In the last few years ‘Take back control!’ has been an effective way for unscrupulous politicans to convince voters, sometimes in defiance of common sense, to vote against the status quo and even against their own long-term interests.
‘Throw the bums out!’
I write as a Brit, resident in Europe, married to a European, whose kids have E.U. (not G.B.) passports.
I’m not a citizen of the country my children were born in, they’re not citizens of the country their father hails from. That could get awkward…
Sadly, I had no vote in the Brexit referendum, having been abroad too long to matter to politicians back ‘home’.
The consequences of 2016’s referendum will certainly affect me, though.
Any limitations on E.U. citizens living in the U.K are likely to bounce right back at Europhile and/or expatriate Brits.
What a shame it has come to this.
But anyway, ‘taking back control’ isn’t just a rallying cry of chauvinistic politicans – it’s also a useful strategy for language learners!
After last week’s Free Trial Online Italian Lesson offer (now ended), I was considering what I could write today that would help the hundred and fifty or so people who signed up for one.
What can I suggest that will help them get the most out of their 30-minute interaction with a native-speaker Italian teacher?
One thing that I’ve personally found indispensable when taking lessons is having to hand phrases I can use to effectively manage the flow of conversation, and even of the lesson itself.
The idea is to not just sit there, passively letting the teacher run the whole show, waiting for her to decide what should happen next, what the topic of discussion should be.
Given a few useful expressions, there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t take your turn in the driving seat!
Below are a few examples, off the top of my head.
If you have others, rather than emailing me directly, leave a comment on this article that other club members can see.
A mercoledì, allora.
Asking for help
Cosa vuol dire (word you didn’t understand)?
Cosa significa (word you didn’t understand)?
Come si dice (word you don’t know how to say in Italian) in italiano?
Come si pronuncia (word you can’t pronounce)?
Come si scrive (word you can’t spell)?
When you don’t understand
Cosa hai detto, scusa?
Non ho capito. / Non capisco.
Non ho sentito. / Non sento (bene).
Non ti seguo.
When you’re struggling
Non mi ricordo la parola…
Non mi viene (in mente) la parola…
Voglio dire che…
Checking you’ve been understood
Hai (proprio) ragione!
E’ (assolutamente) vero!
Passing the ball
E tu? Che ne dici?
Che ne pensi?