We are a growing and expanding our school, specializing in the learning and study of French and Italian and the addition of Spanish by the end of February/beginning of March. We are looking for energetic, enthusiastic and talented people to join our team.
So, have you totally stopped writing 200 … every time you write the date, only to go back to change that second “0” to a “1”? And have you decided if you are going to say “20” “10” or “2,010”? We have completed one month of this new decade. What do you think: should we say “2010” or “2,010?” Let us know!
We have had a very interesting beginning to 2010 as we appeared on Facebook for the first time! This is a very exciting venture for us and we invite you to take a look! It will be developing over the months ahead. Also new in January, our site has a slightly new look as we have listed all of the new courses and classes on the home page for easy accessibility.
This month, we are offering a special promotion for new student registration. We will be giving out gift certificates to LaSerre Restaurant in Albany for the first ten people to register for any of our classes here at the Language Learning Institute. See the side bar for details.
On the adult side of language study: our Spanish classes for adults will be launched the last week in February and the first week in March. We are very excited about this since it has been in the planning for a very long time. Beginning Italian for adults is scheduled as well. And, as always, you can join any of our existing programs at any time, if the level is a fit for you. If you are not sure of the level that would be a good fit for you, give us a call and we can help you. Ask how you can sit in on a class to help you determine the fit.
Of course the wonderful holiday of Valentine’s Day is this month. The article that you see in the newsletter comes from the “Valentine’s Day in France” site and focuses on the history of the holiday.
In the midst of the celebration of winter and love, we want to send out our heartfelt empathy and condolences to the citizens of Haiti and the survivors who lost family and friends in this devastating earth quake.
I wish you a very happy and wonderful February and I am looking forward to seeing you on Facebook and in our classes.
Nancy Scarselletta Owner/Developer The Language Learning Institute 518-346-7096
History of Valentine’s Day Festival has a strong association with France. It is said that during the Middle Ages, there was a popular belief in France and England that birds began to mate halfway through the second month of the year. For this reason lovers saw the day special and considered it auspicious to exchange love letters and tokens of love on Valentine’s Day. During fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, French and English poets and litterateurs too stressed on this idea and created a romantic image of the day in the minds of the people.
Valentine’s Day Cards too are said to have originated in France. A young Frenchman, Charles, Duke of Orleans is said to have written the first written Valentine’s Day Cards. The Duke who was captured at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 is said to have written a poem or ‘Valentine’ to his wife while imprisonment in the Tower of London.
Stop by and get a good meal, gift, or check out our latest promotional material!
Eleonora’s Secret – Gargano, the Spur of Italy
Far from the madding crowds of Amalfi and Cinque Terre, the Italian peninsula of Gargano sits on the Adriatic. The Gargano peninsula, known as the “spur of Italy,” covers an area of almost 3,000 square kilometers. Between the forest and the sea, the landscape is an ocean of olives and pine woods and a coast line of white sands and clear blue waters. Gargano’s very inaccessibility and total independence from the Apennines and the rest of Italy determined its very nature and customs. Once a remote place, unaffected by the outside world it developed, and has amazingly managed to maintain, its charm, traditions, characteristics and unique dialects.
Italians have been making Gargano Peninsula their summer vacation spot for years. The rugged coastline is dotted with ancient villages, where you might feel that nothing has changed much in the last hundred years. Peschici, is a popular holiday destination, with an old Greek centre. Vico del Gargano, a fascinating place where the centro storico area has large fortified walls and towers into which houses have been gradually incorporated over the centuries. A little further along, you come to Vieste, an attractive town that has become the holiday capital of the Gargano and which has an extensive market on Monday mornings. Drop down to the coast to the large Pizzomunno beach which begins with an enormous pinnacle jutting out of the sea with the town perched above the white cliffs. This stretches off southwards with places to eat and camp opposite the beach.
At the end of this coastline tour, there is the pleasant town of Mattinata, full of hotels and places to eat. From here, many go further inland to visit Monte Sant’Angelo. Situated in a very elevated position, this town is built upon the cult of Archangel Michael who is supposed to have appeared inside a grotto. The Santuario di San Michele was built on this spot, and the site of this miracle became a center of pilgrimage and devotion, originally for pilgrims and Crusaders on their way to the Holy Land but today swarming with visitors from far afield.
