Our History

Arca was one of the first schools of Italian as a foreign language in Bologna. Set up in 1998 with the aim of encouraging the meeting of different cultures and to spread the knowledge of Italian language and culture, it entered into a partnership with the language school Modern English Study Centre, already recognized by the Italian Ministry of Public Education since 1985.

Arca is the only Italian language school in Bologna to belong to AISLi, the Association of quality Language Schools in Italy that protects students and teachers and guarantees a constantly professional service. Since 2000, Arca has joined forces with another Italian language school, Koinè in Florence, with whom it shares the communicative teaching methodology.


Anyone learning a foreign language knows what it feels like to be suddenly faced with real live native speakers in a real-life situation: gasping for breath like the proverbial fish out of water! The best way to learn a language, though, is to live in the country for as long as you can, because language arises out of the need to communicate and when we communicate, the non-rational part of us plays a fundamental role. You have only to think of the way in which we learn our mother-tongue as children. For this reason, Arca has adopted a communicative and inductive approach in its teaching of Italian.

Our method , which is regularly updated, is based on “doing” and “saying”, or “communicative acts”. Important international research has in fact shown that much more is learnt by doing than by simply studying. So the emphasis always needs to be on activity rather than on passive receptivity, and our students take an active part in lessons, speaking individually, in pairs or in small groups, acting out roleplay to simulate real life situations.

In class we use not only books but a wide range of up-to-date, authentic materials taken from newspapers, TV, radio, the Internet and other media. This means giving the student important information about contemporary social and cultural life in Italy, and at the same time developing his or her language- and communication skills, without neglecting grammar, phonology, lexis and all the other aspects of the language which will be analyzed subsequently in their proper context.

The teacher is responsible for guiding each student along the path of active learning of our language and culture. This is why there are also cultural and social activities enabling students to experience Italian society directly as a part of it, rather than simply as a tourist and observer.

At Arca you will find:

  • A team at your disposal for information about courses, accommodation, activities and cultural events in Bologna and surroundings, as well as any other needs or requests you may have

  •  Classrooms provided with audio and audiovisual equipment (CD, VHS and DVD players, video-screens)

  • A multimedia room with wireless Internet connection, where you can use the computers and surf the net free of charge during school opening-hours