IH Milano offers Italian language courses to complete beginners all the way up to advanced speakers and provide courses created especially for travellers to help them learn all sorts of words and phrases that help you out while travelling in Italy.

There’s also plenty of special courses with different focuses to show you the more about Milan and get a deeper understanding of Italian history and culture. Such courses include the special course for Expo Milano 2015 and the Fashion & Design course.

Torre velasca IH Mialno

Lessons take place in the Torre Velasca, a building which has become an important symbol for Milan and is just a few minutes away from Milan’s spectacular Duomo. Built in the 1950s, the Torre Velasca resembles a medieval watchtower but also symbolises the modern advances in Milan too and is a pretty spectacular looking. It definitely stands out from Milan’s skyline.

Will I have to give up my whole holiday?

No! One of the best things about language schools is that you don’t have to give up your whole holiday at all. You get loads of time to explore the city at your own pace and try out your new found skills!

Classes at IH Milano usually take place from 10am-1pm, Monday to Friday and last for two weeks. This means you get your weekend and afternoons free for adventuring in your own pace and, if you’re an early riser, you’ve even got a few hours in the morning before class starts to visit markets, or have a coffee in a nearby café.

Some courses also offer you the chance to take your learning out of the classroom and give you the chance to learn more about Italian history, cooking and give you the chance to further work on your language skills at the same time.

If you prefer to take on a more intensive course, IH Milano also has a Super Intensive course where you receive 10 1:1 lessons on top of the standard 10am-1pm, Monday to Friday courses.

Expo Milano 2015

2015 sees the year of Expo Milano from March to October where Milan showcases exhibits from more than 150 countries. Those present in Milan will demonstrate the best of their technology that succeeds in offering a concrete answer to a vital need: that of being able to guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone, while respecting the planet and its equilibrium. Over 20 million visitors will have the opportunity to find out about, taste and discover the best of the gastronomic traditions of each exhibitor country!

IH Milano’s ‘Spaghetti al Pomodoro’ course

IH Milano has put together a special course to celebrate the Expo Milano 2015 IH Milano language courseswhich they’re calling the ‘Spaghetti al Pomodoro’ course.

In this course you’ll get the chance to learn more about the culinary traditions of Italy, discover regional wines and get a sense for the variation in regional produce around Italy.

The course will take the form of general Italian lessons to get you up to speed with the basics, special classes on Italian cuisine and the opportunity to take part in cookery classes (if you’re going to learn to cook anywhere, surely Italy is the best place for it!), wine tasting and visit the Expo Milano pavilions themselves!

The course lasts for two weeks and involves 48 lessons of 45 minutes each with extra hours to develop your language skills through the out of class experiences such as the cookery courses.

expo milano ih milano
Example timetable for the Expo Milano Course at IH Milano

Learning Italian with IH Milano gives you the chance to immerse yourself in another language and culture and put what you learn into practice as soon as you’ve learnt it so the knowledge gets cemented in your head. It’s a far nicer, less painful way to learn a language and a lot more fun than sitting in a classroom after work back home.

So next time you think about a trip to Italy, why not give IH Milano a try and impress your friends and family with all your new found skills?

Would you try a language school?

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4 comments

  1. I’d love to do this, we generally fly to Milan en route to visit my father in law in Lugano and I really could do with brushing up my Italian (that sounds dodgy!)

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

    1. Haha, Suze that made me laugh! I think Italian is a beautiful language but I find it SO hard to roll my ‘r’s x

  2. I really love this concept, Italian is such a sexy language everything sounds wonderful Lucy x

    1. I really love the way it sounds too – such a nice flow to it! x