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
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, the only necessity is Microsoft Netmeeting,
which can be downloaded for free from the Microsoft website.
Q. I've read that you really need a high-speed
connection for decent audio and video over the Internet.
A. We have had students connecting to us with 28.8kbps modems (slower
than most modern modems) 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