Istituto Il David Reviews
I had a very satisfying two weeks in July 2019 at the Il David Institute. It is more than just a language school, it is a welcome in Florence, an integration into the cultural and social life of the.... more »
I was there for a month and keeping in mind that my Italian knowledge was near non-existent, I actually felt really comfortable with my ability to speak Italian after the month was overall though not.... more »
Great school, warm welcome from everyone, there are no doubts left and the courses are entertaining. I spent 5 weeks going to this language program at it was really a great experience.
Over the years, i've participated in eight language programs, in different languages and at different levels, so it is perhaps unfair to compare one against the other. With that qualification aside, the Istituto il David program is the worst that I've participated in. I took a week's worth of courses at an advanced level. This included an early lesson on grammar and a second one on conversation. The school is well located and the course offerings adequate. The first day of class is devoted to administering an exam and to providing information. I found this rather outrageous, considering that both of these could be done online, which is how most programs do it. If I pay for five days of lessons, I expect five; not four. The first class was led by Giada, who did a nice job of going over collective problems in the exam. She offered very good and clear grammatical explanations. I felt, however, that her pace and style was calibrated more for a beginner class than for ours. Many discussions felt over-elaborated and concepts belabored, given the level of the class. Rather than incorporate grammatical principles into situations and practice them that way, we went through written exercises done in-class and then corrected by going around the room. Is the sort of approach that I remember, non-fondly, from grammar school language classes. The conversation class was taught by Veronica, who's a very dynamic instructor. She offers detailed explanations for new vocabulary, using those words as springboard for providing variations. The class, however, lacked any discernible pedagogical approach. Most consisted of a freewheeling conversation dominated by her. She spoke more than everyone else combined, turning the class more into a comprehension exercise. It is telling that even after the second class, she still did not know the name of all seven students, and also telling that she joked about the "plan" that she had cooked up last minute on the way to class. I would expect a conversation class to be organized around topics, so as to address advanced students' limitations systematically. Instead, vocabulary came up at random, rendering it less useful or memorable. Neither class gave homework assignments of any significance--no reading, writing, or presentations--as is the norm in courses of this sort. On the whole, I was pretty disappointed with the experience.
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