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    NEW EXPERIENCES: Italian exchange students Andrea Massoglia, 18, and his brother Emanuele Massoglia, 16, try some Australian treats at St Brigid’s College. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Exchange ignites new passion

Two Italian brothers have ignited fresh enthusiasm for language subjects at St Brigid’s College.

Andrea and Emanuele Massoglia attended the college for only a short time as part of their student exchange and first visit to Australia. 

But college Languages Other Than English, LOTE, teacher Jeni Allen said their impact on other students was anything but small.

“A lot of the students have given up learning Italian in lower year levels, but with the boys’ visit, there’s been a lot of realisation that people actually do speak these languages,” she said.

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“Languages don’t teach themselves from a book, so when we are able to visit these countries and have students from overseas come here, it ignites an interest and enthusiasm that wasn’t there before.

“We have three students planning to go to Italy now.”

Ms Allen said student exchanges were one of the major factors in generating interest and passion for the school’s offered subjects of Japanese and Italian.

She said despite a 2019 end-of-year Italy trip being cancelled, a 2020 trip would now be likely.

“The brothers’ exchange, and potential future exchanges, help to keep the language alive for students,” she said.

“We have 16 students going to Japan later in the year, and we’ll run a trip to Italy at the end of next year depending on numbers. 

“I think when the Japanese-language students get back raving about their trip, and if Andrea and Emanuele’s sister comes here next year, we’ll see the trip run.

“It was a lot of fun for the boys, especially because it was the end of term and we had lots of excursions and fun classes running.”

Andrea and Emanuele said they found Australian education to be ‘very different’, particularly the variety of classes, but had fallen in love with the country.

“I think the subjects are different, because we, for example, haven’t got cooking, humanities or photography. But it’s a beautiful thing that we can try this experience,” Andrea said.

“I think it is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, and everything is different. 

“It is very strange for us to see everything new because in Europe everything is so old, so it is very modern.

“Also, Australian people are very nice and polite because they always say hello to you, and ‘how are you?’, it’s very strange but for me, it is very beautiful.”

Ms Allen said Andrea and Emanuele will visit Cairns and the Gold Coast before returning to Italy.

“I think this is a place I’d like to live,” Emanuele said.

The entire July 10, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!