The school began in 2006 to provide language classes for children. Since that time, it has grown to include a preschool, adult classes, Mommy & Me playgroup, and summer camps.
The school’s mission is to promote the Italian language and culture to children and adults in a student-centered environment; nurturing responsible, global citizens by providing cross-cultural understanding and fostering a deep appreciation for world civilizations that intersect with the Italian culture.
Scuola Italiana is a registered, 501(c)3 nonprofit and a partner with Oregon Cultural Trust.
The school offers lessons at multiple locations throughout the Portland metro area. Current locations include: First United Methodist Church, downtown (adult classes); The International School, downtown (children’s classes); Catlin Gabel School, five miles west of downtown (children’s classes); Zimmerman Community Center, NW Portland (preschool & playgroup); and coming this fall, a new location in Hillsboro will offer both children’s and adult classes.
Tuition is $13 an hour for language classes and $10 an hour for preschool. An annual fee of $150 per individual or $200 per family covers the cost of project materials, books, cooking & art supplies, administrative costs, insurance, etc. Discounts are available; families receive a 30% after the first full paid tuition and any students may receive a 5% tuition discount for prepayment of the full year’s tuition.
Yes, the school provides one complimentary class to allow students/parents to meet the teacher and observe a class.
Placement tests are given to adults with prior language experience. Contact the administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org and a test will be sent to you.
A 4:1 student – teacher ratio is maintained in preschool classes (ages 3 to 5 years); a 6:1 student – teacher ratio is maintained in the other children’s classes (ages 6 to 12 years). The school brings in an assistant when enrollment exceeds those numbers. Adult classes typically average between four and six students to one teacher. There is no formal ratio in place for adult classes as they tend to be smaller in size than our children’s classes.
There are many advantages to taking classes at Scuola Italiana di Portland.
Adult class sizes are smaller than most college classes, which provide ample opportunity to interact with the teacher and fellow students, speak the language, and ask plenty of questions during class time.
Since Scuola Italiana is the only Italian language school for children in Portland metro, students can meet other children in the local area who share the same language; many a good friend has been made in our children’s classes! All of the children’s classes are age appropriate and filled with engaging lessons that include interactive games and songs, crafts and other activities that support language acquisition in a fun and kid friendly environment.
The Reggio Emilia approach, full immersion preschool fosters children’s intellectual development through multi-sensory, child directed learning. The low student – teacher ratio and individualized attention students receive throughout the program makes it an ideal environment for learning a second language. There are many excellent benefits to raising a bilingual child including a child developing better problem solving skills and achieving better overall school performance, among many other benefits. Also, the earlier a child begins learning a second language, the more likely it will be for him or her to reach native-like fluency. For more about raising a bilingual child, please visit our website: www.scuola.us/preschool.
Additionally, all teachers are native or native-fluent. Each teacher brings authentic, real life experience with them to every class. At Scuola Italiana, it’s not just about teaching the language, it’s about helping students understand Italian culture and how modern Italians interact with one another in their daily lives. The goal is always to equip students with the skills necessary to communicate comfortably while in Italy.
As a small, growing school, it is important to keep overhead costs low in order to invest back into the school and maintain lower tuition prices. Scuola Italiana is not a typical brick and mortar school. Each board and staff member work from home and space is rented at each teaching location.