(2010/10/06) Anahid Vrana & Barbara Harris - Italian
Meet Anahid Vrana & Barbara Harris
It is appropriate that our anniversary issue is also a "Meet" issue. Anahid Vrana and Barbara Harris have been taking Italian at CHICLE for a long time. They are part of the reason we're still here!
Anahid (on left of photo): I am taking Italian lessons at CHICLE because I have always wanted to be fluent in a second language and at this time in my life I have not reached that goal. I selected the Italian language for several reasons: I love opera; I am an art consultant and the history of art in the Western world is embedded in Italy; it is a playful and lyrical language—I like the way is sounds; and, lastly, I hope to visit Italy often in the future. Once I began my classes at CHICLE all my expectations were met in terms of how the learning process would proceed. My two teachers, Guisy Leone [center stage above] and Grazia Sala are professional Italian instructors who are linguistically trained. They bring the core knowledge of the verbal and written word to their classroom as well as the cultural reality of Italian life. Our classes are very small and allow for lively interaction and plenty of opportunity to speak Italian. An evening of class consists of intense brain-powered concentration and tremendous fun and laughter. It is a wonderful combination and reflects on the talents of my instructors and the power of this language.
Two years ago when I began the program I was lucky enough to meet a terrific classmate, Barbara, who has marched along with me thru this course of study. We have become friends and study companions and manage to meet occasionally for a cup of coffee and an opportunity to chat in Italian.
The entire experience has been delightful and I look forward to its continuation. Ciao, Anahid
Barbara (on right of photo): A few years ago when I retired, I decided that one of the main things I wanted to do was to learn to speak Italian fluently. My husband is a scholar of Renaissance Venice and his daughter, who married a Venetian, now lives there with our two grandchildren. They are all completely bilingual and I was tired to being an outsider on our frequent trips to Venice to see them and to vacation in Italy.
I started at the CHICLE school three years ago and have been completely happy with the classes. I have had two terrific native speakers as teachers—Giusy Leone and Grazia Sala. Our classes are small and cover grammar, speaking, and listening. At this point, they are conducted entirely in Italian. We all have a chance to speak at every class. Although I am far from my goal, I do speak better and understand more every time we go to Italy. I also email my stepdaughter and granddaughters in Italian.
Meeting Anahid Vrana in my first class has been an unexpected bonus. We live near each other and have become friends. When our schedules permit, we meet for coffee to talk Italian. It’s been wonderful to see how much better we have become and how much more we can express without resorting to our dictionaries and grammar books.
I feel lucky to live in a place where I have access to such a terrific language school. Barbara