February 2010

February Newsletter
Language Learning Institute

In This Issue
February Promotion
Valentine’s Day
Nouara’s Passport
Le Gouvernement et Les Nouvelles Françaises

$25.00 Gift Certificate!!

This month the first TEN people who sign up for a class, including registration and full payment will receive a
$25 gift card from
La Serre Restaurant!

This card is good for $25 off two dinner entrees or $10 off one lunch entrée!


Join Our Mailing List!

Spring Courses

Programs for Adults

* Intermediate French
* Continued Intermediate French
* Continuing Advanced French
* Beginning Italian
* Intermediate Italian
* Beginning Spanish

Programs for Children

* Mommy and Me

Join Our Team!
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.

Visit our website for more details.

Dear Reader,

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.

February is a busy month here at The Language Learning Institute and we have a great line up of new courses and classes. Check out our Mommy and Me, Learn French Winter Camp, and After School Programs for Kids. We are in the process of expanding to another Colonie location, so be sure to keep checking throughout the month. We also offer a free Mommy and Me class on Monday evenings if you would like to try it out.

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.

Winter fun is definitely the theme of this month, not only for our Learn French Winter Camp for Children but around the world. This month there is the Winter Carnival in Quebec City which was formed to break up the long hard Canadian winter, Mardi Gras which is celebrated big time in New Orleans, and closer to home, the Lake George Winter Carnival which has events the whole month of February.

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.

Best regards,


Nancy Scarselletta
The Language Learning Institute

© February 2010, The Language Learning Institute, LLC. All rights reserved

The History of Valentine’s Day in France
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.


© February 2010, The Language Learning Institute, LLC. All rights reserved

A Special Thank You
Thank you to the businesses which promote the Language Learning Institute!

Ultraviolet Café : Albany, NY
(518) 434-0333
Delaware News: Albany, NY
(518) 465-4232
Tool’s Restaurant: Delmar, NY
(518) 439-9111
Java Jazz Café: Delmar, NY
(518) 439-1727
Emack & Bolio’s : Albany, NY
Stewarts: Delmar, NY

(corner of Elm and Delaware Ave)
(518) 439-3280

La Serre Restaurant : Albany, NY
(518) 463-6056

(518) 663-8008

Chez Daisie : Schenectady, NY
(518) 344-7082

Stop by and get a good meal, gift, or check out our latest promotional material!

Eleonora’s Secret – Gargano, the Spur of Italy
naturalbridgeFar 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 garganocoastline 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.

garganotremitiAfter 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

© February 2010, The Language Learning Institute, LLC. All rights reserved

Nouara’s Passport to the Francophone World

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.

A bientot!


© February 2010, The Language Learning Institute, LLC. All rights reserved

Le Gouvernement et les Nouvelles Françaises

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.


© February 2010, The Language Learning Institute, LLC. All rights reserved
Thanks To Our Sponsors!
We would like to thank our sponsors for providing valuable space for our classes and events.

Do You Know?

Thank you to all who responded to last month’s “Do You Know?”

How many departments are outside of mainland France?

Answer: Six

This Month’s “Do You Know?”

What is the name of the biggest lake in France?

Please click here to respond.

Good Luck!

Thank you for your interest in our school.  Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to anyone who might be interested in learning about the Language Learning Institute and our programs and events.

Best regards,

Nancy Scarselletta
The Language Learning Institute, LLC

What Our Students Are Saying

“The Language Learning Institute is the only venue which teaches more than just conversational Italian, other than enrolling in a college course. I had tried a few Italian language classes from other continuing education places but it was always the same: the class was dominated by those planning a trip to Italy and wanting to have travel vocabulary and phrases under their belts.

The Language Learning Institute teaches Italian as a true language-you learn by listening to Italian, speaking it, reading it and writing it. We have a text book and a workbook, and are tackling all the basics of a language-alphabet, grammar, idioms, the way the Italians think. The price is reasonable, the pace is great for working people, and the staff is extremely knowledgeable.”

— Katherine Better (Loudonville, NY)

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