Someone was telling me the other day that adult learners want to be ‘articulate’ when speaking Italian, as they presumably are in their own language.
Hence the need for a ‘structured’ approach to study, not the ‘haphazard’ approach she supposes I advocate.
It’s also important, naturally, to be ‘accurate’, for making mistakes would be embarassing, and is therefore to be avoided.
A patient, precise student will become ‘fluent’ as a consequence of a ‘structured’ approach, I was advised.
Or they’ll quit, I suggested, as most people do.
Because language-learning materials can be inflexible, and don’t reflect an individual’s interests, so are not motivating.
And because the focus on accuracy, and the vast amounts of vocabulary needed so as to appear ‘articulate’, is tedious, and seemingly never-ending.
Yes, obviously, in an ideal world, every adult learning Italian would be as ‘articulate’ as in their native tongues. More so, why not, given that we’re talking miracles here.
We’d all be ‘fluent’, we’d never fumble for words or hesitate.
Conjugations would flow effortlessly from brain to tongue, even the subjunctive, so no worries about ‘accuracy’.
Yet this is not an ideal world, and the lady’s objectives are contradictory.
‘Fluency’ requires thousands of hours of practice, so that’ll be time not spent memorising vocabulary or verb conjugations.
And ‘articulate’ and ‘accurate’ are not the same thing, of course. No one would say I’m not articulate, even in the foreign languages I know less well.
But neither am I ever described as accurate.
I make LOTS of mistakes.
I don’t care.
Articulate, Accurate, and Fluent
Personally I chose fluent and articulate, and if accuracy impedes either one, it can go hang!
Hence I can chat with native speakers.
And I do simply masses of listening practice, with authentic materials, on a daily basis, if possible.
Hence I can mostly understand what native speakers say to me, and to each other, or at least take a pretty good guess.
They’re yours to make.
And the consequences are yours to live with.
Don’t forget to read/listen to Thursday’s bulletin of ‘easy’ Italian news. It’s FREE!
P.P.S. Ebook Offer – Final Reminder!
It’s level B2/C1, so upper-intermediate/advanced, and this first week it’s disounted 25%, which means £5.99 rather than the usual ‘easy reader’ price of £7.99.
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