If you don’t use your automobile often, it can be hard to get it started, especially on a winter morning.
You turn the key, but instead of the engine roaring into life, there’s only a sickly straining sound from the starter motor.
Or worse, just an electrical click, then nothing.
You’re going to be late.
Who can you ask for help?
The neighbours have left for work already, a taxi will take hours to come, and to crown it all – there’s a bus strike today!
(A bus strike? Well obviously. Today is March 8th, International Women’s Day. Hey, let’s make things as miserable as possible for underpaid, or completely unpaid, time-poor, struggling to take the kids to school while carrying the shopping and the baby, non-car-owning, reliant on this vital public service, ITALIAN WOMEN. While their husbands take the family’s only car to their well-paid, secure and UNIIONISED workplaces. Up the workers!)
Where was I?
Ah yes. If you don’t use your car, the chances of being left transportless one winter morning increase.
Ditto, if you don’t ‘study’ Italian (or whatever language you’re learning) regularly, getting enough power to your starter motor to turn over the engine is not guaranteed.
There’s the risk of a flat battery. Bet you know the feeling.
And the chain reaction?
I remember studying these at school. A cool concept. Take an unstable element and jiggle it a little until one or two of the molecules in the lump have had enough and split (so to speak).
Their component parts shoot off like pool balls, only to ricochet off neighbouring molecues, pissing them off too, so they in turn split, and the chain reaction begins!
This metaphor occurred to me the other day when I was reflecting on my progress learning Swedish.
I’ve been listening daily for a year now, so annual news events – ski races, music festivals – that I remember from the early spring of 2018 are coming round again.
And this time I know what they are!
A year of daily listening has obviously improved my ability to understand.
I’d say to at least B1 level, closing on B2.
So I’ve maybe progressed two, even three, levels.
Which isn’t bad.
But better, success with one such ‘learning activity’ (listening to daily simplified news broadcasts), gave me the confidence to try others.
Such as reading Swedish news stories over my breakfast, and listening to ‘real’ radio shows while I prepare dinner.
Which in turn impacted on what I got out of my regular Skype lessons (two a week, two different teachers).
When it came to interacting, I had more vocabulary and better listening skills.
So the whole ‘speaking’ experience got easier, and more fun.
BOOM! Chain reaction.
Failure is demotivating.
Whereas success breeds success.
It’s obvious, really.
N.b. Maybe still only 20% of OnlineItalianClub.com members are reading/listening (for FREE) to the thrice-weekly ‘easy news’ bulletins at EasyItalianNews.com.
They’re not perfect (our team is still learning) but they ARE free.
And it’s not like there’s so much great, free material out there that you can afford to ignore some of it.
Start listening/reading today.
Make a note in your diary for Women’s Day 2020 to evaluate whether your Italian comprehension skills have improved.
Email me to tell me.