The language immersion program is based on the notion that all students can
achieve oral proficiency at a functional level from the very first lesson. Small class
size makes it possible for teachers and students to interact so that maximum
use of communication may take place.

The Immersion Approach: The learner as Active Participant
The immersion approach is based on the philosophy that the best way to learn a foreign language is to be immersed in the language of study. From the onset, students listen and communicate using only the target language. The immersion approach focuses on teaching students to communicate orally without getting caught up in grammar. The focus is on performing communicative tasks in everyday situations.


Francesco Bonavita, Ph.D., a native of Italy, has taught numerous immersion programs. In 1996, he was named Teacher of the Year by the American Association of Teachers of Italian. He is fluent in French and Spanish and is proficient in German, Japanese and Portuguese. He has written many articles on language learning issues. He was an assistant professor at Kean University teaching languages and world language methodology. He is the author of Giardino Italiano: an Intermediate Italian Language Course, which is being published by Prentice Hall.

Here is what Michael T. Kaufman of the New York Times wrote about Francesco Bonavita’s teaching approach after taking a Beginner 1 immersion session in Italian: “…Among things
I learned from Signor Bonavita was to say when I visit a farm in Umbria, how to argue for a hotel room in Rome and how to chat with an old high school instructor when I meet him at a bus stop in Bologna. Thanks to the teacher and his energetic, enthusiastic approach, my classmates and I were able to play charades, sing Old MacDonald, read magazines and argue politics, albeit primitively, all in Italian…” “Dr. Bonavita is one of the best foreign language instructors I have known. He is an imaginative, dynamic, enthusiastic, competent, and effective teacher at all levels, from beginning to advanced.”

Henry Urbanski, former director of the Language Immersion Institute of New Paltz.