Read one of my student's experience
Intervistata: Stephanie Malinki
Hi everyone, I’m Stephanie Malinki from Colorado. I’ve always wanted to be bilingual and to study the Italian language. I tried a teacher near my home, but it didn’t work out between us – I needed someone patient and constantly encouraging. I found my perfect teacher on one of my many Internet searches: Alessandra Paganin was and has been a flawless teacher.
She has been patient and excited for me to keep learning. I take lessons with her, via Skype, three times a week. After taking classes for several months, I went to study for 2 weeks with her in her hometown of Esino (http://www.comune.esinolario.lc.it). It was a lovely trip to Italy to study the Italian language. There are many lovely flats to rent in Esino Lario, as well as hotels and B&B. The area is quiet and has many places to explore – the grocers, coffee shops, pizzerias.
I loved that I could save money and eat in, or take a stroll to get something yummy instead! I enjoyed having a person I knew close to me too. I arranged lessons with Alessandra before arriving, and had the advantage of knowing my schedule so I still had time to see the area. The bus ride to Varenna and ferry to Bellagio (visit : http://www.lakecomo.it/) was extremely beautiful! I also shared a coffee and a pizza with Alessandra and her family – it was nice to be together socially and practice studying the language.
Alessandra is Italian and French; with a French mother and an Italian father she has been fluent in both languages since childhood (as well as having perfect English!) I love this since I eventually want to speak French too.
After the amazing time I had there, I encouraged my husband to study with me and we went back the following year. It was like seeing a very old and dear friend!
In September, I was in a bad car accident and had a concussion. I had trouble putting words together and took 2 months off from my lessons. When I returned, I was so frustrated that I couldn’t remember Italian anymore. I felt bad for Alessandra too, as she had to start over with me. She wasn’t upset or worried at all – she just encouraged me to keep trying, and helped me stay calm and relaxed. It’s been several months now, and I am doing much better and almost back to where I ended before. No one will ever know how much I appreciated her support! I am now planning yet another trip to Esino to study more Italian!