Our ten-week, thirty-episode, FREE Summer Series of articles with online audio begins today.
The idea is to provide Italian reading/listening practice material for anyone who wishes to take advantage of it, no registration or payment required.
Do spread the word, won’t you? We don’t advertise, so rely on club members to tell their friends/teachers/students.
This is our fourth Summer Series. We began with the Roman Empire, then did the medieval period, and then the Renaissance and the years up to the birth of modern Italy.
Which brings us to the new series, called ‘Dal Risorgimento alla Seconda Guerra Mondiale‘.
The term ‘risorgimento’ is explained in today’s free episode, and that’s the start point for the series, which ends at the conclusion of WWII (seconda guerra mondiale).
Next year we’ll do the second half of the twentieth century, from WWII up to the arrival of Berlusconi. Which is more or less where I came in, and marks our arbitrary ‘end point of history’, and the end of our five-year-long sequence of Summer Series (unless I get any more silly ideas…)
I’m looking forward to next summer, I’ll admit, as I don’t know much about Italy’s post-WWII history.
Whereas this year’s stuff is more familiar, as I studied it at school – the risorgimento, WWI, Mussolini, the various imperial misadventures, and WWII. It’s an action-packed half-century or so, and if you didn’t cover those decades in history classes at school, there’s masses of interesting material.
But even if you’re already familiar with Italy’s ups and downs in those years, you should join us, if only for the reading/listening practice, which is FREE, remember!
I’ll be publishing a FREE episode each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while the other days there are EasyItalianNews.com bulletins, so you’ll have something to read/listen to virtually every day, between now and mid-September.
You can find the three previous years’ Summer Series, along with this new one, on our History page. They’re in chronological order, from top to bottom, so to get to the new stuff, keep scrolling down!
And/or you could just follow this link:
So, how to use the material?
The gist of it, though, (I wrote it, so I know) is that you should:
- Start the audio playing, then read along, without stopping or caring that you don’t (yet) understand;
- Do that again, if it would be helpful. If not, then go back and read at your own pace, without the audio;
- Repeat stage 1.) or, if you’re super-confident, try just listening – without the supporting text;
- And definitely don’t use a dictionary (see the ‘Advice’ page for reasons why not).
You could, of course, treat these thirty FREE episodes (plus the ninety that preceeded them) as a wonderful gold mine of new words! Consider what an intellectual you’ll be if you learn all the ones you don’t know!
But don’t, because that way you’ll benefit less, or not at all, from the skills practice.
Building comprehension skills is a marathon, not a sprint. And you need to be looking at texts top-down, rather than bottom-up, like a bird, soaring over a landscape.
Of course, you’re totally free to ignore my advice. Instad of soaring through decades of interesting Italian messes, be a worm, a snake, a mouse, or a cow, happily chewing your lexical cud with no care in the world.
But that way, by September, you won’t be reading and listening quite a bit more confidently than you do now. Your bad.
Although, to be fair, you will have a lovely pile of annotated Italian words, which you will have researched, translated, and colour coded, but which you will probably never read or hear again.
Take it from someone who’s been there, done that, and (eventually) realised how much time I’d wasted prioritising the wrong things.
Vacuum up any available reading/listening practice material, while letting the new words look after themselves. The grammar, too, for that matter.
Words which are ‘frequent’ will get learnt one way or another (really). Words which aren’t commonly used or heard, on the other hand, are a poor investment of your time.
How will you know which is which?
By doing lots and lots and lots of reading/listening, and ignoring the bits you don’t (yet) understand.
Be an albatross, not a tortoise!
Here are those links again:
Not interested in history in the slightest?
Then don’t forget to read/listen to Saturday’s bulletin of ‘easy’ Italian news.
Like the Summer Series, it’s FREE!
As is subscribing and so receiving each thrice-weekly bulletin directly in your email inbox, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.