Category Archives: Blog

La prima lezione

Six little babies ranging from 7 to 19 months old, and their mommies, gather around in a circle in La Piazza di Carolina for the first “Primi Passi” (Mommy and Me) class. Carolina puts out giocattoli for the bambine, and then we sing “Buon giorno bambine” to the tune of Happy Birthday.  My name is Anna Larkin and I am a rising senior at the College of the Holy Cross and have just returned from studying abroad in Bologna, Italy. Having lived there since September, I felt sad to say goodbye, but happy to have found La Piazza di Carolina where I am able to help teach others la lingua italiana. After having only observed and assisted two classes with Carolina, I see that the children are able to understand when we speak to them in Italian. Childrens’ brains are like sponges, so starting at an early age is optimal for learning a second language. The key is to constantly expose them to the language. The children in the “Primi Passi” are simultaneously learning English and Italian which I think is amazing.

In Bologna I lived with una famiglia italiana that consisted of the mother and her three little boys, Giacomo (10), Lorenzo (8), and Gualtiero (5). They were my fratellini this past year and were a joy to be around each day. Starting from an early age, Italian children are required to take English and one of the best ways they learn is through song. At La Piazza di Carolina cantiamo songs in Italian to the children and use toys and puppets to enhance their ability to absorb and understand le parole. One canzone we sing with them that involves clapping your hands is “Batti le manine”:

Batti le manine

Che stasera vien pap




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Porta cioccolatine



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Che io le manger

Batti le manine

Che stasera vien pap 

Porta cioccolatine

Uffa pap !

I am excited to see the progress that these children will make over the course of the next several weeks.

Alla prossima!

Anna.