BABILONIA - Center for Italian Language and Culture
BABILONIA - Center for Italian Language and Culture Programs
BABILONIA - Center for Italian Language and Culture Reviews
Babilonia, a congenial environment for learning Italian
Submitted by Dr. Ernst-Erich Doberkat - Germany | March 12, 2017
This is the second time I went to Babilonia for a language course; I had been there in 2013 for a two week course, after that through the summer of 2016 I enjoyed teaching by an excellent language teacher from Babilonia over the internet, and I had now the impression that it would be time to hone my language skills again. This was primarily suggested by the things I want to to in the foreseeable future, needing an adequate command of the Italian language, both active and passive. So I subscribed to a one-week course at Taormina again, this time for one-to-one teaching, four hours a days, five days per week. This was a fairly demanding exercise for me. Both teachers gave their best to improve my grammar and my conversational skills. They did it in a friendly, demanding and competent way in the very nice and productive atmosphere on Babilonia's campus. The campus itself is quite spectacular for somebody like myself, hailing from northern Germany, the administration and the class rooms being embedded in a green pasture with orange and citrus trees, so that, whether permitting, the instruction could take place outside. I should mention the people running the place: they are extremely friendly and helpful, giving an open ear to whatever demands have been brought to them.
In summary, I did achieve what I wanted to in Babilonia's most pleasant, helpful and inspiring environment.
An experience unlike any other
Submitted by Jordan Patterson - Bryant University | March 08, 2017
I had the absolute pleasure of attending Babilonia Language School for four months during the fall of 2016. My program started on August 5th, and continued until November 16th, when I left for a backpacking trip around Europe.
Throughout my stay here the focus was on immersion, and Babilonia provided that 100%. Throughout all your classes, administrative questions, restaurants, events, and excursions, they speak only in Italian. Fear not, the wonderful teachers do not speak to you as if you already know what they are saying! The teachers help you the entire time, and take the time to sit with you and walk through everything you are having issues with.
The classes are structured around grammar and conversation. You have each of this for an hour and a half a day, and a small 'pausa' in the middle, allowing you to meet all your friends!
During this break you can enjoy a coffee from the little kitchen and some other treat. After classes, if you would like, you can also order a meal from the kitchen, where you are provided a discount as a student. My favorite meal was a pasta dish sprinkled with pistachio and bacon.
When I went, I was the only person from my program, and I knew nobody. However, this did not last for long! Throughout my time with Babilonia I had the pleasure of meeting so many different people from diverse walks of life. To today, I still remain in contact with these wonderful people.
Of course, Taormina is magical. The small town of Taormina is always bustling with life and activity, and every vista is breathtaking. My friends and I would catch a bus down to Isola Bella or Letojanni for a short beach trip, or we walked up to the overlooking city of Castelmola for an incredible view of Sicily. Mount Etna, Sicily's resident volcano dominates the skyline as well from Taormina. Every resident of Taormina is amicable, and by the time that I left, I had made friends with many different store owners. Every time I walked down the street, I dropped in to say Ciao! Taormina is also a relatively short bus trip to Catania, one of the major cities of Sicily.
I also had the fortune of staying in a host family. This was one of the things that made Taormina and Babilonia unforgettable. Lucio and Olga provided me with everything I needed, and more. They treated me to home cooked food, Sicilian delicacies, and wonderful stories.
I know I will return to Sicily, and I am sure I will be welcomed back with open arms.
When learning is an active experience
Submitted by Santina - Exeter United Kingdom | October 30, 2016
At Babilonia a constructivist approach is taken regarding the Italian lessons for foreigners. All Lessons are held every morning from 9am to 1pm with a break at 11am. I had the pleasure to take learners from Exeter College (Devon, United Kingdom) during the week of the 17th to the 24th October. Students of Classics and Geography were attending Italian lessons for beginners, which they found interesting and stimulating. My class, students of Italian, was attending classes tailored for their level and with topics related to their IB Italian ab Initio syllabus. We aimed to help them prepare for their Interactive oral exams, an exam taken internally and moderated externally. Classes were taught in Italian with the relevant up-to-date material. Petty (2016, online) states that ‘Tasks should be authentic, set in a meaningful context, and related to the real world’. The school promotes active learning strategies. The learner is at the centre of the learning experience and all the activities are related to the real world. This is an important aspect of learning a foreign language: to have the opportunity to experience the language and culture in the real world with authentic materials e.g. books, local newspapers, films, trips to local markets, etc. By living with local families, attending the school lessons and experiencing enjoyable lunches in the school’s restaurant, our learners have had the opportunity to understand the culture of the country they were visiting and totally immerse themselves in culture. A huge thank you goes to the incredible effort of the teaching staff, receptionists, and, ultimately, to the relentless work of Alessandro Adorno. Well done all at Babilonia! Santina Micalizzi, IB Italian ab initio teacher and first-year tutor.
One of the best experiences of my life
Submitted by Regina Carrasco - Madrid | October 21, 2015
I’ve been to Babilonia School in Taormina, Sicily, three times and I only have good things to say!
I could speak about the school, that has a beautiful garden where you can meet other students (not only those with whom you attend lessons). Or about the teachers, who are really nice, friendly, funny and “bravissimi”! I could mention the school's organized excursions, like going up to Etna and many many others. There is also the city of Taormina itself, an amazing place that you’ll never forget...
But if you guys have already read something about it, you already know all this. So the only thing I can say is that this is an unforgettable experience that you just cannot miss.
conocer Sicilia a traves del italiano
Submitted by MARTA.G - barcelona | October 05, 2015
Solo puedo tener buenas palabras para la escuela babilonia, los profesores y la gente que he ido encontrando allí año tras año. Hace 5 años que voy a la escuela Babilonia para aprender italiano, y aunque el primer año la motivación fue puramente educacional, año tras año he ido descubriendo nuevas cosas que me han hecho querer repetir mi estancia el año siguiente. No solamente se estudia y aprende italiano en las aulas sino que también a través de las numerosas actividades que la escuela organiza cada semana (cine, clases de cocina, seminarios de lectura, excursiones etc.) y sobretodo hablando y compartiendo tiempo con otros estudiantes y con los profesores. Taormina es un sitio maravilloso que enamora a todo el mundo que lo ha visitado. He recomendado a varios amigos la escuela Babilonia porque realmente creo que es un buen sitio donde estudiar por una parte italiano y por otra parte mezclarte con la cultura italiana y disfrutar de la comida y de los maravillosos sitios que hay en Sicilia.