We slept the whole night through! Probably ten hours or more.
But I dreamt of small animals…
There’s a blue sky here in south-west England, and the streets are busy with half-term families wearing rubber boots and wind-proof jackets.
Today we’re headed for Truro, to look at the shops and eat pasties. Probably while sitting on a wet bench, huddled in raincoats and burning our tongues on the super-heated steam escaping from our paper-bag-wrapped lunches.
So, as explained on Monday, I’ll be keeping this short and simple – another tip to draw your attention to stuff that you might not have seen on the club’s website.
Monday I pointed out how our free material is organised in six levels, and how to know where to begin. Each level presents a selection of hopefully-useful material. You just have to decide how to use it, which depends on what your priorities are. Today, invece, I’ll show you how to approach the same material in a different way.
Instead of, for example, deciding that you’re an A1 (beginner/elementary) or a B1 (intermediate) and starting on the page linking to the free material for that level, what you could do is browse the site’s menu looking for the pages that organise the same material by type:
If what you’re after is grammar, then it should be obvious what to click. And once clicked, you should find what we have listed things alphabetically, and annotated them, to show that they are ‘exercises’ or ‘lessons’.
We don’t have everything, and the quality is variable, but there’s plenty of it, and it’s free. I daresay you could find something useful there.
Students ‘often’, which used to be ‘always’ before my sustained efforts over a decade or so, have problems with listening comprehension. That is to say that they don’t understand a word of what they hear, and so panic. You can imagine how that makes communication difficult.
There’s no mystery as to why this is. People may have focused on grammar, or vocabulary, or whatever, to the complete exclusion of the ‘skills’ (reading, listening, speaking and writing).
A proportion of people will focus on grammar AND speaking, though by speaking they tend to mean translating pre-existing English sentences into Italian, very slowly but with the correct conjugations. That’s frustrating for them, I’m sure, but a total bore for anyone they attempt to ‘communicate’ with.
A good way to avoid being one of ‘those’ students is to include listening (but also reading) practice in your study program from the word ‘go’. As your knowledge of the grammar and vocabulary of the language grows, so does your pronunciation improve, and your experience of extracting meaning from fast speech develop.
It doesn’t take long to fix the ‘don’t understand anything’ problem, once you actually start practising. And on our Listening page there’s lots to practice with!
If it was me learning Italian, I’d do all of it. Plus EasyItalianNews.com three times a week. I definitely wouldn’t be one of ‘those’ learners!
N.b. Listening practice will get you 75-80% of the way to successful communication, maybe more. But practicing actually moving your tongue around in real time to communicate with an expectant native-speaker is the rest of it.
I mention this only because the week after next we’ll be having our ‘Free Trial Lesson Offer. If you’ve never tried speaking with (not ‘to’, hence the listening practice) an actual Italian, that’ll be your chance to give it a go.
E poi, the other buttons in the graphic above (or directly on the club website) you can explore for yourself, as I’m supposed to be on ‘holiday’.
The actual sun is shining on me – in Cornwall!
I’m probably still asleep, so dreaming that.
Don’t forget to read/listen to Tuesday’s FREE bulletin of ‘easy’ Italian news.
Subscribers should have received their copies yesterday (if not, check your spam/junk folder!)
If you’re not a subscriber, you can click through to the website and read/listen there.
But subscribing is FREE…