Did you know that there are so many Italian restaurants in Edinburgh that the Internet is swarming with lists of ‘top Italian restaurants in Edinburgh’! One might think that there’s a mini Italy living in the heart of this Scottish city! In fact, you may not be far wrong…
There are many Italian restaurants in Edinburgh to discover. Photo credit: marcoverch on Visualhunt.com / CC BY
Edinburgh has a relatively large community of Italian expats, and the website InterNations serves to connect these foreigners with one another. By joining the digital community, Italians can discover other Italians in their city, find activities that they can do together in Edinburgh and exchange tips, questions and advice on living there.
The Nationality Report 2016 Italians Abroad has collected data on the Italian communities abroad and suggests that an Italian expat is on average 41.7 years old and speaks three languages. Just over half of the group is in a couple.
So, if these expats are coming to Scotland and bringing with them expertise like multiple languages, should we not also brush up on our own language skills so that we can welcome them with open arms (and no language barriers!)? More importantly, though, we want to make sure that we are equally as able to offer skills and expertise to our own communities so attending language lessons is a great way to stay on par!
You may be surprised to discover that there are many job opportunities out there for Italian speakers, and they’re not just Italian teacher vacancies. By searching for Italian-speaking jobs on job sites, it is evident that many businesses with international relations require people with strong language skills to help deal with inter-company communications.
As an example, below are some job advertisements that were live at the time of this article being published. You’ll see that they are quite varied, but share one common specification – knowledge of Italian.
- Italian speaking
- Fluency in Italian is essential
- Location: London
- English mother tongue / Fluent Italian
- Location: London
- Salary: From £24,000 to £28,000 per annum
- English mother tongue / Fluent Italian,
- Location: London EC1
- Salary: £28,000 p.a. +
- Good administrative skills inc. knowledge of Word and Excel
- Manager of Italian Restaurant
- Location: SE1, South East London, London Bridge
- Salary: £27000 – £28000 per annum
Do you need to speak Italian to advance your career? Photo credit: itmpa on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA
Beginner, intermediate, fluent… what do they actually mean? You may not know that there are globally understood descriptors for language proficiency offered by The Council of Europe’s CEFR.
The following terms are commonly used in job applications in the UK:
The CEFR helps you to give a very detailed description of your language skills using a simple code that some businesses will understand thanks to the descriptors available online.
Some companies may not be familiar with the CEFR, but it is still worth adding the correct code if you feel they might be familiar with the scale (i.e. if they are languages-centred company in Europe).
The University of Edinburgh offers a single joint honours degree in the subject of Italian. The language has been taught there for 100 years, so it’s no surprise that the course is especially popular!
“Immerse yourself in the language and culture of Italy as part of a single or joint honours degree.
Why study Italian in Edinburgh?
Today, the Italian language is one of 16 offered to degree level at a University ranked third in the UK, and 17th in the world, for Modern Languages in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019. Edinburgh has more than 100 joint language programmes and is the longest established centre of literary education in Britain.
Study Italian with us and you’ll be part of a thriving community of people passionate about languages and cultures, benefitting from small class sizes, great resources and friendly staff in one of the University of Edinburgh’s most diverse Schools.
From the University’s own Italian Society to the Italian Cultural Institute, you’ll find many places to indulge your interest in one of the world’s great cultures, while enjoying the cinemas, theatres, libraries and galleries of one of its favourite festival cities.
Your learning at a glance
- Whether you’re a complete beginner or have studied the language before, you can take Italian as a single honours subject, or jointly with one of a range of other subjects.
- You’ll study both the language and culture of Italy, including history, literature and cinema.
- You’ll engage with a broad range of subjects in your first two years, and specialise thereafter.
- You’ll complete a four-year MA degree, with your third year spent in full, or in part, in Italy.
- You’ll be based at the heart of the University of Edinburgh, in the city’s historic centre, close to the Main University Library and the National Library of Scotland.”
If you have no previous experience of learning Italian, you may find it hard to get enrolled on a degree programme like the above. Edinburgh College, meanwhile, offers students a course that requires no prior knowledge of the language. See below some information about the study programme taken from its website.
This course requires no prior knowledge of Italian and provides you with a good starting point to learn the fundamentals of the language to communicate at a very basic level.
- Talking about yourself, family and friends, your home environment, daily routines and leisure activities
- Learn to order food and drinks
- Giving and asking for directions
- Reading, writing and
This is a beginners course – we will discuss your previous experience of language learning as part of the application process
English Proficiency Requirements: IELTS 5.5
This course will start on 05/09/2019
This course will end on 19/12/2019″
The language tuition company that calls itself Edinburgh Italian Classes offers a range of language courses for different levels and group sizes.
If time is of the essence and you want to get some language lessons in quick, then these 5 to 8-week-long courses could be just right for you and the timeframe you have in mind.
“Small Group Courses
All the courses are 8 week long unless otherwise stated in the course description.
During the classes, at all levels, the emphasis is on spoken communication and active interaction. The method is based on the communicative approach.
We do our best to propose interesting and fun activities during the classes. Usually every second class we’ll spend 20-30 minutes listening to and working on dialogues. These will be mostly authentic dialogues (no slow motion speech!) chosen according to the class level and the students’needs.
5 week Italian Taster Course (For total Beginners)
This three 5-week course will help you learning the basics of the Italian Language before going on holiday or choosing a longer course.
The course is based on the communicative approach: the emphasis is on spoken communication and active interaction.
This is achieved through:
- Pair and group work
- Role plays
- Use of games, pictures and authentic material
- Use of recorded authentic dialogues
For further information about learning outcomes don’t hesitate to get in touch.
WHEN and HOW MUCH?
THURSDAY 6.30-8.00pm – From the 4th of July to the 1st of August – £70
8 week Post Beginner 1.1
To attend this course you should have completed 6 terms with us or any Italian course for a total of 72 hours.
WHEN and HOW MUCH
TUESDAY 5.45-7.15pm – Starting on the 7th of May 2019 – £112″
See a selection of Italian courses in your area. Photo credit: ell brown on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA
Go and visit Superprof to see if there are any language professionals offering private lessons in your area. Whether it is grammar and vocabulary help you need, Italian phrases, Italian pronunciation, business Italian or just some lessons on Italian culture to help you out whilst on holiday, you will find someone with the expertise and availability to help.
With a private instructor, you can usually pick and choose your hours due to their flexibility and you can also choose a tutor who fits your financial requirements. So, if you can’t afford a fully-qualified Italian teacher, then you can opt for a trainee instructor or a native Italian student.
Even if you don’t find the right tutor for you on your doorstep, you could find someone in nearby towns area who you are happy to travel to or you can even arrange to have online lessons via Skype or video call. It may not be as convenient in terms of getting feedback, but it could be perfect in terms of getting your the right tuition at a time that suits you.
Some people are able to teach themselves a new language just by chatting to others on the Internet so learning a language using distance learning methods isn’t such a bad thing! Join chatrooms for language learners or find a pen pal – all of these little things help!