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Program & Admission Information - Viareggio, Italy  



The Italian Language lessons
Grammar and conversation lessons -- The main emphasis of the course is placed on the development of communication skills in spoken and written Italian. Examples of the subjects covered in each of the lessons are:

  • Grammar (forming words, sentence structure, spelling and word sounds). Not in the form of strict rules, but through communication and practice.

  • Everyday situations which you will encounter during your stay in Italy such as meeting people, telephone conversations etc.

  • Vocabulary and idiomatic expressions

  • Styles of language use; when a particular use of language is acceptable

  • Cultural factors such as the meaning of words in different contexts; the gestures and body language which accompany and influence communication.

  • Language use.
The Methodology
There are four skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking which need to be studied and developed from the start of the program. The emphasis on these four areas helps to enable the student to use their knowledge of the Italian language in day - to - day communication. An immersion approach to the language is used for all levels – this means that from day one only Italian is spoken in the classroom. This approach helps the student to become comfortable with the Italian language quickly. Teachers use authentic material in the classroom, role playing, and an adaptive approach to grammatical structures and vocabulary which become progressively more complex as the student advances between levels.At advanced levels different types of text are used to encourage the recognition and reproduction of different language styles.

To ensure each student receives the proper training, the students current verbal and oral proficiency in Italian will be established by a written and oral examination on the first day of class.

Italian Language Levels
There are 5 different levels of Italian. —Students have to pass an entry test, written and oral, to be placed in the right level.

Basic ( beginner ) - This course is designated for those students who are beginning Italian for the first time. By the end of the course, students will be able to form some of the basic structures in Italian and will have a basic knowledge of the Italian culture.

Level 2 ( elementary ) - This course is designed for those students who already have a previous knowledge of some of the basic structures in Italian. By the end of the program, students will have increased their level of grammar and vocabulary so they can express themselves functionally according to different contexts. They will also have a greater awareness of italian culture and society.

Level 3 ( intermediate ) - This course is designed for students having a general command of the more complex structures in the Italian language and a good vocabulary base. By the end of the course, students will be able to use their Italian more fluently and will have a greater understanding of the Italian way of life. The course attempts to improve the student's understanding of the linguistic and extra-linguistic structures in Italian.

Level 4 ( advanced ) - This course is designed for students possessing a solid knowledge of the Italian culture and are able to perform at a communicative level. By the end of the course, students will have gained a wider knowledge of the Italian culture and will be more proficient at expressing ideas at an abstract level.

Level 5 ( proficiency ) - This course is designated for those students with a high command of the Italian language. Special emphasis is placed on perfecting the student's oral and writing skills and also in developing a global perspective of the Italian culture in relation to the student's particular field of interest.

The Standard Course
Group 20 hours per week. The classes are made up of small groups of not more than 12 students. The student's suitable ability level will be established by written and oral test at the beginning of the course. The 2 weeks courses include 4 lessons per day, 20 lessons per week and lessons are held from Monday to Friday. 2 lessons/day grammar and 2 lessons/day conversation with a second teacher.

The Intensive Course
Group 30 hours per week. The course is based on the same structure as the Standard course with an additional 5 or 10 hours per week of instruction.

Italian & Cooking
This course in home cooking does not have a professional character but is a great opportunity for students to familiarize with the culinary Italian traditions. This cooking course must be combined with a language course at the center.

During the course the participants will practically learn the basic elements of the Italian cookery, such as:
● Pasta
● Stews
● Bread and Pizza

Students will also learn typical dishes of Italian regional cuisine, such as:
● Saffron rice from Lombardy
● Pasta alla norma from Sicily

The course is held in a typical Italian kitchen in contact with an Italian family.

For more information about this program, contact us!


Admissions & Academic Credit

Students age 16 years and older are welcome regardless of educational background, occupation or nationality. No previous knowledge of Italian is required except where otherwise indicated.

Students desiring credit for their study should contact their home school or request the NRCSA Credit Fact Sheet. Generally, U.S. universities consider 15 hours of study to be equal to 1 semester credit.

For general information on academic credit, please click here.



Studies at Puccini can be concluded with the following diplomas and examinations

Centro Puccini
1. "Certificato di frequenza"
2. "Certificato di Conoscenza"
3. "Diploma di lingua Italiana"

Accademia Italiana di Lingua (AIL)
1. "Certificate "Firenze" AIL (Intermediate level)"
2. "Diploma "Firenze" AIL (Advanced Level)"

CILS University of Siena
"Centro Puccini" is a member of the association ASILS and therefore preparation centre for the CILS-Certificates of the University of Siena. Detailed information upon request.

Program Overview (PDF)

Standard Course
Intensive Course

Admissions & Academic Credit

Cultural, Social & Activities


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