I was very nervous leading up to my week with Sira but from the moment we met, she put me at ease.
Sira was so encouraging but gentle with her conversation and helped build my confidence from day one.
I undertook the Learning By Doing program for a week, living in Sira’s apartment. It was so comfortable and she and her 2 beautiful cats made me feel right at home.
After breakfast on the terrace, we started the day with some lessons, going over mistakes I had made the previous day and watching the news headlines in Italian to promote listening skills, comprehension and discussion.
Sira is a highly experienced language teacher which meant those lessons were not only instructive and relevant but entertaining, optimising the learning experience.
After the morning classes, Sira and I would head out for an afternoon activity. We visited beautiful towns, including Sarzana and its weekly market, the Carrara Marble quarry (so interesting) and some museums. We wandered along the via Francigena and enjoyed lunches and dinners on the terrace with her friends. We discussed in Italian (at a comfortable pace) life, parenting, politics, hopes and dreams. Sira shared her Italian culture with me and I was able to share my experience of life in Australia with her.
Each day there was some free time to rest my mind and body and ample time to catch up on emails and books etc. On my free day I visited the Cinque Terre by bus and then boat, where I had a chance to try out my new language confidence in the world!
My week with Sira exceeded my expectations. I feel that improved my language skills so much during the week and the grammar came alive in my conversation. I learned about Italy at a deeper level and feel that I have made a lifelong friend in the process.