Language Perfect Championships 2017

CaptureIt is on again and it is our aim to be first in Italian in SA again. Thanks to Miia Ascione and Teresa Loi we are well on our way! Excellent work too from everyone else who is gaining so many points, keep it up! BRAVI !!!!



Eating Gelato and Drinking Coffee helps my Italian Studies

Last week the Year 10 Italian Language classes visited Gelatissimo, Cibo and the Central Market as a way of making connections with Italian culture here in Adelaide. For some it was the first time seeing gelato being made. The students had to use their knowledge of Italian to order and sample ice cream and coffee. Gerri (aka Gian Carlo) the store manager, spoke of the difference between ice cream and gelato as well as giving us a brief history of gelato making. The students were then asked to compare the ice cream sold at Gelatissimo and Cibo. After, for some, it was lunch at Lucia’s, a very well-known Italian café`in the Central Market. It was a very enjoyable afternoon where the students roamed the stalls for answers to their Italian quiz and sampled some of the delights of the Central Market.

2015 Italian Study Tour

Italy Study Tour 2015

“Travel and change of place impart new vigour to the mind…” –Seneca

“I’ve made some lifelong friendships. The bond that I have formed with my host family is unbelievable and I’m counting down the days of when I will see Livia again…” Bianca Disotto

On the 12th of September this year, 32 students of Italian accompanied by their Italian teachers set off to Italy. After a long but exciting journey, the students were all warmly welcomed into the homes of the most amazing families, and for the following weeks, they experienced the values and traditions of Padua first hand.

The first two weeks of the tour was in and around Padua. It was a fortnight filled with amazing experiences such as attending school and being immersed in the culture and language of this incredible City. Padua is graced by the University and the original wooden podium from which the great Galileo Galilei once shared his expertise on a myriad of subjects, hence empowering the students of his day with knowledge and truth, which we as a group from Cabra College value, as this is not different to our Dominican tradition.

During our stay in Padua, not only were we lucky enough to tour this grand city and see Giotto’s most famous work of art, the Scrovegni Chapel and St. Anthony’s Basilica, but we were also formally welcomed by the Vice-President of the Council of Padua, who spoke about the importance of keeping this relationship between Adelaide and Padua alive, and we made the local newspaper too!  We also had the opportunity to visit the enchanting Verona where we saw the magical Arena and Juliet’s balcony, and the multi-faceted Milan, where we were hypnotised by Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper, and of course, some of the most famous fashion houses in Italy such as Giorgio Armani and Prada! We were blessed also to visit Milan world Expo 2015 which was a highlight of the tour and we saw the amazing pavilions of the multitude of countries present which were built in their own traditional architectural style and learnt a little about the theme “Nourish the Planet, Food for Life”.

The families and the host brothers and sisters were so very generous and kind-hearted. They made the whole experience so comfortable and lifetime friendships have been forged.

We also toured Venice, Florence, Siena, Orvieto and Rome. We learnt the history behind the traditional Carnevale masks and watched them being made by hand. We took a ride on a Venetian “vaporetto” and gondola through the winding canals, we marvelled at Michelangelo’s Statue of David, saw the church of St Catherine of Siena, took many cliché photos pretending to hold up the leaning tower of Pisa and explored the underground caves of Orvieto. Whilst visiting the medieval city of Orvieto, we stayed on an “Agriturismo” or farm stay in the Umbrian countryside. This was another highlight of the Study Tour as it was so picturesque and tranquil. It came at just the right time for us to recharge our batteries but was nevertheless laden with cultural experiences such as hands on traditional Italian cooking classes provided by lovely “nonne” and dynamic lessons on the history of Italy from Ancient Roman times to the present day.

Then we arrived in Rome and we saw an amazing variety of art and architecture from the Colosseum and the Ancient Forum, the Vatican Museums and St Peter’s Basilica, to the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps.

Everything in Italy was so wonderful, ancient and modern at the same time. Together with their peers, the students had the most magical adventure imaginable, and after countless photos, copious amounts of good food, hours of exploring, and time spent squeezing every little souvenir into bursting suitcases, the bitter sweet moment where we had to prepare for the return home had arrived!

This chance of a lifetime has inspired us to think more beyond Adelaide and Australia and all the things we know. The Italy Study Tour 2015 has been a platform for connection and sharing experiences with people around the world.  It has been a unique opportunity that has provided the students with delightful memories they all will cherish for many years to come. We were blessed to have escorted truly wonderful students during this very exciting time in their lives. Arrivederci Italia!

Mrs Elena Guastella

“It was definitely a magical experience and a once in a life time opportunity. I could do it all again!”

Briana Bonasera


“The Italian trip has been the most amazing experience of my life!” Kate Brockhurst





10 Reasons to Study Italian

10 Superb Psychological Advantages of Learning Another Language

Learning another language can promote brain growth, stave off dementia, boost memory, improve attention and more…

To have another language is to possess a second soul.” –Charlemagne

People used to think that learning two languages created confusion in the mind.

Far better, it was thought, to get one right than bother with two.

An even more extreme and absurd view was that learning two languages caused a kind of schizophrenia or dual personality.

Some studies did seem to back up the idea that learning two languages could be problematic; early researchers noted that bilingual people tended to have smaller vocabularies and slower access to words.

But these myths and minor disadvantages have now been overshadowed by a wave of new research showing the incredible psychological benefits of learning another language. And these extend way beyond being able to order a cup of coffee abroad or ask directions to your hotel.

1.Brain growth

Language centres in the brain actually grow as a result of successful language learning. The better you learn, the more those vital areas of the brain grow (Mårtensson et al., 2012).

2. Stave off dementia

Bilingualism delays Alzheimer’s disease in susceptible people by as much as five years (Craik et al., 2010). Seems incredible, but the studies are continuing to support this result. To put this in context: the effect on dementia of learning another language is much greater than anything achievable with the latest drugs.

3. Hear language better

Being bilingual can lead to improved listening skills, since the brain has to work harder to distinguish different types of sounds in two or more languages (Krizman et al., 2012).

4. Become more language sensitive

Infants in bilingual households can distinguish languages they’ve never even heard before (Werker & Sebastian-Galles, 2011). Just being exposed to the different sounds in, for example, Spanish and Catalan, helps them tell the difference between English and French.

5. Boost your memory

Babies brought up in a bilingual environment have stronger working memories than those brought up with only one language (Morales et al., 2013). This means they are better at mental calculation, reading and many other vital skills.

6. Better multi-tasking

Bilingual people can switch from one task to another more quickly. They show more cognitive flexibility and find it easier to adapt to unexpected circumstances (Gold et al., 2013)

7. Increased attention

Bilinguals have stronger control over their attention and are better able to limit distractions (Bialystok & Craik, 2010).

8. Double the activation

Cognitive boosts, like improved attention and better multi-tasking, may come because bilingual people have both languages activated at the same time, and must continually monitor which one is appropriate (Francis, 1999). All that switching back and forth confers the mental benefits.

9. New ways of seeing

Learning a new language can literally change the way you see the world. Learning Japanese, for example, which has basic terms for light and dark blue, may help you perceive the colour in different ways (Athanasopoulos et al., 2010).

10. Improve your first language

Since learning a second language draws your attention to the abstract rules and structure of language, it can make you better at your first language.

As Geoffrey Willans said: “You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.”

Exploring other cultures

These ten are all quite apart from the benefits of immersing yourself in another culture, and of seeing your own culture from the perspective of another.

All told, you may well get something like ‘a second soul’ from learning another language.

[Note: some of these studies relate specifically to those who have learned two languages from very early on, but may also be relevant to new language learners.]