TalenInstituut Italian trainer Francesca Polo is passionate about languages and cultures, which is why she became a language trainer and coach. She prefers a tailor-made programmes, for either individuals or groups that are highly interactive, either face-to-face or from a distance.
But Francesca is more than just a language trainer. She is also the founder of NB&M (Natural Body & Mind: a mix of body awareness/proprioception-oriented exercises, yoga and postural awareness), a yoga instructor, translator, communications agent, theatre producer and coach.
For Francesca, teaching Italian is a passion, “I am proud of my language and culture, so it is nice to be able to transfer that to other people,” she says, “But generally speaking I like the challenge of trying to find the way to get someone talking. Everyone is different, so you need to get really creative sometimes.”
“It’s great to see someone going from not being able to speak to be able to hold a conversation,” she continues, “ I really like to see that happen. You can play with that a lot and be very creative, which I like. Everyone is different.”
However, it’s not just fun and games helping people improve their Italian. “My students are professionals so they are always very busy,” she explains, “This means they don’t have much time and it is always hard to find time to do homework as well as the course. It is my biggest challenge to get people to do their homework and practice. “
“It can also be challenging to get people to start actually speaking.” She smiles, “It’s only natural, but some people are shy at first and they lack the confidence to speak.
With a range of different clients, they are also very different needs, “What happens in each course really depends on my client’s objectives,” says Francesca, “If they are very uncertain, I usually try to get them talking and to listen and understand properly. But sometimes in order to make this happen, we have to also spend some time looking at grammar and accuracy.”
“I love the structure of language, so I like working with and teaching grammar. So its nice if I get a student that likes the structural things a well, then we can really have fun. But otherwise I also like using culture and more creative ways to get people speaking.”
Francesca’s average day is varied and ever-changing. She may star off in a café preparing lessons, before getting on her scooter to give a class at a business. Then she will spend a few hours giving online coaching to clients via Skype or a web-platform before spending some time on her translating work.
Francesca smiles as she lists her average day, “I like the variety. Preparing and doing translation is very quiet work which is then broken up with all the people and classes. I like that. Being able to move into different spaces and meet different people.”
Francesca’s Language Learning Tip:
Find out what works for you – whether it be practicing grammar and writing exercises, singing, reading Mickey Mouse or cooking recipes, listening to the Italian radio or anything that you have affinity with – and do a lot of that outside of the classroom. Dare to speak and throw yourself in conversations. Keep it fun and remind yourself regularly what image or goal made you want to learn Italian!
Here at TalenInstituut Nederland (The Dutch Language Institute) we understand the needs that companies face as well as the fears individual learners feel. This is why we offer flexible, fully customised Business language courses (including Italian) to businesses and individuals. Through a process of interviews and meetings we establish the unique needs and competence of our clients and design each and every course around those. To find out more about our Business Language courses, visit our website and ask us for a quote:
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