Several people have written to me because they are a little worried about their ability to hold their own in our new online Italian conversation classes, which start next week.
Some are concerned because they’ve never done anything similar before: speaking a foreign language, with strangers, over the Internet!
Others admit to having a good knowledge of Italian, and have maybe already taken individual lessons with our online teachers, but are anxious anyway…
Even teachers get nervous
And the first lesson can be a nerve-wracking moment!
They have a lot more at stake than you do: if there are participants with differing ‘levels’ (or attitudes), it’ll be the teacher’s job to manage the conversation in such a way that everyone can contribute and no one feels left out or embarrassed.
Good teachers have the skills to deal with whatever problems arise. It’s their job.
But they worry anyway. Which is fine with me, because that way I know they’ll do their best for our clients.
First day nerves
In twenty years of language teaching I’ve faced hundreds of new classes, maybe thousands.
They’re mostly made up of people who don’t yet know each other, find themselves in a completely new situation, and are worrying they’ve made a bad decision.
The class might be too hard…
Or too easy!
You might have plugged your microphone into the earphone socket by mistake.
Or maybe you don’t even HAVE a microphone!
How can you make conversation without a microphone?
It’s going to be a total waste of time.
You’ll feel stupid.
(And don’t you just HATE getting ripped off by seductive or dishonest marketeers?)
Perspective, people, perspective
Calma, as Italians would say.
What’s the worst that could happen?
You’ve done things like this before. Presumably you survived the first day of elementary school.
Normally within an half hour or so, the shyness evaporates, the mood lightens, and you’ll start to relax and enjoy the lesson.
Time will fly.
And by the end of the class you might have made some new friends.
(But if you really HAVE made a terrible mistake, just e-mail me. I can refund your payment. It’ll help me sleep at night.)
Do me a favour?
Would you take a look at a website that an Italian friend of mine has just launched?
It’s got a great design, and has loads of reassuring articles for anxious, stressed people (in English.)
And interesting stuff too for people who are NOT anxious or stressed.
My friend’s name is Federico. His site is called honeyballgame.com
He’s not selling anything, so go take a look (it’s Friday, what else do you have to do?)
Click on a few of the pictures on his home page to discover a wealth of wisdom (and find out why the site has such a weird name.)
When you’ve done calming down, don’t forget to come back here and sign up for one of the new online Italian conversation classes.
Places are limited and it’s going to be so great!
So why miss out?
- Tuesday Italian conversation class, 21.00 Italian time, starting 11th March (4 places left)
- Wednesday Italian conversation class, 14.00 Italian time, starting 12th March (1 place left)
P.S. Coming Soon!
I’ve hired a wonderful Italian teacher who’s writing masses of listening practice exercises at different levels for this site.
She’s just delivered eight great texts for A1/Elementary level, which I’m hoping to get recorded and put up for you to practice with over the next few days. Watch this space.