Antonio Bonifati

We all have an innate ability to learn any language, age doesn't matter

A brief account of my language teaching method

I am an Italian native with a good knowledge of English, because I have lived in the UK. I teach Italian both on-line via combined text and voice chat and in person, all levels, using a conversational teaching method.

I will make you easily form complex sentences in Italian, step-by-step, from the very first lesson. My teaching method is easy, funny and works with everybody, because I leverage everyone's natural ability to learn languages. My role as a teacher or tutor is just to accelerate your natural language acquisition process, not to teach complicated grammar rules with their inevitable never-ending exception lists. I try to make my explanations as concise and simple as possible, but I never simplify the example sentences I use. We will work on phrases as complex as the one you can hear in daily life in Italy.

There is neither grammar to study, nor exercise or any other kind of homework. I believe that learning should be fun and no effort has to be made in order to memorize words and idioms. With me, you will learn the language effortlessly through repeated, in-context usage and full understanding of its core elements, rather than by painful, difficult and naive attempts of memorization.

I only teach individually and am not the traditional kind of teacher sitting at a desk, but rather a friend you meet in person at a café, park or on-line via vocal chat, in the full privacy of your home. I will make you put words together and form complex sentences starting from our first conversation. Under my friendly assistance you will find that easy and you can be absolutely sure that you only learn correct things, because I am an Italian native and well-educated.

You won't be chided for your errors. On the contrary, we will both laugh at them. But most importantly, you will learn a lot from every mistake you happen to make. Because, as you speak Italian, translating word by word from English under my guidance, I will tell you what is wrong, why is wrong and how to make the sentence structure right or your pronunciation as good as native.

And don't be afraid if you make the same mistakes over and over. We will try to recall my past explanation and if you completely forgot it, I will patiently repeat it. After a while, your brain will adapt to the new language structures and you will know what is right and what is wrong in Italian. Forming sentences directly in Italian will become easy and natural, without any need to first think in English and then to translate, just like an Italian native!

No Italian set phrase or idiom I introduce will be ever obscure or strange to you, so that to require you to learn it or to try to remember its meaning by heart, because I always explain in plain English what something means and why we use that kind of construction, especially if it is quite different from English.

I make you aware of any difference in structure between English and Italian so that you can be sure your Italian is 100% correct and you will never try to mime English in Italian because nobody explained you well what the correct word usage and word order is in Italian.

How much Italian I can learn in a few hours' lessons only?

Of course there is no magic wand, you cannot learn all Italian in just a few hours. But, a few hours with my method are enough for you to learn the foundations of the language first and to be absolutely certain of what you have learned. You will then have a solid base that will allow you to learn much more with ease, either by taking further lessons from me or even all by yourself.

We will also take full advantage of any similarities in vocabulary between English and Italian and indeed there are many of them to exploit. I will give you many mnemonic hints that will help you to remember a lot of Italian words and their correct meaning by carefully chosen translations or simply by association with similar English words or expressions. For a few Italian words that are actually compound words, I will tell you what each of the constituents mean in the compound word, if a word also has a meaning by itself and thereby it can be used alone.

Some hopeless cases I have cured

If you are a beginner who thinks Italian is too difficult, my pleasure is to prove the opposite. Often every complication is there just for beauty in this poetic language. Anyway, I am always able to find a way to justify any complexity, so that you will accept it. You will also find an explanation like that easier to remember than a grammar rule and that will guide you to make a correct use of the language in practice. E.g. most Italian idioms are funny and, unless I can find a corresponding one in English, you will be amused by knowing their literal meaning.

If you plan to go on holiday on Italy and you are in a rush to learn some Italian, I can quickly prepare you to cope with the most common real-life situations, like eating in a traditional restaurant or shopping in a fashion boutique. Our conversation topics are entirely your choice. Whatever subject you choose, I am able to make up sentences that will teach you a lot about the Italian syntax. You will then be able to change the words and use the same structures in other situations, with full confidence.

If you tried to learn Italian before using traditional methods and failed, I will be very glad to demonstrate that your failure is not your fault, but rather your former teachers' fault. You, like everyone, can learn any language just as you learned your mother tongue or your local dialect, if only it is explained to you in a comprehensible way.