WHEN the Italian language ceased being taught in many public schools, Tuart Hill resident Tania Pietracatella decided to take matters into her own hands.
Ms Pietracatella, an Italian teacher who has studied and lived in Italy, set up her business The Little Italian School in Tuart Hill due to demand for the language and culture in the area.
“A lot of the English vocabulary comes from romance languages, and I believe that learning the Italian language can help with our understanding of the English grammar and therefore can only be beneficial,” she said.
“When I heard Italian language was being taken out of some schools because of the lack of funding from the Government I was so shocked.
“Australia is so isolated and detached from the rest of the world that I think it is even more important to expose students to a language and culture other than English.”
Labor education spokeswoman Sue Ellery announced this month that the number of public schools teaching languages had dropped from 523 in 2014 to 277.
Ms Pietracatella, whose family is from Southern Italy, said she would like to see more funding for languages and the arts.
“It feels like Australia doesn’t rate the arts as much as sport, I guess it’s just not a big part of our culture yet,” she said.
“I get upset when I think that if our children are into the arts, we have to get a bank loan to enrol them into schools in any of these areas.
“I am determined to keep this ‘dolce lingua’ and culture alive in our country.”
The Little Italian School offers language classes and cooking workshops.