After finishing the coastline tour, enjoy a short boat ride to the Tremiti Islands, just 12 km from the Gargano coastline. These islands, often referred to as the pearls of the Adriatic, are a beautiful destination for a day trip. Ferries leave daily from Peschici and Rodi.
When dining in the Gargano area you will find that most everything has something to do with fish and the local pasta, orecchiette. In fact most families and many restaurants still make them by hand. Most food, especially fish is fried in a light batter. Enjoy the numerous varieties of fresh vegetables as antipasti, a small plate of orecchiette with fresh tomatoes slightly heated with small pieces of smoked pancietta, followed by some savory fish caught that morning. And don’t forget the coffee, which in Puglia, is often sweetened when prepared.
Local wines are very fruity and usually have a higher grade of alcohol. This is due to the extreme summer heat that drives up the sugar content in the grapes. Be careful, you can easily go overboard on the wine while eating dinner. Enjoy a glass of mineral water between sips of wine.
Take your shoes off and enjoy Gargano at the spur of the Italian coastline!
For More information http://www.livingargano.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8%3Agargano〈=en http://www.aaanetserv.com/turismo/puglia/gargano_towns.html http://www.villaoleandro.com/Gargano/Gargano.htm
In the middle of the winter, wouldn’t it be nice to escape the cold, the snow and find ourselves on the beach, in front of one of the most beautiful places in the world? Let’s do that by taking a virtual trip to the Seychelles, a group of 115 islands of which only a few are inhabited, in the Indian Ocean. The Seychelles lie off the coast of East Africa, northeast of Madagascar. The Seychelles were disputed between France and Great Britain during the age of colonialism, with Britain ending up in control in 1814 after the Napoleonic Wars. The Islands achieved independence in 1976 (the same year they joined the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie), however free elections did not occur until 1993. As the islands of the Seychelles had no indigenous population, the current Seychellois are composed of people who have immigrated to the Island. The largest ethnic groups are those of French, African, Indian, and Chinese descent. French and English are official languages along with Seychellois Creole, which is primarily based upon French. Next month, we will stay around the Indian Ocean (it will still be winter here!!!) to learn more about another beautiful Island.
On Friday, January 22, many refugees landed on the island of Corsica. Corsica is a large Mediterranean island which falls under French jurisdiction. These 124 refugees were said to be of Kurdish decent from Syria, and some claimed to be North African. The Immigration Minister, Eric Besson, within the French government spoke the next day, encouraging European nations to combat illegal immigration, which has been a problem throughout Europe, notably in nations with islands such as Italy, Greece, Spain, and Malta. A controversial decision was made by the French government to relocate these refugees to detention centers within the French mainland. Although human rights activists were opposed to this decision, the prefect of Corsica assured that they would experience better care as a result of the relocation. Following the relocation, each person would be individually assessed, including a medical check-up and legal help to determine the next course of action. The reason for this large landing of refugees is still being examined. The men who had landed were questioned thoroughly by French officials, during which the French discovered that these people had traveled from Syria by truck to Tunisia, where they boarded a boat bound for Corsica. The origin of the boat is thought to be Russian or Ukrainian, although it has not been determined at this time. Immigration has been a touchy issue in French politics in the last decade. The party Front National has traditionally supported anti-immigration policies, which were adopted by Nicolas Sarkozy during his 2007 presidential campaign. In December, Eric Besson started a controversial campaign to determine “French national identity.” For years there has been tension between immigrants and the French, as the French government continues to adopt policies which limit the ways which an immigrant can become a French citizen.
“Travelling with the Language Learning Institute is a wonderful experience! The groups are small, there is a lot of variety, and the trips are flexible enough that you can break away and do your own thing for a while if you want. I have never really wanted to do that, though, because the planned activities are so interesting. I have been on two trips on which I learned a lot about the different regions of France and even Belgium. The trip cost includes five or so sessions before the trip in which we learn about what we are going to experience and in which we learn a little of the language so that we can at least order in French. There is also a wine and cheese party in which we sample the products of the regions we are going to visit and in which we get to know our trip mates better. I would recommend the Learn French and Travel trips to anyone, but particularly for those who want to visit a country in a way that combines the security of a group with the flexibility to do your own thing!”