Q. Are your internet-based lessons free?
A. While we advertise and teach lessons over the Internet, each lesson is individually prepared and personalised in the same way that our 'face-to-face' lessons are. Consequently, our fees for Internet lessons are similar to those for our private face-to-face lessons.


Q. Who will be teaching me?
A. Italian Tuition Online is run and taught by Mrs Irma Zanini Skeeles, a native Italian and qualified teacher with 20 years' experience in language tuition. She has taught children and mature students at levels from beginner to A-level, in language colleges and schools, and in private tuition.


Q. Do you have any lessons or exercises online that I can look at?
A. While we only publish a few web pages for public access, we do have exercises, tests, and guides hosted on our website, which are written and maintained for our registered students. Once you enroll for lessons, you will be able to access these areas.


Q. Can I have a free trial lesson?
A. We have regular slots for trial lessons in our weekly timetable. A trial lesson typically lasts an hour, and is primarily intended to check the Internet connections between the computers, introduce you to communicating over the Internet, and ascertain your level of Italian. Unfortunately, we cannot offer these free, due to the overwhelming demand this would generate, but the lesson will be discounted, and will extended if more time is required to resolve any problems with your computer, or if you feel you need more time to familiarise yourself with the lesson format.


Q. Will I have to commit to a full course of lessons?
A. As each lesson plan is tailored to the individual, there is no rigidly pre-set course that you must commit to. You may only want a few refresher lessons, some pre-exam revision, or a crash course for your holidays - or you may want a full structured course leading to an examination and qualifications. Of course, we do recommend some structure to the lessons, such as holding them at a regular time, but this can be adapted to fit your schedule. If you need to take a break during the course, whether it be to skip a week while you're on holiday, or that you come to the conclusion Italian's just not for you, you can ask to suspend or stop lessons. We do ask that you give some notice if you need to cancel a particular lesson, just as we would for face-to-face lessons.


Q. I don't have all the equipment, and I don't really want to buy it until I'm sure I want to continue.
A. It's most likely you do have the equipment. All you need for lessons is a speaker and a microphone, connected to the sound card in your computer, and a modem. Most computers running Windows will have a sound card and modem installed. If you don't have a speaker connected, almost any mini speaker or walkman headphones with a 3.5mm jack will plug into the sound card, as will most microphones with a 3.5mm plug. You do not need a webcam. For software, Skype can be downloaded free from www.skype.com, while GoToMeeting is run automatically within your web browser when we start the lesson.


Q. I've read that you really need a high-speed connection for decent audio and video over the Internet.
A. In the past we even had students connecting to us with 28.8kbps modems (far slower than broadband) with no problems at all in audio quality. As we don't employ a resource-consuming video link, there is more bandwidth available for the audio communications. For listening and speaking, audio quality is all-important!


Q. Will I need any textbooks?
A. For short courses, we send you the sample texts and exercises you need over the Internet. If you intend to study a full course, particularly one leading to an examination, we will suggest any textbooks or course texts that you require.


Q. Why don't you use a webcam?
A. We feel that it is more important to have a good, clear audio connection in order to ensure good communication between teacher and student, and to convey qualities that are particularly important in language learning, such as pronounciation. In addition, a webcam image takes up space on the screen which is required for working on exercises and shared documents.


If you have a question that is not featured here, or would like more information, please contact us!