I took Italian lessons years ago and stopped because I realized that I was “teaching” myself at home when I was doing my homework. My teacher was a native speaker, but she was not an actual teacher. I tried taking lessons again, but this time, with an instructor through the Dante Alighieri Society. I am so happy that I did! What I now realize is that one can be a life-long native speaker of a language, but not know how to teach that language. There is a genuine difference. My current instructor, Lucia, is an actual teacher of the Italian language – and native speaker. She has the educational background, knowledge of teaching methodologies and the skill sets that facilitate learning. She helps me understand the underlying rules of the Italian language and that has made a true difference in my ability to learn it. Grazie molto, Lucia! Sei un’ottima insegnante!!