|Since La Voce will be resuming in September after the summer break, this is my last news for the school year 2023-24.
On April 12 I had the pleasure to share my language school report at the Annual General Meeting in which I provided key facts about the Italian language program, an overview of the school year 2022-23, a year over year enrollment comparison for the past five years, classes, highlights of the school years 2022-23, PLIDA exams updates, students’ survey sample
responses and future plans.
Key facts for those unable to participate were the following:
– First traces of Società Dante Alighieri’s school in Seattle in 1908.
– Continuous operation of the Italian language Program since 1984.
– Management of the program under current directorship since 1998.
– First professional website with class offerings and implementation of PayPal payment in 2002.
– Revitalization of the relationship with the headquarters in Rome in 1999-2003.
– Alignment with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in 2012-13.
– Recognition as an official PLIDA (Progetto lingua Italiana Dante Alighieri) certification center in 2011.
– First online offering in 2019-20.
– Implementation of Canvas in 2021-22.
– New Agreement with PLIDA office in Rome with authorization to use the new official PLIDA logo that univocally identifies us as Centro d’esame autorizzato in 2023.
In my overview I reported that the program is doing well in terms of enrollment and students’ progress and satisfaction, retention is good, and students are responding well to our online offering. I also pointed out that the number of students who decided to become members of DAS is increasing. 66% of students in the spring are members and therefore eligible to receive $20 discount on the course fee.
Enrollment is in line with last year and coincidentally the total of FQ and WQ students was precisely the same as last year. The positive result doesn’t prevent us from being vigilant about possible changes in future years for which we must be prepared. We are however very happy that so many students continue to value our Italian language Program as ideal for their desire of learning or improving the Italian language.
As we summarized in the 20 characters allowed per line in the brick that we donated to Casa Italiana from the DAS- Italian language program what students can find in us is “studio e ispirazione”.
In 2022-23 we offered 15 courses at the A1, A2, B1, B2 levels with a total of 271 students enrolled taught by our qualified native Italian speakers with years of experience in our program.
In my report I also talked about extracurricular activities such as SIFF-Cinema Italian Style, La settimana della lingua Italiana nel mondo, La settimana della cucina italiana nel mondo, Dantedì and the Italian Mixer at Seattle Opera under preparation for May 19 in addition to volunteer participation to events organized by the Dante Alighieri Society of Washington.
While I am writing this news, we are finalizing our participation in the Italian Mixer and we are all excited for the event and for the performance of La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi. Students and instructors able to attend will participate as a group or individually but all with the desire, including me, of being able to see each other in person after these months of Zoom lessons. Below our instructor Nicla Riverso with some of our students last year.
Nicla Riverso and DAS students at the 2022 Italian Mixer at Seattle Opera
Going back to the AGM report, I mentioned in the highlights that this was our second year of Canvas implementation which allowed us to refine the content that we created last year by scratch and in the future plan I said that we will continue refining Canvas content and developing not only core material but also additional supplementary material that students can access on their own both for extra practice and review between quarters and summer break. Reaching a broader audience, now that our program is specializing in online learning, was another point along with the consideration of some adjustments for the school year 2023-24 to be discussed at the next Board Meeting.
To conclude I want to remind you that our next PLIDA exam is scheduled for June 21 st at Casa Italiana – Italian Cultural Center while the Italian language program will resume in early October.
We aim to publish on our website the new school year calendar, course offering and course fees for 2023-24 early in June so that current students, new beginner A1 students and all those who wish to experience our Italian language program at any level from any location can register and save their spot for their class.
For any questions about our program, including placement, contact me anytime and I’ll be glad to help you.
I wish you all a wonderful summer.
Buona estate a tutti!