Renee emailed about last Friday’s rant:
The problem you had with Gail – whether it’s a real one or perhaps a marketing ploy / strategy, I don’t care – can be solved by letting readers create their own exercises. There is an interesting website – not for free but affordable – where you can create and store them.
Given that the site she suggests isn’t free, I won’t be linking to it, but I did actually reply to the person who needed more exercises for her class with suggestions as to how she could easily make some for herself, or plan lessons differently so as to liberate herself from having to find/create exercises each week. If there are other Italian teachers reading this, put your hands up! Then I’ll know to write up my email with lesson-planning suggestions as an article.
But anyway, Renee got me thinking, well OF COURSE these articles are, to a greater or lesser extent, a marketing ploy. We have bills to pay, our teachers and writers need to work, and while I don’t pay myself, when the company behind this site and others (EasyItalianNews.com, for example) has a positive cashflow, it means there are resources to try different things. Which is fun.
So no apologies. And anyone who’s fed up with reading advertisements can, of course, unsubscribe – there’s a link at the bottom of each article that’s emailed out.
So what’s new here at the clubhouse? This afternoon I have my second online Spanish lesson, with a nice lady in Mexico, via Skype. And given that my Spanish is embryonic, I’m setting aside an hour or so before the lesson to prepare.
How? Well I thought something like this:
- read through the notes I made before the first lesson* so they’re fresh in my mind
- read through the feedback the teacher sent me after last Friday’s lesson
- decide what might be useful to focus on: “Quiero aprender números, por favor”, just in case the teacher doesn’t have better ideas, which does happen
- do my ‘scales’**
- and if there’s any time left, maybe read an article from El Pais and/or listen to the radio in Spanish. In fact, I could do the latter while making lunch…
*The notes I made before the first lesson were of phrases I planned to refer to during the lesson, to help me interact in Spanish:
Como se dice ‘palabra’ en español? – How do you say ‘word’ in spanish?
¿Puedes decir eso otra vez por favor? – Can you say that again please?
¿Puedes decir eso de nuevo lentamente por favor? – Can you say that again slowly please?
No entiendo eso – I don’t understand that
No entendi eso – I didn’t understand that
Quiero estudiar ‘números’ – I want to study ‘numbers’
Por favor corrige mis errores – Please correct my mistakes
No lo sé – I don’t know
¿Cómo se pronuncia ‘palabra’? – How do you pronounce ‘word’?
¿Cuándo haremos la próxima lección? – When shall we do the next lesson?
Qué hora? – What time?
Hasta luego adiós! – See you then, bye!
Muchas gracias – Thanks a lot
Prefiero que me hables en español – I’d prefer you to speak to me in Spanish
Háblame sobre ti, por favor – Tell me about yourself, please
**If you’ve ever learnt to play the piano, you’ll be familiar with ‘scales’, which are basically just running up and down the keys from note A in one octave to the same note an octave or two up, then back again. The idea, I assume, is to warm up your fingers, etc. before starting to play something more like actual music. So I thought I should try the same thing with Spanish, but with the objective of warming up my tongue and brain… To this end, I’ll spend a little time making a second list (in addtion to the ‘transactional’ phrases above), this time of basic things to say about myself, questions to ask about the teacher, and simple conversation topics – How are you? What’s the weather like where you are? Did you have a good week?
If you take Italian lessons online, I’d be interested to hear about what you do to prepare, if anything. I suppose it’s a lot more necessary, and helpful, if you’re a beginner, as I am in Spanish. Before my weekly conversation lessons in Swedish and Turkish, I don’t do anything except make sure I’m listening to the radio in the appropriate language for the fifteen minutes or half hour beforehand, rather than making things harder for my fifty-two year old brain by listening to Swedish before speaking Turkish or vice versa.
Anyway, back to business.
You’ll have noticed that it’s mid-February? That means it’s time for 2020’s first Free Trial Lesson offer! The other will be in November.
It’s your chance to try a free online Italian lesson with a club teacher, if you haven’t already done so. There’ll be full details in Monday’s article, so watch this space!
Marketing ploys? Me?
Here’s a final reminder about this week’s ‘eBook of the Week’ offer on Yue a Bologna, which is half the usual price for two more days, until Sunday night.
If you’re not beginner/elementary-level, of course, this one will be too easy. But not to worry, there’ll be something harder as ‘eBook of the Week’ on Monday 24th, once the Free Trial Lesson offer has ended.
Or, if you can’t wait that long for something stimulating to read/listen to, go check out our Catalog page, where you’ll find all our ebooks, organised by type and level, each with a free sample chapter.
Oh, and don’t forget Thursday’s edition of EasyItalianNews.com, a unique opportunity to hear my teenage son mispronouncing the names of ALL of the Republic of Ireland’s political parties.
N.b. This came in from Maynor overnight. He’s writing about the emails he receives as a (free) subscriber to EasyItalianNews.com:
When I try to listen online as I read, the audio comes on but the text disappears. Any ideas?
To which I replied:
That’s how certain email apps behave – they assume you don’t want to do two things at the same time. So, if you are reading the bulletin in an email and click on a link, your phone will open an audio player and play the track. Attempting to look at the text in the email app again will close the audio, which is unhelpful but not our fault.
If you open the email on a computer then your browser will just open a new tab, so you can switch easily between text and audio, which is what is intended.
Or, if you want to use a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the email and press the blue ‘Comment’ button. That will open a browser window (so now no longer in your email app) – scroll up to the top of the page the browser has opened and click on the audio, which will, as intended, open a new window with the audio player. You should now be able to read and listen at the same time.
It seemed a shame to waste it…
A lunedì, allora.