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Italian language class for elementary-age kids

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POSTED November 19, 2013 1:32 a.m.


The Bulletin

So, your child knows a few Italian words.

Buon giorno! Buona sera! Arrivederci! Buona notte!

But if you think your elementary –age son or daughter would be interested in having a deeper knowledge and understanding of Italian linguistics or a running introduction to it, for one reason or another, this should be good news for you.

Italian language lessons are going to be offered at New Haven School with 10 classes being held from Jan. 9 to March 27. The classes will be available on Thursdays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the school located at 14600 S. Austin Road. The class will be limited to 25 students. Cost for each participant is $20.

The class being offered here in Manteca is part of the Central California School of Italian Language and Culture in Stockton where the program is available both for children and adults in separate classes. The classes are also offered at St. Mary’s High School in Stockton, the only secondary campus in the area to offer an Italian language class.

While this is the third year the class being offered in Manteca, this is the first time it is made available to the general public. Two teachers will be teaching the class. It is open to students from third to eighth grade who are interested in learning not just a few Italian words or phrases but would like to learn more about Italy, its history and culture as well.

Parent Nancy Sanguinetti Franzia looks at the Italian language class as a “fun” way “for kids to get exposed to the Italian language and culture.

“Most Italians immigrated to the United States during the late 1800s to early 1900s. So, as the generations become more Americanized, they lose knowledge of their native language. This class is a way for kids to remain in contact with their roots. Besides, we have a good time in class. We have played bocce and eaten pesto.”

According to historical records, 16 million Italians immigrated to the United States from 1861 to 1929 – 7 million of them from 1861 to 1900 and 9 million from 1901 to 1929 – arriving by boat at Ellis Island in New York. From there, they boarded trains which took them to various destinations throughout the United States where they joined other family members or friends from Italy. Those who came to settle in the San Joaquin Valley were drawn to it by its rich agricultural lands.

This is actually the second time this class has been offered in Manteca. The first one was offered three years ago. The class was not offered this fall.

Anyone interested in enrolling their children to the Italian language class can contact Nancy Sanguinetti Franzia at (209) 823-0534 for more information and to obtain a registration packet.

For more information about the Central California School of Italian Language and Culture in Stockton, visit

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