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"Ciao!" - Rizzoli Bookstore Offers Sunday Italian Lessons!

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Sunday Italian Lessons at Rizzoli Bookstore
Rizzoli Bookstore
31 West 57th Street
(between 5th & 6th Avenues)
New York, NY 10019

(Rizzoli Bookstore Website)
(800) 52-BOOKS - Toll Free
(212) 759-2424 - Telephone
(212) 826-9754 - Fax

Ask for Gerard, and tell him
you saw them on!

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 30, 2006

On several Sunday afternoons (Check the Rizzoli Website for upcoming events) Rizzoli Bookstore on West 57th Street in Manhattan is offering over one hour of free Italian lessons from an acclaimed native Italian teacher, Elda Buonanno, who teaches Italian at Columbia University. Ms. Buonanno creates conversational lessons with the assistance of paperback textbooks, which are understandable and affordable (available at Rizzoli). The lessons take place in the midst of travel and art books, within sight of Italian opera DVD's and CD's, as well as colorful children's literature. Ms. Buonanno appropriately uses a large chart to conjugate verbs and teach tenses and gender-related spelling. (This writer successfully defended a doctoral dissertation in 1991 at Columbia Teachers College in second language acquisition. In addition, this writer studied Italian at the undergraduate level.)

I was quite impressed with Ms. Buonanno's accent and teaching style. She verbally engaged all who wished to be engaged, allowing the others to feel comfortable and immersed in culture and language. Her method of emphasizing the Italian, while using English as necessary, was a valid one, so that students could hear the pronunciation and begin thinking in Italian. We practiced from a "letter", Jean to Fernando, about a typical day in school, as several of us read a sentence, using proper accents and expression. Ms. Buonanno modeled with encouragement and compliments.

Amazingly, she found time for conjugations of regular and irregular verbs, plus verbs used in association with others, like "to have" and "to be". "Io non ho fame" (I am not hungry) and "Io ho molte fame" (I am very hungry) were appropriately asked of us, this late afternoon. We responded individually. "Io sono di Boston" (I am from Boston) was written into my notes. We also learned not to call a woman "donnaccia", but rather to refer to her as "bella donna". Fear of...came into play in "Io ho paura di...", like spiders and heights.

I look forward to my next Italian lesson in June. I'm hoping to practice at the Italian restaurants that participate in sponsoring this magazine. In addition, many of my jazz articles are translated into Italian on, by Publisher, Marco Losavio. It's good to be able to speak Italian!

Rizzoli has many special events, almost every day of the week, some at the New York Bookstore, and some at other venues. Check the Rizzoli Website for details.

Elda Buonanno, Rizzoli's Italian Teacher
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Rizzoli Manager, Gerard Nudo, and Assistant
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at