Monday, October 1, 2007

First Day of Class

Even though it has been years since we have been in class we still got butterflies walking into the language school. “Am I going to make friends?” “Why do I have a big zit on my forehead right now?” “Am I dressed cool enough?” Etc.

We signed up for the super-intensive course (3 sessions per day) at Centro Machiavelli (http://www.centromachiavelli.it/) in Santo Spirito. We walked in and immediately sat down to take a test for about 1 hour. Then we sat (individually) with a instructor and corrected the test and talked with him so that he could size up your speaking/listening comprehension. We both did about the same on the test we think and we’ll be in the same level. Of 17 students starting, we were the only super-intensive “C” course students . There were a number of Japanese students, a couple of Spanish students, and at least one other American student, and several of undetermined nationality.

Every two weeks, a new batch of students comes in, and combined with the old students, everyone is leveled. After taking the test we had a general introductory meeting for an hour and then got the afternoon off. (We needed it because there was a lot to do.) We worked with an assistant at the school on getting the final paper work together for our permesso di soggoirno.

The test had 13 sections, progressing from simple to hard. For example there were sections on:

  • filling the blanks with appropriate nouns
  • matching adjectives to nouns
  • filling in present tense verbs in a story
  • given a few words, construct a sentence using the words
  • filling in past or imperfect tense in a story
  • reading a passage and answering some questions
  • writing a letter to a friend telling him you can’t come to his birthday party and why
  • writing a letter answering a for-rent ad asking for more information
  • writing a short resume

There were a couple of sections that I was clueless on. In fact, I got up to section 8 just fine and then it got hard for me. My knowledge of the language was run out of its boundaries.

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