The American Language Center of Florence was founded in 1959 by the United States Information Service and then privatized in the 1960's. It is now one of the leading American English schools in Italy, and has received approval from the Ministry of Public Education to teach American English and culture. It is an active member of international organizations such as TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) and NAFSA (National Association of Foreign Student Advisors), and it works closely with other American language schools throughout the world.
Location and Facilities
The American Language Center is located in Piazza della Repubblica, just a short walk from the world-famous Duomo. Our facilities include several multi-purpose classrooms, offices, student lounge, library, and a terrace overlooking the historical city center. Satellite TV, computers and an ESL Library are on the premises.
Language Levels, Materials and Evaluations
There are eight main levels of English language instruction (Beginner to Advanced), each with an individual curriculum and course program and evaluations. All four skill areas of the language are developed and integrated in each level. Additional advanced-level courses include TOEFL Preparation, American/Italian Culture, American Literature and Film, and International Business Studies. Authentic American textbooks are utilized, along with specially-designed worksheets, audio and video supports, computers, etc. Initial placement evaluations, mid-course analyses and final examinations are offered for each student. Additional evaluative tools include project work, presentations and standardized international testing.
Instructional Staff and Methodology
All instructors at the American Language Center are highly educated Americans, with a university degree and specialization in Teaching English as a Second Language. They are selected on the basis of their professional commitment to and enthusiasm for the field of international education, as well as* their own individual educational backgrounds. With many years of direct experience in global English education and environments, they are dedicated to the profession of students.
The English curriculum offers a communicative program with an emphasis on the conversational skills needed to function immediately with the new language. As such, our method is based on a direct approach to learning the language; it combines a balanced series of study designed to improve both fluency and accuracy. American and international texts and multi-media materials are also utilized in each course.
Group Courses, Individual Lessons and Contract Training
The American Language Center offers group courses twice a year, and also specializes in individual lessons, as well as off-site company contract training. Groups allow for collective learning and student-to-student activities. Individual courses are available for those needing a full immersion approach or customized programs and schedules. Contract Training is organized in cooperation with local, national and international firms requiring English proficiency.
Extra-curricular and Cultural Activities
Classroom instruction at the American Language Center is complimented by a full calendar of social and non-academic events designed to provide students with a complete language and cultural experience by means of encounters with contemporary America in Florence!
Film series are accompanied by conversational debates: seminars and lectures are offered on a broad range of topics relating to American culture; Book and Theatre Clubs meet regularly; the Help Desk is a service offering students extra assistance with their language learning-all at no cost. Several joint activities are planned with the many American university and college students studying in Florence. These include Conversation Partner Programs, dinners, fieldtrips and study exchanges.
Teacher Training Programs: TEFL Certification
CTEFL Florence is part of Via Lingua, a global network of independent language schools dedicated to raising the standards of education worldwide. The teacher training program presented by the Via Lingua group is a CTEFL: Certificate of Teaching English as a Foreign Language. This qualification, often referred to simply as a TEFL, but also a TESOL certificate, gives the bearer the right to work virtually anywhere in the world.
There is no question that in today's world English is needed by any non-native speaker of English in order to be successful and consequently there is a huge demand around the world for well-qualified teachers of English as a foreign language. At Via Lingua Florence, we believe that we have the academic ability combined with the right amount of practical teaching knowledge and have put it together in our CTEFL course. This enables us to best equip any would be teacher of English, whether their reasons be that they want to travel or simply give something back to society.
Study Abroad in the US and UK
The American Language Center is an official representative of ELS Language Centers; USA. Working with this leader in Intensive English instruction, we advise students regarding the most appropriate program and destination for periods of a few weeks to a year or more. We also assist students in enrolling in American colleges and universities. Our Study Abroad Center allows students to learn firsthand about each individual location, study options and costs before making these decisions. College catalogues, brochures and videos are always available for interested students.
American University Exchange Programs
In recent years, the American Language Center has hosted several academic and vacation-study programs in our classrooms in Florence. Many of these groups offer their own extension programs and utilize our classroom space and host family network, as well as orientation services. Some of these programs have included Italian Language and Culture, Art History, and Italian Literature and Music. Italian instruction is also available. One of the distinct advantages of the American Language Center is the opportunity for visiting American students to meet and interact on a daily basis with our Italian student population. Our Italian university students and young professional population offer a special advantage to international students wanting a genuine Italian experience.
College Counseling and Advising
We work closely with individual students to successfully navigate the college application process. We work through each step of the college application process, making sure that every application tells the student’s personal story and maximizes chances for acceptance. We work to help you find colleges that match your interests and goals. Our program covers every aspect of planning for, and applying to college and graduate school.Our approach is supportive and practical. College admission today is competitive and stressful, and we guide you through the complex admissions process and help you create strategic, meaningful and lasting impressions.We provide services in:
- College Admissions/Applications Coaching
- SAT & TOEFL Prep Tutoring
- College Essay Writing
The American Language Center is authorized to provide legal translations both in Italy and in the United States. Expert translators are always available for commercial, medical, technical and general subjects. Our clients include several local government offices and international firms.